All posts filed under: Bread

I love grass bread… and chances are you do too!

Rågbröd or rye bread as we might know it is a beloved Scandinavian staple. With a rich and dense crumb and a deep, strong flavour, rye bread is often something we buy but seldom bake. Rye is actually a grass unlike wheat that is a grain Although it can be a tricky flour to work with, you just need a few tricks to make it work and in no time it’ll become one of your regular bakes. First of all, rye flour is weird to knead because it contains very little gluten proteins and gluten is what makes dough elastic when activated by water and friction. So you often find that it is mixed with wheat flour to compensate for that, also to give it a lighter texture and a softer crumb. Using a little extra yeast or pre-soaking the flour are good things to consider. I picked some good advice on how to pre-prepare the rye flour from a great scandi book. You can swap cranberries for prunes, if you prefer a crunchy texture …

Sandwich. A global History

Bee Wilson Reaktion Books Edible Series   This little book is part of the series that includes titles that explore the history of foods such as soup, cake, wine, cheese, pie, sauces, etc. you will be able to read it in one go with a nice cup of coffee.   The size of the book speaks for its depth, it doesn’t mean to be an encyclopaedic study but just an entertaining and well documented history of the humble sandwich. Some of the aspects that the author explores are how this food came to be and why did it root so deep and fast across social classes, cultures and proved its resilience through time and still stands strong as the default and most beloved on the go meal. Its convenience, reliability, endless possibilities of filling and portability are just some of its best features. A sandwich however also testifies the shifts and changes of our dietary habits, routines and ways in which we have had to cope with the demands of our modern life. A sandwich says the author necessarily carries …

The microbakery business model: nerd style. Part 2

The special of the week is…  When I first started running my microbakery I decided to take quite paused steps to scale up and diversify my range of products…. And I really mean really *paused* steps. So much so that the only product I started with was a 16th C. loaf from colonial Mexico, more specifically a bread profusely mentioned in the ordinances for the baker’s gild in the Province of Puebla. I chose to deliver exclusively to two different universities in order to make both deliveries and promoting much more efficient. But only after two weeks I was swarmed with orders from only one of them and soon decided to increase the days of deliveries by eliminating one of the other university. By the end of the first month I was faced with the possibility of either refocusing my marketing strategy to increment sales or focus all my attention in the one with the best revenue and constant growth of customer base. I went for the latter. The savoury loaves that came after the colonial …

The microbakery business model: nerd style. Part 1

In a previous post I wrote about the stages involved in the research and testing of historical breads (read here) this process invariably involves a thorough research which often begins with the revision of either digital of physical bibliography, comparing variations, going cake and forth different sources and begin the recipe testing itself.    I also shared how I decided to become an entrepreneur and setting up a microbakery with a subscription scheme (read here) I ran the bakery for four months, although this was quite a constrain period of time, it allowed me to: obtain an immediate source of income, rapidly test recipes, learn from trial and error different marketing strategies, customer relations, understand the basic logistics of managing, scaling up the production, managing the books, making the most of socialmedia platforms. And over all to measure “for reals” my weaknesses, strengths and areas of opportunities as a baker, researcher and business owner. We seldom read stories of failure and success of people who change paths and pursue their true dreams, well for starters …

E-book giveaway: Celebrating bread, history and you: my readers!

I am delighted to share with you a glimpse of my current research about bread in colonial Mexico. In this little e-book I included many interesting historical aspects about the introduction of wheat to New Spain and explore some fascinating colonial regulations imposed to both bakers and bakeries alike by the viceregal government. The pages are illustrated with a series of magnificent designs that are some of the bread stamps preserved in the historical archives of Puebla, Mexico. I hope you feel inspired to begin or continue your own quest to find out more about gastronomic heritage, food history and bread baking traditions in the world. Sincerely, Rocio. To read this e-book on ISSUU CLICK HERE. You can also download it directly from my Google Drive just CLICK HERE.

The fine art of reproducing historical breads.

A while ago I told you about how my gastronomic and academic curiosity evolved from bookworming to recipe reproduction to what has now become into a true cottage industry by definition. [Read: the story here] I have come up with a very straight forward method to reproduce recipes from yesteryear. Almost invariably, the historical recipes I have felt curious about have been either an accidental discovery or in some cases are the result of a deliberate research. The facts that trigger my curiosity can be: the bread’s geographical origins, its ingredients, shape, evolution, migration, historical context, cultural uses and even the mere technical challenge of reproducing a forgotten piece of mankind’s gastronomic history. An example of this is a Victorian potato bread. When I first tried a potato bread many years ago, I remember being particularly surprised by the crumb’s moistness. The smell and flavours were sweet and creamy yet fresh with a soft structure. Over fifteen years later, as I was reading Elizabeth David’s “English Bread and Yeast Cookery” originally published in 1977 and …

Rustic umami loaf

A good loaf barely needs anything to be improved, perhaps some butter, olive oil, a naked chunk of cheese. There are many ways in which you can add liquids to a bread dough that it doesn’t simply involve water. You can use a sourdough starter, apple, tomato grape juice. Other options can be warm beer, cider or wine.