Finnish pulla buns

Finnish Pulla buns

Here’s something a little different – a sweetened dough from the Nordic countries, particularly Finland. It’s the Northern European version of brioche, a bread dough packed with butter and sugar, stuffed with a variety of fruits, creams and spices, as the baker sees fit. Pulla buns are best made as enormous, fist-sized wedges, each looking [...]

Food & drink

Pain au Levain, or a basic French-style sourdough

French sourdough

I used to think that sourdough had to be, well, sour … that it had to have a deep, acidic taste that almost made you wince. The more sourness, the better, and my trick was to let the dough rise for extraordinarily long periods of time, to let the acidity that’s a by-product of fermentation [...]

Food & drink

5 reasons to bake your own bread

5 reasons to bake your own bread

You know what’s in it – bread is only flour, water, yeast and salt. That’s it. That’s all you need to make a world-class loaf. Have a look at the ingredients listed on the side of a commercial loaf and ask yourself whether all of those things are really necessary, or are they there just [...]

Food politics

Everyday sourdough bread

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 [...]

Food & drink