Bread Note

29-09-2016  It seems that most people have completed the annual migration exercise called ‘holiday’ now, judging by the numbers of cancellations. Welcome back to those who are back.

Today’s is the seeded loaf and slightly bigger than average with 545g of wet dough weight. It is made with Walk Mill flour, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds (all toasted and soaked over night), some sesame oil, sourdough starter, salt and a minimal amount of yeast. And lots of Oxton spring water. It was baked a bit longer and at a slightly lower temperature today to see if we can improve the crust. Your feedback on this would be helpful to let us know whether we achieved that. Starter mix and soaker were done by Lesley and Michael, the dough mix by Jackie and Michael, and bakers were Claire, Lesley, Linda and Villa. Villa is proving an asset to the bakery team! Next week’s is the spelt loaf. Enjoy today’s bread. Greetings from your bakery team.

P.s 72 loaves were made today!

Shop newcomer

imageBen wanted me to pass on a few words for him…..’My first experience of running the bread shop was great fun. It was lovely to come so close to so many fine examples of my favourite food and help make sure that everybody had the opportunity to enjoy their weekly treat. I did struggle with the height of the shelves (picture) however fortunately everyone that came seemed to be taller than me. Looking forward to the next time, if l am invited back:)’

Sourdough apple cake

I’ve tried this a couple of times now – first time I made it into two cakes which was delicious though they were  bit flat. Second time I did it as one cake which looked better but hard to cook all the way through even though it was in the oven for an hour and a half….but still delicious. More uses for sourdough….


This is a superb cake for every day, filled with juicy chunks of apple, flavoured with a hint of spice and finished with a sweet crumble topping. If you wish you can bake the mixture in individual muffin cases. There should be enough mixture for 12–16 muffins, depending on the size of your cases.

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C electric/gas mark 4. Grease your cake tin, line the base and sides with non-stick baking parchment and set aside.

To make the crumble topping, put the sugar and flour in a medium bowl and stir together. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles sticky breadcrumbs. If your butter is soft it will form clumps, but that’s fine. Alternatively, blitz the ingredients together in a food processor to form rough breadcrumbs. Don’t over-mix, or the crumble mixture will come together to form a ball.

To make the cake, sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar, salt and mixed spice and stir to combine. Add the cubes of butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

In a separate jug or bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla extract and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add the sourdough levain. Gently stir the ingredients together to form a smooth batter, but don’t over-mix or the cake will be tough. Finally add the apple chunks and stir in gently to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and top with the crumble topping. (If your crumble topping has formed large clumps, just break them up with a knife and place small blobs of topping on top of the cake batter.)

Bake for 40-50 minutes until well-risen and golden brown. (If using muffin cases, allow 22-28 minutes, depending on size). Transfer the cake to a wire rack and set aside to cool.

This cake is best enjoyed as fresh as possible.

Serves: 10



75g caster sugar

75g plain flour

75g cold salted butter,

cut into cubes



275g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

150g caster sugar

pinch of fine salt

1 teaspoon mixed spice

125g salted butter,

cut into cubes, plus

extra for greasing

275ml whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, beaten

100g Sourdough Levain

(recently refreshed starter)

300g eating apples, peeled,

cored and cut into 1cm

cubes (prepared weight)


You will need a 20cm round,

loose- bottomed cake tin, approx. 8cm deep

Fig & Blackberry Jam

As you go towards the bakery, I’m sure you’ve noticed the amazing fig tree on our drive which has produced more figs this year than ever. As it’s near the end of the season, I picked the remaining ones, went to Bidston woods where there are SO many blackberries and combined the two to make delicious fig and blackberry jam – from Palermo’s blog

Still loads of blackberries in the woods