A newly sanded table


Thankyou very much Sally

Halloween 2019

Halloween loaf, the pumpkin bread. We have not used food colouring but home-made pumpkin puree from roasted Hokkaido pumpkins. We will also have some ground pumpkin powder for testing next week, that os all the gristle and skin and some of the seeds from the pumpkins, dried and ground with some salt, which makes an excellent condiment. Anyway, the rest is ordinary plain white, with Shipton Mill Canadian flour, sourdough starter, salt yeast and water. The dough was well behaved, Helen said it was a tease because of its colour and strings and holes: “it’s the colour of crunchie bars.” Apologies to those who do not like the flavour of pumpkin in their bread. Feedback very desirable. Enjoy your loaf. Greetings from the bakery team – starter by Julia, mix by Karen and Debbie, and the shape and bake was done by Helen and Janis with some help from Arezoo.


We had special pumpkin sourdough bread this week, which was very delicious and quickly ‘sold out’. Some of the bread circle went on to what we thought was an audition for a play Tickle My Fancy but the director was suddenly killed so it turned into a murder mystery. The murderer had to be one of our group because of the timing so we were not allowed to leave until the murderer was found. The police were short staffed and so we had to solve it ourselves. We spent the evening trying to find out who it was-  and it turned out to be Victoria Sponge. For a while I, Sue Zennywon, a respected lawyer, was a suspect as was Taylor Stummi and Dr Steph O’Scope and even the poor cleaner Dusty Silver, but luckily justice was done and the real culprit found. Lets hope we can put  real play on soon.d095d14f-7e51-48cf-9b6c-25a6a0314c9b.jpg

‘Gut Ding will weile habe’

‘Good things come to those that wait’ – this is the philosophy of Bernhardt Fey who runs a bakery near where we are staying in Berlin at Knobelsdorffstrasse 39. Michael baked bread with them last Friday morning – from 3.30 am until 6, see photos.

The ones with raisins in are little animals and make children’s sweet rolls. There are croissants, poppy seed rolls; pumpkin seed rolls; sunflower seed and delicious rye loaves and multi-seeded.

This is what he says about his work (translated):

‘On 1 January 2000 I took over the bakery from my predecessors. For my customers I produce bakery products according to the traditional principles of craftsmanship. In order to guarantee a high quality I work according to the following principles:- Production of the bakery products by hand – Let the dough mature in peace – Use of high-quality raw materials – No baking mixes or frozen dough pieces;We use only sea salt – Eggs from free-range chickens; Exclusive use of flour from organic production. As a supplier of flour I have decided on Paulick’s mill in Müschen in the Spreewald. More than 100 years ago the master miller Wilhelm Paulick took over the water mill at the Greifenhainer Fliess. Driven by a water turbine, the grain is processed in the mill. The company uses state-of-the-art technology, especially in the field of grain cleaning’.



Greetings from Berlin


A near daily ritual is that Michael gets up early and buys fresh rolls (Brötchen; Schrippen) – that are sold out by 8.15 a.m – and we make a picnic lunch.

Then we cycle into town – me to the Goethe Institute and he to the theological library! We cycle along the 17th June street – a long boulevard, named after an uprising in the East on 17 June 1953, with huge Russian monuments and sculptures of generals – but also with a screaming woman in the middle of the street which is very powerful.

We cycle through the Brandenburger Tor. My great grandad, Jakob Julius, used to go through the middle gate on his horse in 19th century at a time when Jews were not allowed to do this at all, only the Prussian generals!

Then we are in the former east and cycle along a similar boulevard  – Unter den Linden, though without as many lime blossom trees as there used to be… and past the Humboldt university where my father studied law and where a hundred years earlier my family’s professional thieves stole the contents of the safe at Christmas.

Michael is going to the local bakery next week at 3.30 a.m to bake with them!



German bread – a few facts

As we’re in Berlin for a few weeks and eating lots of delicious bread, I thought I add a few facts about German bread!

i) Germany is a “Bread Paradise”, and 3050 different recipes have been registered by the county’s bakeries at the Central Association of German Bakers.
ii) On average a German eats 87 kilos, 192 pounds, of bread every year.
iii) There are about 50 bakeries to 100,000 people in Germany.

iv)The huge selection of bread is partly down to Germany’s varied climate, which allows all types of crops to thrive, together with the country’s history. Baking different varieties of bread was one of the ways the small princedoms that formerly made up “Germany” carved out an own identity.
v)There is a culture of craftsmanship in German bread making, and bakers must complete a high standard theoretical and hands-on training before becoming a Baeckermeister. Master Baker.
vi)German bread is as much part of the country’s culture as beer and BMW, and across the world has such strong reputation that bakeries supplying bread of a high standard are often called “German bakeries”.

vii) Deutsche Brotkultur not only has its own set of postage stamps, UNESCO has added the country’s bread to its World Heritage List.

viii) Bread is so much a part of Germany’s culture that for many years one of the most popular children’s TV characters was Bernd a talking loaf. “Bernd das Brot” – Bernd the Bread, was a perpetually depressed and thoroughly bad-tempered loaf of bread, but then he “emigrated” to Sweden.


The Baker’s Trail

It’s really called the Baker Way and is named after a Mr Baker but the name seemed too suitable to miss.  A few of us walked it on Monday and were blessed with good weather. We were guided mainly by Natasha and Philip (and of course Jet & Theo) who had done it before though in the opposite direction.  It’s a lovely 13 mile flat trail through forests and fields with varied scenery, including ponds, rivers and canals.  A great time of year to do it too – so much blossom  – cherry, hawthorn; wild garlic as well as spring animals like lambs, ducklings and foals……b9067983-c7c6-4f14-a091-df4168456526.jpg

This fantastic pedunculate oak tree:UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_8d6d.jpg

And stopping for a picnic:


Through wheat fieldsUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_8d6e.jpg

Reaching the Hockenhall Platts.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_8d66.jpg

So maybe this is a walk we could do as a whole group of the bread circle later in the year or explore some other areas of Wirral, Cheshire or North Wales. I like the idea of regular walks ( or bike rides?) with interesting conversations and sharing thoughts and ideas…..Are others interested?


Bread Event on the 22nd of May, 18.30-20.30 at Nova Restaurant, Heswall.


Please come along on Monday, the 22nd of May for an evening with bagels and delicious toppings. The bagels will be freshly made by volunteers in the afternoon, and toppings by Moyo, chef and proprietor at Nova. We will haveagood time. Drinks on an individual pay-as-you-go basis. There will be a small charge of £5 per head for the facilities and some food. Parking in the nearby British Legion on Pensby Road. Address of the restaurant: Nova Restaurant, 68 Pensby Rd, Heswall, Wirral CH60 7RE, tel.