North Wales Bread-Weekender

The weekend just gone saw myself and herself meeting up with some old (and some new) friends and fellow breadheads, at a lovely B&B in the fair town of Caernarfon – actually I’ll gladly stand corrected if referring to it as a town is wrong, since it has “city” walls and a castle.

Arriving late Friday night it wasn’t really until Saturday morning that we all got to meet each other and started messing around with flour.  Our kitchen was Gert’s (the B&B proprietor) dining room, which we used along with his actual kitchen to knock up various loaves, rolls, patisserie, you name it.  Perhaps a few images will help in sharing what went on and got knocked up over the course of Saturday…

Joe's Raspberry Cream Egg Surprises

Joe’s Raspberry Cream Egg Surprises

Pain au raisin

Pain au raisin

An array of breadery

An array of breadery

The Baking Consultant

The Baking Consultant

I had decided somewhat rashly a short time before the weekend to make the following:

Wheat Beer and Cheese sourdough – a variation on a theme, namely a sourdough wheat beer and onion recipe which had worked well before. Wasn’t as happy with this cheesy version, as to my tastebuds it masked the beer flavour too much. Chalk that one down to experience I reckon.

Dark Cherry and Apple sourdough – using apple chunks sauteed in butter, with halved whole black cherries, this was a wonderfully moist loaf, though nothing like as much flavour of cherry came through, as sadly seems to often happen with fruit in bread – answer is to use cherry essence possibly, leave out the actual cherry fruit, which should help with the flavour as well as the loaf’s crumb and aeration.

Sourdough spelt and raisin bun – an attempt to emulate something I’ve had from the Effenberger bakery in Hamburg. Nice enough warm, though a bit pale in colour, and a thousand times better with some cold butter when eating 🙂

Lardy cake – used coconut oil instead of lard, which is fine taste wise, as it really doesn’t dominate as you might think, but its smoking point is too low to bake with and as it leaks out of the dough, you really should use a tray with sides – which I didn’t, resulting in a smoke-filled kitchen and tears in the eyes of my fellow bakers!  Oops…


Anyway, the main annual event at Rick’s in May should see the whole group of us merrily baking away, I’m looking forward to it!

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