What on earth made me think I could write and control a blog and a website, whilst at the same time trying to fit a load of interesting things into my life as well. I decided to resurrect this blog during the quiet December period with the Clandestine Cake Club. Thinking that if I managed my hours in the day I could control both, but I was filled with good intentions and it’s all about time management. And with my book, yes I know it’s a cheeky plug, about to be published on 14th February, that quiet time has now turned into a very busy exciting time indeed.
This week I went once again the Betty’s Cookery School. I’ve fallen in love with the place, if only I could transport their kitchen into my house, cooking and baking would be so much easier.
The class I attended this time was Yorkshire Bread and on the menu to bake that day were;
- Spelt & Honey Loaf
- Ripon Spiced Bread
- Yorkshire Millers Cob
As soon as I saw this list, I was excited, these are all the things you will find on sale at Betty’s. Was it really going to be possible that I could replicate the same loaves that I saw on their shelves. Well the answer is yes. Each and every one of us who baked that day should be proud of what we achieved.
Only fresh yeast is ever used at Betty’s and with the results that I achieved I will never use quick dried yeast again, it simply does not give the same wonderful easy results. Some cling film covering bowls were positively about to explode with the fermentation from the rising dough. All confirming that fresh yeast is best. Using a good quality flour with a high protein content is also essential for good bread making. ‘It’s the protein content which gives the finished loaf stability and structure’ so says Betty’s Cookery School instruction booklet.
Our tutors for that day were Mark Raine and David Haynes, all masters in their field. We picked up hints and tips, learned the difference between a crumpet and pikelet ( different batters and different sizes) and we learned how to knead with one hand, both hands and 2 hands together. I tell you, I can now knead just like Paul Hollywood, well, in a fashion anyway. Kneading bread dough for 8 mins at a time is a great work out for those batwings and upper body muscles.
Once again we had breakfast, tea breaks, a cooked lunch with tea and cake in the afternoon. The other bakers were lovely people, it’s so nice to chat and learn what other classes they’ve been to.
So this is what I made. My next Betty’s experience is on 13th February this time it’s Advanced Bread Making where I’m hoping to learn about sourdough starters. Another option of potential fermenting explosions.