,With the Dia de los Muertos looming, we thought we’d experiment with the traditional Mexican treat Pan de Muerto. Made with an orange-infused sweet dough, enriched with butter and eggs, the bread is shaped into a boule, then the ‘bones’ are overlaid, with a ‘skull’ placed atop the loaf.
I do love this time of year, when the nights draw in, the air is filled with the smell of wood-smoke and the world around us turns red and gold. These days the shops are filled with the most amazing autumnal squashes, gourds and pumpkins, of all colours, shapes and sizes. Inspired, we decided to use the leftover sweet dough from the Pan de Muerto to make some pumpkin buns. The orange dough was crying out for some chocolate, so each bun has a delicious chocolatey filling. Even if they hadn’t been delicious, I think we’ll have to make these again just for the aesthetic! Cute as a button!
I’ll leave you with a reminder of the ancient Gaelic celebration which pre-dated the modern observance of Halloween: ‘Samhain’ (from dusk on the 31st October to Dawn on the 1st November) – the festival marking summer’s end and the start of the dark half of the year.
Perhaps next year I should create a new loaf to celebrate Samhain. Perhaps half dark, half light - yin and yang. Now, there’s a thought…
Well, last week was a bit of a whirlwind! After the flurry of publicity following our two Gold Awards in this month’s World Bread Awards, we were invited to join Chris Mann on the Food and Drink Hour at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. Chris, Emma and Heather were wonderfully welcoming and genuinely fascinated by the whole bread-making process. It may have helped that I went armed with a basketful of freshly baked bread and buns. Well, it would have been rude not to and we hate to disappoint. It turns out Emma is quite a big fan of our chocolate brioche buns!
The Food & Drink hour starts about and hour into the show, around the 60 mins mark, if you fancy giving it a listen:
Who knows, with all that enthusiasm for all things baking, maybe one of the team will be joining us in the near future to find out exactly what goes on in one of our workshops.
Whoop de whoop! Having entered some of our favourite loaves into the World Bread Awards last month, we have had to wait until now and the Awards Ceremony to find out how we fared. Having won Bronze, Silver and Gold awards in 2015 & 2016, the pressure was on!
But we did it! Gold for both our Five Seed Sour and our Scandinavian Rye. The former has been a favourite with our customers from the start (and winner of a Great Taste Award) so we thought it was about time we put it into the World Bread Awards. But the latter, our rich, dark, all-rye sourdough, is relatively new and a particular favourite of mine – not only because it’s a bakery staple for breakfast, lunch and tea, but because it took so very long to develop. Endless tweaking finally paid off, when the taste and texture finally met with the bread I’ve been dreaming of (and yes, I dream endlessly about food, both real and yet-to-be created! Don’t we all?).
So, perseverance and patience pays off. We all get there in the end. If you came along the journey with us – thank you. Now sit back, put the kettle on, bring out the butter and jam. It’s time for tea…
Our workshops are run by award-winning sourdough baker Helen Underwood.