The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking in Yorkshire

ClaireC's picture

Baking in Yorkshire

I've been browsing this site and learning from it for quite a while - and started posting recently - so it seemed like the friendly thing to do to introduce myself properly, rather than just wandering around on the edges.

I've been baking for about two and a half years now.  It all started when I went back to college, and moved the whole family from quite a big house to a very small bungalow.  While we were clearing out the cupboards and trying our best to be ruthless, I couldn't quite bear to get rid of the bread machine, even though I hardly ever used it - because just occasionally, it was really nice to have home baked bread.

So I figured I would try making a loaf by hand - and if that turned out ok, I would get rid of the bread machine, because if we ever needed fresh bread, I could manage it without the gadget.

The loaf turned out pretty well, and I LOVED baking it - so the next day I made another one....and the day after, another....and that was it, I was hooked.  The bread machine went, and I've baked pretty much all our bread by hand ever since.   I can't resist the desire to tweak and improve and experiment, so every loaf is different from the last.  I was getting a bit frustrated after a while that the bread was never *quite* as good as I wanted it to be - until my mother-in-law bought me the Bread Bakers Apprentice for Christmas, 6 months ago - and suddenly the quality of my bread took a huge leap forward - and all the advice on sites like this one started to make much more sense.  It was a huge thrill to test some of the recipes of his next book.  I came over all star-struck!

I'm a curate, working for a church in North Yorkshire, in my mid-thirties, with a husband and two school age children.  I've still got lots and lots to learn about bread, but it's been a fun journey so far.  I'd like to learn more about sourdough - more about baking bread in ways that will work in our camper van, which has no oven - and more about helping others to learn how to bake.   Plus, I'd really, really like to learn more about pizza!!

rainwater's picture

Here is my ultimate formula for pizza, since you want to know about pizza.  Of course, this is just a smidgeon of pizza dough information....Reinhart has a whole book devoted to pizza crust.

500 gr.  Unbleached Bread Flour....I use King Arthur

1 tsp. instant can order 1# size excellent quality from King Arthur and it's cheaper than buying small quantities from the grocery store.

2 tsp. Alessi Sea Salt....use best quality salt for makes a difference.

I whisk the above's like sifting, but easier.

375 gr.  water.....I weigh this on the scale, this is not a volumn measurement.

2 Tablespoons of olive oil.

mix this with fingers as little as possible to get a cohesive mass. 

Slam, stretch, and fold vigorously exactly 10 times.

Rest for twenty minutes...then stretch and Reinhart describes in BBA.  Do not add any extra flour or water during the stretch and fold...if a little dough sticks...scrape it all together, put in bowl..and rest twenty minutes....stetch and twenty minutes....stetch and fold.

put in mixing bowl that will allow room for rising...cover well, and refrigerate until the next day. 

The next day, divide into three 10 ounce portions.

Mold with as little handling as possible into semi roung and flat dough balls...put in individual soup bowls...and cover with plastic wrap that has been smeared with a little olive oil. 

When ready to use.....pull the dough balls from the refrigerator about 2 hours before rolling out....I've had my dough sit out for as long as 4 hours.

I scrape the dough with my fingers into a deep dish filled with flour/cornmeal and generously dust both sides with the flour mixture.  This is all the additional flour my pizza crust gets.  I shape with fingers about half way...and finish by rolling with rolling pin as gently as possible......Place on back of cookie sheet or pizza peel lined with parchment paper.......This allows for cleaner and easier slide into the oven.....

That's all I can share about pizza crust.....can you tell I'm obsessed with my pizza crust!  :)


xaipete's picture

Both your crust & pizza look wonderful. I'm a sucker for both.


AnnieT's picture

Hello Claire and welcome to TFL from a limey living in Washington State. So glad you are finding time to bake in spite of your no doubt busy life! If you poke around the site I know you will find lots of information on making bread without an oven in your camper van. Have you tried sourdough yet? Another way to get obsessed, but you will be in good company, A.

Patf's picture

and welcome to the forum Claire.

I know Yorkshire quite well as I lived in Hessle near Hull For 25 years.

Hope you continue to enjoy your baking. You should be able to buy some locally ground flour - I believe there are a few mills in Yorkshire.

yozzause's picture

Hi Claire

Welcome from Perth Western Australia,

I have made bread successfully on the beach at shark bay when i have been away on fishing trips with the boys, dough was made in a bucket and even using seawater, i had always heard that sea water was the right salinity level, but at shark bay it is very salty so i used half sea and half the water we carry with us.

The bread is baked in a cast iron camp oven, it takes a little getting used to but can be done.

Nothing quite like fresh bread and fresh fish on the beach and seeing no one else for the whole week, no phones, no tv, no people, no worries.

lots of beer lots of whiskey lots of fish and good mates.

I have visited yorkshire and baked bread in Todmorden and Huddersfield and there are some very nice flour mixes available to try.

I do hope to get back there again in the next year or 2 especially if the  air fares stay nice and low .    

pjaj's picture

Hi Clair, welcome from Oxfordshire.

Unfortunately, however good the recipe given above is, the brands are not available in the UK! I've had very good results with Jamie Oliver's recipe from his "jamie at home" book pg 182.

  • 1kg strong bread flour (I use Waitrose extra strong Canadian red wheat)
  • OR
  • 800gr strong flour + 200gr semolina (my favourite)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 14gr dried yeast (I use Doves)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 650 ml warm water

Sieve the salt and flours together.

Mix the oil sugar and yeast into the water and leave for a few minutes then hand mix on a clean work surface as described above. Kneed till you have a smooth springy dough.

(Personally I use a Kenwood Chef and cut out all the therapeutic mess on the worktop!)

Flour dust and put in a covered bowl in a warm place until it has doubled in size.

Knock back and form into as many balls as you want to make pizzas (about 6-8 for this quantity of dough although I like my bases thicker, so less balls)

Use imediately or refrigerate or freeze wrapped in clingfilm.

I'm making a batch tomorrow.

In Yorkshire next week on hols.