February!

As the sun shines through the window on a frosty morning, I thought it might be a good time to reflect on what Andy’s Bread has been up to in the last few months.

December was a crazily busy month. We put on two Christmas pizza nights (back to back), then did Broneirion Winter event (in pouring rain) and the Old Mill Christmas Market. (The lesson from the former is that people probably don’t want to buy bread on a cold wet Friday evening – despite that we sold most of what had been made).

After the busy-ness, we shut the bakery down on Christmas Eve for nearly 3 weeks off. The mission was a train journey to central Europe in search of good bread, pastries, cakes (and beer…). We took the train to Berlin for New Year, then headed down to Dresden and Vienna. Then headed back to the UK via Salzburg, Heidelberg and Paris.

The star of the bread show was, of course, Paris. We stayed very near to “Des pains et des idees” a lovely bakery just off the Canal du St. Martin. I was hoping to have a chat to the baker and a look around the bakery but with a to-be-expected gallic shrug – the email reply came back “I do not share my ideas or my know-how” – so much for the name of the bakery!

Still we ate some fabulous bread in the 3 weeks and I came back very inspired. I’ve also just picked up the Tartine series of bread books which somehow were missing from my collection so I’ve been experimenting with different sourdoughs.

Into February, I have taken the decision to bake four days a week, Wednesday through to Saturday. You can find out which breads are available on which days using my check list on the products page. Thursday morning’s breads will be sourdoughs, pumpernickel and baguettes. These are now all available from Great Oak Foods – in the window from around 10am!

Pizza night will be taking a short break for a few months with another little’un arriving in the Summer. We will be back doing that come the Autumn!

For now, to keep up to date of what is going on in the world of Andy’s Bread, sign up for the mailing list on the sidebar of the website.

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Bread Mail 23rd September

Afternoon all,

A delayed flour delivery last Friday meant there was panic on the streets of Llanidloes as no fresh baguettes were available on Saturday morning! But fear not, the T55 flour has arrived from France (via Shipton Mill in Gloucestershire) and baguette production will recommence tomorrow morning in both seedy and seedless varieties. (£1.50/£1.70)

I am also trialing toasted teacakes this week, available to purchase from Great Oak Foods if all goes well. The recipe contains lard but I’m replacing with white chocolate.

Finally a German pumpernickel “black” bread which takes 16 hours to bake will be available to order for Saturday morning in 400g and 800g sizes (£2.30/£2.80) – not 100% rye. Contains rye chops, soaked grain and molasses

I am also working on a gluten free buckwheat “bread” which Leanne thinks is nicer than normal bread…. watch this space.

To order bread please get in touch

Bye for now,
Andy

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Bread Mail 16th September

Afternoon all,

A couple of new breads have been available over the last couple of weeks. Firstly I’ve been selling a seedy baguette (baguette aux Céréales) which people are liking. It’s got a mix of seeds based on Eric Keyser’s pain aux Céréales which is sold from his Parisien bakery. This is now available on all 3 baking days @ £1.70

Last Friday I also baked my first pumpernickel bread. It was a long wait. Firstly it took 48 hours from first build of the sourdough to putting in the oven. Then there was a 16 (sixteen) hour bake using the heat of the oven. The sugars in the loaf really caramelised and produced a dark German black bread. Feedback was great so I will start baking again in a couple of weeks. This one is not 100% rye this it contains some wheat flour.

This week there will be some bread available on the Great Oak Foods stall at this Friday’s Caersws Farmers market between 3 and 6 pm.

For orders please follow the directions on the right.

Many thanks,
Andy

PS. Cinema returns to Llanidloes this weekend with a showing of the Lego movie in the large function room next to the Old Mill from 3.30pm – this is part of the Flicks in the Sticks cinema project. Popcorn and ice creams + licensed bar

More details on the facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/770128206379105/?fref=ts)

Upcoming films on the arts alive website (http://www.artsalive.co.uk/venue.aspx?id=409)

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Kneading techniques

As well as “traditional” kneading, on my beginners baking course  I teach a kneading method inspired by Richard Bertinet. Called the “slap and fold” technique, it aims to maximise the amount of air getting into the dough, while avoiding handing the dough too much. I would add it’s good to use a dough scraper to clean up the surface every now and again.

Here’s a video showing it in action

Also to develop the gluten during bulk fermentation, it’s good to fold the dough (especially for wet doughs like ciabattas). I like to do this 3 times every 20 minutes in the first hour. Here’s a video showing a baker folding some dough.

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Breadmaking Courses

junko-ak-finishedI had a great morning teaching my first beginners bread-making course yesterday. We made tin loaves, ciabattas, ciabatta rolls and muffins.

The next two courses are on Monday 10th March and 7th April. The session lasts around 4 1/2 hours and costs £50 including a simple lunch and all your bread to take away! Places are limited to 3 people per session, so you’ll get high quality (I hope!) tuition and lots of hands on experience.

 

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Andy’s Bread Re-launch

This Saturday at the Old Mill!

Saturday 14th September at the old Mill Llanidloes, 11-2pm

Saturday 14th September at the old Mill Llanidloes, 11-2pm

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Andy @ The Old Mill

I’m pleased to say that Andy’s Bread has now moved after 3 years to a brand new kitchen at The Old Mill bar in Llanidloes. Still a small micro-bakery and baking twice a week, I now have a deck oven, mixer and hope to be able to make a better range of breads.

The bar will be using my bread in it’s food and I’ll also be selling the bread from the mill and continuing to sell from Great Oak Foods in Llanidloes.

Watch this space and sign up on the mailing list to find out when I’ll be baking and the range of breads available.

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New year, new plans

It was a busy 2012 at Andy’s Bread HQ (or alternatively known as our home kitchen) but we are hoping that 2013 will be even more exciting. Last year was spent mainly making bread for the lovely folk of Llanidloes. The favourites seem to be 100% rye breads, ciabattas and english muffins. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to sell at Great Oak Foods which is a volunteer run shop, so I can also sell the bread I make.

This year the plan is to move out of the home kitchen to slightly larger premises and with a new oven. We are simultaneously setting up the Llanidloes Kitchen Project which means the bread is going to be part of a larger scheme. My oven investigations are proceeding slowly. I’m looking at the Rofco range of ovens at the moment but it’s still early days.

So expansion of sorts but I have decided bread making will only be something I do 1-2 days a week, lots of other projects on the go too. Perhaps 2013 (or more likely 2014) is the year when I get an apprentice.

BTW If you want to sign up to the Bread Mail, just fill in the form on the right of the screen. Take a look at this week’s email for an example.

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Bread Mail 5th September

Morning all,

Hope everyone is well today. This week’s specials are going to be beetroot sourdough bread (which comes out a radiant red colour) and one I haven’t made since February for the 100% rye folk, roggen volkornbrot which contains “Felin Ganol” chopped rye and linseed. It’s lovely thinly sliced and topped with a slice of one of the great Welsh cheeses stocked at Great Oak Foods (mmmm) Oh and given the warm weather should only be consumed outside in the sun with a chilled glass of cider.

As usual any orders/changes to regular orders, please let me know by early Thursday morning.

Otherwise see you from 1.15pm (to give me time to unload!) at Great Oak Foods on Friday.

Cheers,
Andy

*** YEASTED BREADS ***
Ciabatta – Italian soft “slipper” bread (300g) £1.20
Olivatta – Olive and sun dried tomato ciabatta (300g) – £1.60
Dolly – Wheat loaf with 4 seeds (800g) £1.90
Ceredigion – Small loaf using 50% local wholemeal flour £1.20
Muffins – English muffins – perfect for Saturday breakfast! 40p each

*** RYE SOURDOUGH **
Borodinksy – Dark Russian bread with molasses & coriander (400g) £2.30
Revolution – Large dense loaf full of pumpkin and sunflower seeds (800g) £2.70
(also available on request without seeds £2.50)

** WHEAT (& WHEAT/RYE) SOURDOUGH **
Kiev – Rye and Wheat sourdough with caraway seeds (400g) £1.90
Vermont – Wheat sourdough batard (400g) £1.90
Potato Bread – Wheat sourdough with honey and potato (400g) £2.10

** SPECIALS **
Focaccia slice (90p)
Beetroot Bread/Volkornbrot- £2.30

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Bread Mail 29th August

Morning all,

Hope you are all well. We are now back from festival season including a successful bread making workshop at the Idler Academy tent at Shambala. Taught 6 people who had never made bread to make muffins and flatbreads. Blog post with pictures on andysbread.co.uk soon.

So I’m back making bread this week, I’m going to be making Multigrain sourdough and Walnut/Raisin sourdoughs as specials. Only limited numbers of these, so if you want one please let me know asap. Both priced £2.30

As usual any orders/changes to regular orders, please let me know by early Thursday morning.

Otherwise see you from 1.15pm (to give me time to unload!) at Great Oak Foods on Friday.

Cheers,
Andy

*** YEASTED BREADS ***
Ciabatta – Italian soft “slipper” bread (300g) £1.20
Olivatta – Olive and sun dried tomato ciabatta (300g) – £1.60
Dolly – Wheat loaf with 4 seeds (800g) £1.90
Ceredigion – Small loaf using 50% local wholemeal flour £1.20
Muffins – English muffins – perfect for Saturday breakfast! 40p each

*** RYE SOURDOUGH **
Borodinksy – Dark Russian bread with molasses & coriander (400g) £2.30
Revolution – Large dense loaf full of pumpkin and sunflower seeds (800g) £2.70
(also available on request without seeds £2.50)

** WHEAT (& WHEAT/RYE) SOURDOUGH **
Kiev – Rye and Wheat sourdough with caraway seeds (400g) £1.90
Vermont – Wheat sourdough batard (400g) £1.90
Potato Bread – Wheat sourdough with honey and potato (400g) £2.10

** SPECIALS **
Focaccia slice (90p)

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