Grainy goodness from Cowichan Bay

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March 23rd, 2010 by Admin

bread-photo-by-geoff-howe

This good news grain story by Justine Hunter appeared in the Globe and Mail recently, hope you enjoy it!

Bruce Stewart earned his spurs in the food industry in the sales department of monolithic Kraft Foods – some might say the original purveyor of fast food.

Today, he is a champion of the slow food movement, running an organic bakery in a seaside village where he can cite the provenance of each type of grain running through his mill… (read full story here)

Baking tip from the Kitchn – how to shape a round loaf

October 14th, 2009 by Admin

round-breadCC licensed photo by flickr user willsfca, thanks!

Check out this tutorial from the super-bloggers at The Kitchn. They show you how to form a beautiful, tight loaf by hand, as well as sharing a few insights into the science of bread baking.

How to care for your share: storage and spoilage

September 30th, 2009 by Admin

While it is a great pleasure for us to know that Urban Grains members have just welcomed 20kg of freshly milled flour into their homes, such a large amount can be intimidating for even an earnest baker. Complicating matters, whole grain can go rancid eventually (marked by a decidedly “off” smell). No one likes to waste good food, or lose an investment, and we’ve gotten a lot of questions about what is the best way to store your grain as you work your way through it. The short answer is threefold: in the dark, airtight, and cool (or cold). The ideal conditions for lengthening the life of whole grain flour are found in a freezer, but if you don’t have enough space there a fridge, cellar, or cool cupboard will work too.

The longer answer, if you care to read more about what exactly you should be concerned about, is below…

Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday bread making

May 3rd, 2009 by Admin

first-may-bread

Gave it a go again yesterday with Chris’s whole-grain flour – this time mixed with some organic, all purpose white – and turned out the first loaf that I am actually proud of.  I used the most basic overnight recipe from Bread Matters, which I have mentioned before, and was very pleased with the result. See those air pockets? I’ve never gotten real air pockets before! It was exciting, to say the least. I didn’t manage to get a good, hard crust, but it’s a big improvement.

Thanks to those of you who have sent along recipes – I’ll be trying more out as the summer goes on and sharing some here, as well.

Fresh bread, BC grown

April 27th, 2009 by Admin

Check it out, it’s homegrown:

gardenbread

Our friend and Urban Grains collaborator Chris generously gave us a few kilos of his fresh, stoneground flour a week or so ago and yesterday the miracles of fermentation helped me to transform it into my first local loaf. It was one of my more successful bread-making attempts. Although I consider myself a competent baker, I am not as confident in my bread-making skills. Puff pastry from scratch – that I can do, but the perfect rise still seems to elude me. So I keep trying. I even bought a bread-focused cookbook this weekend and have been educating myself about the science behind the loaf. After chatting a while with folks at Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks, I picked up a copy of Bread Matters: why and how to make your own (by Andrew Whitley).  It has recipes, of course, but also offers discussion of the history and politics of bread making. Though the author is British (and often refers to “British bread”) the issues are valid here as well.

Does anyone have a bread book to recommend? Leave it in the comments!

breadshare

nomnom

Nom, nom, nom!

breadcut

We sliced it hot and slathered it with butter – the only respectable thing to do with a fresh loaf.  After such a fresh and flavourful treat, we are certainly looking forward to more of this. To local grains!