No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Bethesda baking

Here are some pics I took at the Bethesda Bakin'5 event (5 because this is the 5th time these get-togethers have been held), which took place in Bethesda, North Wales between 1st and 4th of July this year. I was only able to attend on the two middle days, but it was worth every second.

20 or so keen, enthusiastic bakers gathered together over the four days and just made bread - swapping recipes and sharing knowledge along the way. We had a variety of ovens to play with - 3 commercial, one wood-fired oven on a trailer, and my small chiminea.

It was very pleasing to meet my old friend (from the BBC Food board and the WFO forum) Terry - also known as Cannyfraddock (great name, that!) who introduced me to everyone.

To make the event possible there had to be some terrific organisational feats - we had two large ovens, 3 long stainless steel tables, huge racks, over 20 mixing bowls, scales, jugs. There was a myriad of containers of different sourdoughs - I never got to check all these out - great sacks of different flours: Doves wholemeal and white; spelt; rye; millet; and more. There was a huge rack full of all the different additives you might want to include in a loaf: dried fruit of all description; seeds - poppy - sesame - pumpkin - sunflower - flax, etc; olives; olive oil; sunflower oil - and much more I've forgotten.

We had several cooks pitching in over the weekend (mainly wives, you won't be surprised to hear) and the food was of high quality. Knowing I was vegan, the cooks made every attempt to make sure that anything that could be made vegan was done so. I remember a fine minestrone soup (more like a stew!) which I had with some wonderful bread for lunch one day.

All in all it was a wonderful occasion and one I can't wait to repeat!

Thanks must go to Mick Hartley of the Bethesda Bakers who was the prime mover behind all this. I'd like to thank everyone who helped Mick, but I'm not going into names in case I leave anyone out.
The WFO on a trailer that Crannyfaddock (Terry) hauled all the way up from Kidderminster

And its little brother - my chiminea

The WFO in action

An olive sourdough. (Can't remember whose, sorry!)

A sourdough vegan calzone - a first for me! Containing mushroom pate, pesto and someone's lovely homemade tomato sauce.

Some sourdough loaves on the rack

Animals by Joe - a rabbit and swans amongst them

A couple of figures, also by Joe

A lizard...

And a one-eyed turtle
That's Gareth's (big G) hand just visible in the sticky dough
Still stuck up!
Just a few minutes later...
It's completely transformed!
This is Jay just about to put his risen sourdough into a Dutch oven.

(More to come)

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