Slow French patisserie at The Handmade Bakery, Slaithwaite

June 16, 2013
French patisserie at The Handmade Bakery, Slaithwaite

Have you ever had times where you’ve been challenged, where there’s been something that you know you can do much, much better if you just cracked a little piece of technique, if somebody simply showed you how? Yes? It’s true for all of us, and one of my blind spots used to be French style […]

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Everyday sourdough bread

May 26, 2013
Simple, straightforward and easy sourdough loaf

I’ve baked sourdough regularly for a couple of years, now. There’s been a starter bubbling away in the fridge for the whole time. It’s remarkable in its resilience … sometimes, weeks  of neglect have passed, but a handful of flour and a splash of water cause it to spring back into life easily enough. I’ve […]

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How to bake French-style brioche bread

April 12, 2013
French brioche bread

Baking bread. It sneaks up on you. It starts slowly, just a little experiment, maybe a curious attempt at a simple loaf. Nothing out of the ordinary, just flour, salt, yeast, water and time. You find that it works. It works better than you could ever dare believe it’d work. Your bread tastes real, substantial, […]

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Bathuras, or fried fermented Indian flatbreads

January 14, 2013
Bathura, or Indian yoghurt fermented deep fried flatbread

I have this theory about Indian restaurants. It may be a Yorkshire thing, or maybe even just a Bradford or Leeds thing, or perhaps its just me, but I reckon you can judge the quality of an Indian restaurant through a combination of how good their breads are and whether or not you get a […]

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How to make croissants

May 5, 2012
how to make croissants

They look so complicated, with their elegant crescent shape and proudly airy layers of rich pastry, tightly curled up and falling over one another. Breaking one open sends a shower of buttery flakes everywhere and leaves your fingers satisfyingly greasy. Surely, this type of baking is the preserve of the professional? Or the French? But, […]

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How to make parathas

April 28, 2012
How to make Indian or Pakistani parathas, enriched unleavened Asian flatbreads

A while ago, I spent some time in India, travelling around Rajasthan and the north of the country.  We ended up in the town of Jaiselmer, deep in the Rajasthani scrublands, a place that feels like the very edge of the world. The big tourist thing to do in Jaiselmer is to hire a guide […]

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