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Truly gluten free breads

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So here we have it : five truly gluten free breads. Rosemary and tomato focaccia drizzled with olive oil, buckwheat blinis for smoked salmon and crème cheese, walnut and cranberry soda bread sliced and smothered with butter (great toasted the following day), delightfully soft white rolls that stayed fresh for a couple of days (and were excellent even after freezing)… and masala dosa. Not bad for a day’s baking!

So, what was the most helpful tip I read during my research? “Forget everything you know about baking bread and learn a whole new set of skills”. It took a while but it certainly paid off…

Fretting and worrying…

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I spent several sleepless nights fretting and worrying over the recipes to use on the Truly Gluten Free Baking Day on Thursday 21st January. GF baking is more like a chemistry experiment than the simple flour, salt, yeast and water experience of my usual classes. There’s not a hint of kneading in the GF class and we used a food mixer for most of the “doughs” because, in reality, they are more like a soft, smooth cake mixture.

Not only do you need to find a replacement for the GLUTEN to make your bread rise and give that delightful soft, slightly chewy texture, but also to mimic the wonderful TASTE of good bread. Its not easy. I spent hours reading about GF baking. Hours and hours. I tried numerous recipes – and failed dismally several times. But in the end we made really good bread. Bread with texture and with flavour. Bread I would gladly share with my friends and family.

The cutest little croissant

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Is this the cutest little croissant you’ve ever seen?

Normandy butter, keeping the dough chilled and careful rolling are the secrets to a beautifully light and flaky croissant…

The next Continental Class is on Friday 28th April

Bake a bun for MS

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EVENT : Sunday 13th December 10am – 6pm “Bake a Bun” for MS

All profits to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. £1 donation for a handful of spiced dough to shape, decorate (fruit, nuts, chocolate chips or sugar nibs) and bake. Teas and coffees for sale whilst your bun is in the oven.

Great for anyone who wants to try their hand at baking bread. There is space for 6-8 bakers an hour so book a slot by texting Rachael the time and number of spaces you’d like (07977 511337) – or just take a chance and turn up on the day. Children to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

In memory of my father who battled with MS for 30 years.

Stollen & baguette

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Stollen!!! Practice bake for the Festive Treats Class on Thursday 26th November. The marzipan just wouldn’t be contained in its swaddling of sweet dough!

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And another thing… French baguette baked on the Beginners Class…