Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category
We challenged Vanessa Kimbell to come up with a Pandoro recipe in time for Christmas that would be achievable and reliable – if a little more challenging than our usual recipes. She has come up trumps with a delightfully light cake that does use your sourdough starter for that authentic, complex flavour.
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Everywhere you look there is a large range of chocolate available as confectionary and for cooking (couverture). Which is good – which is bad? Not easy questions to answer in the chocolate industry, much of which is still wracked with dubious labour practices and where the vast majority of chocolate is produced by a small number of processing conglomerates from which the familiar brands buy their materials. What makes the best chocolate? The answer to this is quite straightforward and similar to most other foods: use the very best raw ingredients and don’t add anything else that cheapens or disguises the content. Chocolate should only be cocao, cocao butter and raw cane sugar (and milk for milk chocolate of course). No need for emulsifiers, lecithin or vanilla, all of which are signs that the product is compromised in some way. At BakeryBits, we want to offer the best ingredients without compromise. Original Beans is a Swiss-based chocolate company that produces only organic chocolate bought directly from individual smallholder farmers, all based in biodiversity hotspots, paying well above the Fair Trade premium generating funds for training and planting seedlings to extend the local rainforest. Read the rest of this entry »
Another recipe from our resident expert, Vanessa Kimbell. Vanessa has come up with an exhaustively tested recipe that although quite challenging is an achievable version of panettone that you will love to eat and impress your friends and family. You can get all the ingredients and the panettone cases needed (except for the basic larder ingredients) in our BakeryBits Panettone Kit. If you need a sourdough starter, then add our San Francisco starter.
Panettone is tricky. I was chatting to chef Carlo Cracco in Milan last week, who is regarded by many as the perhaps the most supreme exponent of Italian Cuisine, about developing a practical and yet authentic panettone recipe for home bakers – he laughed out loud exclaiming that even he didn’t make his own as they are so notoriously difficult to get right.
Earlier this year we ran an exclusive competition for one lucky baker to win a place on Dan Lepard’s Sweet Sourdough Bread & Cakes course hosted by Juniper & Rose Kitchen Garden School in October. Dan taught the group of keen bread bakers some original and delicious sourdough recipes including chocolate sourdough cakes, fruit focaccias and fruity sourdough loaves. Sweet sourdough enthusiast Andrea Norrington has written a fantastic review of the day if you would like to read more.
Congratulations to Michael Wake-Walker who won the competition – we were pleased to hear you had a very enjoyable day on the course!
Dan Lepard’s Sweet Sourdough Bread & Cakes course returns to the Juniper & Rose Kitchen Garden School on 1 February 2014. Find out more here
We’re excited to announce that the wonderful Vanessa Kimbell is now our resident baking expert! An established food writer and BBC broadcaster, Vanessa runs the successful Juniper & Rose Kitchen Garden School in Nottinghamshire. She will be sharing regular recipes and how-to video demonstrations using our products – watch this space!
We have already published a few of Vanessa’s recipes including Sourdough Scotch Pancakes which is a delicious way to use your left-over sourdough. There is also a Portuguese Custard Tart recipe which have a fantastic caramel and vanilla flavour. The latest recipe is Vanessa’s Panettone recipe which is as tasty as it is reliable. We have a kit that goes with this recipe to give you all you need apart from the basic larder ingredients. Plenty more to come!
Stocking Pelia olive oil has taken the team at BakeryBits on a bit of a journey to understand the differences between olive oils especially the complexities of the flavours – and how to characterise them. Philip at Pelia has given us the benefit of his extensive knowledge, some of which is related here. Philip describes the key aspects of olive oil flavours and what to look for when you taste them. The way that olives are grown and transformed into the delicious oil is a very important contributor to the final quality of the oil. We have a video showing how this is performed at Pelia along with a description of all of the stages in making the oil. We found it interesting enough to warrant a blog article and hope that you agree.
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The Ndali Estate is a 1000 acre farm set in volcanic soil in the tropics of Western Uganda. The farm specialise in the organic, Fairtrade growing and curing of fine vanilla, the best of which is sold as “Ndali” vanilla.
Vanilla grows best in small-scale agro-forestry, it takes considerable time and care to produce the beans. Vanilla flowers the world-over are pollinated by hand to ensure a good crop since the very specific pollinating insects are not numerous enough to ensure this. So, the farmers must be on-hand within 8 hours of the flower opening to perform the delicate operation. After pollination, the beans then take 9 to 11 months to be ready for harvest at which point they are still green. Read the rest of this entry »
This recipe comes from Vanessa Kimbell, our resident baking expert.
More often than not I am asked what to do with the leftover starter that is normally discarded after refreshing sourdough starter ready for some bread baking. It seems a shame when it’s still relatively fresh and has developed such a lovely sour flavour to just throw it away.
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Brioche is a simple yet versatile bread, perfect for making into different shapes and providing a good base for additional flavours. We’ve teamed up with Angus McCaig, Head Chef at The Holt, Honiton, to create an authentic brioche baguette recipe. Read the rest of this entry »