Welcome to 2016. See below for New Year Freebies!

I like the New Year, after the frenzied pre-Christmas rush and the consumption over the break, getting back to a routine seems quite comforting despite the greyness of the season. Seeing the new faces at the gym and trying to guess whether they will see it through to February makes me smile, I am probably a very bad person. Anyway, last year I managed to make all of our family’s bread, which we ate even if it went a little wonky. Why not try to do the same? Once it is part of your routine, it is pretty easy to do especially if you make use of an oven that is already on for other things.

To start with a realistic goal, I asked Vanessa to come up with a really quick and easy artisan loaf to get you started on the right path.

Vanessa reckons that this loaf takes about 6 minutes to make as it involves no kneading, no mess, one bowl and a scraper to wash up and a long, slow overnight prove. We’d love to know how you get on with it so do send us a photo of your loaf via Twitter @bakerybits or Facebook or if you prefer, send it to us for inclusion in our gallery.

In the meantime we have some SALE items below and we are putting together the 2016 schedule for the newsletter, and looking for new products, so if there is a particular recipe, technique, ingredient or piece of equipment that you’d love for us to look into please drop me a line.

The simplest artisan

bread ever.

To really encourage you to resolve to bake your own this year I have got one of the simplest recipes you could make, that delivers a robust loaf with a fabulous complexity of flavour. No-knead breads are now a classic and accepted way to bake and as food writer Mark Bitterman, who made this technique famous said, “Let time do the work”.

The flavours are fabulous, in part due to the long, slow overnight fermentation and the addition of rye flour for extra depth. It is especially good when you use stoneground flour that is full of complex flavour that really come out in the overnight slow prove. I’ve chosen to use Mulino Marino Type 00 for this recipe, which is a lively, tasty strong white flour from Italy, perfect for baguettes and simple white loaves, there is no slashing the dough either. If you are lucky enough to have been given a La Cloche this Christmas, or have one anyway, just let the dough do its thing in the cloche and the rise from the oven spring will crack the loaf where ever it pleases, which is all part of the charm.

Ideally your kitchen will be about 18C (cool room temperature), which, as it happens, is about the temperature of my kitchen and about 14C overnight at this time of year. In warmer months, or a warmer kitchen I would expect a more open crumb – both are fine. If your house gets very cold then it might be worth investing in a Brod and Taylor Folding Proofer, which you can use to set an exact temperature for peace of mind.

Stir the ingredients together in a large bowl. You can expect the dough to be quite shaggy looking. Cover your bowl completely with a tea towel that has been run under a warm tap and wrung out.

Pop your La Cloche into the oven and preheat your oven to 220C (or a baking stone – or a tray if Santa didn’t call).

Lightly flour your work surface then gently turn your dough out. Gently shape your loaf, tucking into a ball and place it into a floured banneton seam side up. It will be soft and slightly slack looking but don’t panic. Leave it for 20 minutes while the oven continues to reach temperature.

Remove the La Cloche (stone or tray) from the oven. Dust with a generous handful of semolina. Carefully turn the dough into the cloche, pop the lid on (or tip onto the stone or tray) and return to the oven for 45 minutes.

Remove the lid and turn the heat down to 160 degrees for the last 15 - 20 minutes. The crust should be a beautiful rich chestnut colour.

9:35 – 9:40am

Remove from the oven.

Cook on a wire wrack.



400g Mulino Marino Type 00
25g Stoates Rye flour

9g salt
2g (1/4 packet or 1/4tsp) Bioreal organic dried yeast
330g water

Featured Products

La Cloche Baking Dome | £47.99

Make fantastic bread in your oven every time with a La Cloche. Ensure perfect golden, crackly crust and moist, evenly baked bread with this amazing product, based on 1000s of years of bread baking traditions.

Organic Type "00" Soffiata Flour | £2.75

Type "00" flour from strong organic wheat suitable for ciabatta, baguettes, brioches, croissants and as a general bread flour.

Bioreal Dried Organic Instant Yeast | £0.45

Agrano Bioreal® dried organic instant yeast is available in both 9g sachets or 500g vacuum packs for the busier baker. Made without industrial chemicals, organic yeast is an excellent proving agent with very good keeping qualtiies.


New Year Bargains!


There are some heavily discounted bits and pieces in our Clearance page – once they are gone they are gone

Do you have a sourdough question for Vanessa? Send it to us and the best ones will appear in our next postbag edition and receive a dough whisk.

Suggestion Box

Are we missing something? An usual flour, a particular tin, or a special piece of equipment you’d like to see on our shelves? Let us know and if we decide to stock it, you will receive the very first one of the item you suggest.