The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi from the UK

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mattprince's picture
mattprince

Hi from the UK

Hi All,

 

Glad i found this site. I'm 36, married with 3 young children (8,6 and 4) and decided to start cooking fresh bread and pizza dough. Im battling through but finding it hard to be consistent. 

Nice to meet you all

 

Matt

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Welcome, Matt!

hardough4010's picture
hardough4010

Hi Matt,

 

Happy New Year and welcome.  I'm from the UK as well.

mattprince's picture
mattprince

Hi,

Same to you :)

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

Dear Matt,

None of us on TFL can possibly wish anything but grand success.  And then let us in on your successes and failures.

What I have to say I've written many times now here:  learn bread baking from a textbook not a bread cook book.  This will allow you to develop, using a book intended for students, to build a foundation of bread baking in an organized fashion well-thought out, rather than picking through all the flurry of information on TFL not knowing for sure what's useful for you and what's not.  And it's bound to speed up the process.

Here are two really good texts, quite different from each other:  DiMuzio's Bread Baking and Hamelman's Bread.  The former is the easier, in my estimation, for a beginner; I do, however, know beginners who've been perfectly happy with the Hamelman.  Both are often in public libraries and for purchase, used, at Alibris or Powell's books.

Since so much of bread baking is learning by feel, you might try to find, using TFL, a local bread baker who's willing to let you watch and feel.  There's also a lot to be learned from the many video's found through the link at the top of each page and elsewhere through your favorite search engine/Youtube.

For some sorts of doughs you may want to take a brief course.  It took me quite a while to realize I personally needed to take a course to learn how to learn techniques for high-hydration doughs.

Finally, the search engine on this site is full of wonderful things.  Use it when you've got questions.  For example, it seems inevitable that people have questions about choosing an appliance for kneading doughs.  Much to learn before you buy and well worth reading other's experiences.

Practice, have fun, and tell us about it.  Use a text book to compare comments you get to what your chosen expert, its author, says.

 

 

 

 

 

grandmamac's picture
grandmamac

Hi, Matt.

It's wonderful to see you starting to bake fresh bread for your family.It's a real step forward in providing healthy food for them.

Have you tried Googling 'Bread Matters". This website and book by Andrew Whitley really opened my eyes to the process involved in manufacturing the bread sold in supermarkets. I'd given up eating much bread until I retired from my intensive job and decided I would start baking my own bread again as I did when my children were small. There is a website http://www.sustainweb.org/realbread

The Real Bread Campaign has a section on the drop down menu for home bakers you may find useful. I found a useful UK source of help with everyday bread that had lots of photos-

http://www.azeliaskitchen.net/how-to-make-an-easy-loaf-my-everyday-bread-with-no-kneading/

There is a lot of help on the forum as well. Once you develop your own routine, you won't go back to buying bread!

Good Luck in your New Year baking!

 

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

Hi Matt, welcome from the East Midlands.

mattprince's picture
mattprince

Thanks for the replies. Some really good information. Ordered that "Bread Matters" just off Amazon. I do think supermarket bread is rubbish as whenever i eat it i bloat like heck. Last 2 days , made my own bread and had no bloating and it tasted amazing (albeit very heavy so will have to try and perfect that lol)

 

Matt

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hello Matt

Welcome to TFL.  Whereabouts are you based in the UK?  I am on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border and mainly use Shipton Mill flours, with techniques and recipes from Richard Bertinet and his books Dough and Crust.  I found these very useful and a great introduction into bread making - including the mysteries of sourdough.

mattprince's picture
mattprince

Hi,

 

Im based in Alsager, near Crewe. Ive been looking at Shipton and a few others but they all seem to be approx 50% more expensive than the equivalent Strong Bread Flour in Tesco or Sainsburys. Will the flour from Shipton be of better quality and taste?

 

Matt

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hello Matt

Alsager is not too far away from me.  I buy Shipton Mill No4 white organic flour in 16kg bags - and get through 3 or 4 a year - that work out at less than £1 per kilo.  I have to confess to not having bought Tesco or Sainsbury's flours since I started baking "seriously" in 2007.  I took a course with Richard Bertinet in December 2007 and he recommends Shipton Mill - or Waitrose Leckford estate strong bread flour - and as our local supermarket is a Waitrose I used that to start with and moved onto Shipton Mill flours via a local health food store.  I cannot recall a significant difference between Leckford Estate and Shipton Milll but as I use such a lot of flour it is very convenient for me to buy enough to qualify for free delivery and save lugging it all from the supermarket.  As an addition consideration, I use a lot of spelt wholemeal and white flours and these are readily available and competitively priced at Shipton Mill.

HTH

mattprince's picture
mattprince

Hi,

I made a bloomer last night , let it cool, over night and the kids had toast for breakfast. They devoured it and said it was lovely. SO glad i don't have to fight with them to get them to switch from supermarket bread. Will place an order at Shipton Mill as its obviously good stuff if you've been using it for years. Now i just need to learn how to bake properly lol

 

Matt

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

With 3 kids you will be doing a lot of baking once they are "hooked" on real bread, particularly if they are boys.  I have 3 daughters so it isn't too bad - until a boyfriend arrives and eats us out of house and home :) .

mattprince's picture
mattprince

Well...our kids are homeschooled. My wife does cooking with them once or twice a week so this will be something good for them to do too. Perhaps learning how to make their own bread and then onto cakes etc

 

Matt

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

I'm assuming - from your comment about cooking - that your wife is doing the home schooling.  What a brave lady, but it does give you the opportunity to ensure that essential life skills are learned - in addition to the "three Rs".

mattprince's picture
mattprince

Yeah, thats why we started homeschooling. They spend years learning about things that are unimportant yet learn next to nothing on how to manage money, be respectful, eat healthily etc etc

Three R's? lol

mattprince's picture
mattprince

Hi,

 

When you say you buy Shipton Organic No4 , do you make bread with that? I thought it had to be bread flour?

 

Matt

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

It doesn't have "strong" in the title but it is a strong white bread flour

http://www.shipton-mill.com/flour-direct/white-flour/shop-17/untreated-organic-white-flour-no-4-105?

mattprince's picture
mattprince

Ah right! Buying in 25kg bags makes it even cheaper too. Think ill place an order now as loving this baking lark.

 

Matt

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

I would buy larger bags than 16kg but as I am disabled I would have difficulty moving them and I find that I can store enough of the spelt flours to synchronise re-ordering them with the order for No4, which I also use to maintain my wheaten leavens.  On occasions I have also ordered for neighbours to ensure that I achieve to level to qualify for free delivery.  Oh - and don't forget to order the fresh yeast as well :).

 

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

I too buy Shipton Mill flour in bulk, I buy the 25 kg sacks, nearly all my UK bread books recommend Shipton Mill and the price bought in bulk is very competitive.  The flour they call strong is extra strong I think. I got them all muddled to start with. One that appears to be the one you should buy for bread, is just labelled differently as it is mainly milled from English heritage wheats, but it is more expensive. Others are the same flour in different sized packets. This is the one that you want

http://www.shipton-mill.com/flour-direct/white-flour/shop-17/untreated-organic-white-flour-no-4-105?

Don't make the mistake of trying to use this flour for cakes and cookies like I did at first! Disaster is sure to befall you! But for bread it is excellent.

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

Sorry, must have been typing when the other poster posted. Probably forgot and started browsing Shipton Mills website! I usually add bannetons to the order too if I want them as it saves paying p and p from elsewhere. 

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Shipton Mill have a large range of flours - including a - slightly thirsty - cake and pastry flour.  Just lump all your requirements into one order!

BTW - I have NO link to Shipton Mill, other than being a customer :)

 

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

I love all the Shipton Mill flours that I have tried ( no links to them either). I also buy the cake and pastry flour in bulk. The ciabatta flour is really excellent too, and I love the Khorsan. The 25 kg sacks are very heavy, even the delivery driver struggled! But once it is in the garage it doesn't have to move.

Flourvonsponge's picture
Flourvonsponge

Hello

welcome to the forum. I'm pretty new too. I am in Chichester, West Sussex and we have home educated our 7 children although now only three are home educted, the oldest three are in college and another is in full time performing arts school on a partial scholarship. 

Look forward to hearing from you.