Firing up for Friday Pizza Night

For any of you out there who have not tried my Woodfired Pizzas, here’s a little bit more info.

Every Friday I will be stoking up the fire at Husk and with the help of my wife, Linda, Alice and Theo. We will be serving the county and beyond with gorgeous Woodfired Pizzas.

We are open from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Best to ring with your order and then you are welcome to wait while they cook, which is definitely and art rather than a science. Alternatively pop up to The Earle Arms and enjoy a crafty pint before returning home the hero with your order.

Pizzas are 12″, thin and crispy and you can have either a tomato or garlicy oil sauce, then choose your toppings from the following. We have plenty of extras for you to customise your order, just ask.

Marguerita 2 cheeses, tomato sauce

Pepperoni, Salami 2 cheeses, tomato sauce, onion, pepper

Mushroom 2 cheeses, tomato sauce, onion, pepper, shiitake, porcini, granulatus

Extras choose from Black Olives, Anchovies, Jalapenos, Sundried Tomatoes, Chilli Flakes, Capers and Mushroom.

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Bread Matters

http://breadmatters.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=15

 

Real Bread Campaign

http://www.sustainweb.org/realbread/

 

River Cottage – Cookery Courses

http://www.rivercottage.net/baking-courses/advanced-bread-making/

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Dispute over bread leaves a sour taste

Ok, this may be from an Australian Good Food website but very interesting reading.

If you would like to know how HUSK make their Sourdough, just ask Paul, he’ll explain it all and with a passion because that’s what he has for all the bread he produces.

 

By Sarah Whyte and John Elder. http://www.goodfood.com.au

Consumers are being misled by Woolworths, Coles and bakeries that label their bread as ”sourdough” despite it being little more than sour-flavoured white bread, artisan bread makers say.

A traditional sourdough loaf should only contain only flour, salt and water, and the mixture left to ferment and rise for at least eight hours, as yeast naturally forms, resulting in a healthier bread.

Sandra Cucuzza of Fatto a Mano Organic Bakery in Fitzroy says the process is ”hugely labour intensive” while the mixture is carefully watched overnight, or even for two days, until it is ready to be baked.

But supermarkets and bakeries are cashing in on the artisan bread phenomenon, selling white bread that has been pre-mixed with citric acid and yeast as ”sourdough” for premium prices.

A ”traditional sourdough” loaf from Woolworths, that contains yeast and ”sourdough culture” costs $5.25, and a Coles Bakery ”baguette white sourdough” costs $4. Bakers across Australia are calling for the definition of sourdough to be regulated, as it is in France, saying it is unfair that major supermarkets and bakeries sell an inferior bread at the same price.

”They’re trying to stooge people,” says Ms Cucuzza.

A sourdough loaf at Fatto a Mano is $6.50, but Ms Cucuzza points out that her sourdough contains only unbleached flour and water that’s been fermented, and sea salt, and that the fermented base was actually started 11 years ago by the previous owners.

”The idea is you keep a piece of that original dough and mix it with fresh flour and ferment it overnight or for two days. Ours is 11 years old. The bakers that were here before us left their starter, and we’ve been here seven years.”

Ms Cucuzza sells about 140 loaves of sourdough a day. ”We have a lot of restaurants and cafes that use bread. It’s well loved. We have people that come from the country. They say they don’t want to eat the rubbish from the supermarket.”

A ban on inferior sourdough ”would clean a lot of things up”, said award-winning baker Brett Noy.

”A lot of artisan bakers hate that the major supermarkets and local bakeries are jumping in on that marketing bandwagon to achieve sales.”

This is not the first time labels and false claims have been used to entice customers. Fairfax Media found ”freshly cut flowers” in both Coles and Woolworths were imported from Kenya and Colombia; French-grown citrus fruits sit under an ”Australian grown” sign in Coles, and ”freshly baked bread” was coming from Ireland, Germany and Denmark.

When Holly Berry, of Bungendore, discovered her Woolworths sourdough loaf contained commercial yeast she wrote an email to complain. The company’s response was revealing.

”All sourdough contains yeast,” wrote a Woolworths spokeswoman in an email.

”It’s just the yeast in sourdough are wild and are of a different species than commercially available yeast. There are also no laws on what constitutes a sourdough. There is a very small percentage of commercial yeast that is added to get the consistency of size and shape required by the retail consumer.”

Artisan bakers disagree with the Woolworths definition of sourdough.

”Look at the ingredients,” Mr Noy said. ”If it has more than flour, salt and water, then it is not a true sourdough.”

Master baker at Sydney’s Bourke Street Bakery, Paul Giddings, who has been baking sourdough for 8½ years, said his sourdough took up to 17 hours to cook as the wheat fermented to create the culture that gave the sour taste.

”I can recognise when I go into a bakery who is making what I consider to be sourdough bread because I know the amount of work that has gone into it,” he said.

With demand for sourdough on the rise consumers need to know that not all sourdough is the same, said Tom Godfrey, spokesman for consumer watchdog Choice. ”Before considering paying a premium for sourdough, ask the baker if the recipe is authentic and doesn’t contain powdered yeast,” he said.

Coles spokeswoman Anna Kelly said the supermarket’s sourdough was prepared ”using a traditional sourdough recipe used by bakers everywhere”.

Woolworths spokeswoman Siobhan Quinn did not respond in time to Fairfax Media’s queries.

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The truth about your supermarket loaf

The following article by Rose Prince was taken from The Daily Telegraph.

Very interesting to see how the big Supermarkets still manage to ‘convince’ everyone how fresh their products are…

There is something reassuring in the thought that while we sleep through the early hours of the day, bread is being made. Cushions of dough slowly rising in their tins, radiating the most heavenly smells as they bake – the charms of this nocturnal craft have always been held very dear. Well wakey, wakey to the reality. That crusty loaf on sale at opening time in your local supermarket may not have been kneaded, shaped and proved by a real baker, but brought in deep-frozen from a plant hundreds of miles away, defrosted and “baked-off” by staff who only need to know how to throw a switch. As well as this, the vast majority of our loaves are made from imported flour – with grains being bought from locations as diverse as Russia, Canada and France. One thing you can be sure of is that very little of the wheat used in supermarket bread will be British.

Modern baking has all the romance of a North Korean multiple wedding. It seems that the stuff of life itself has entered the crazy world of cryonics. Part-baked dough is suspended at -19C for up to a year before being given a blast in an oven to crisp it up. It puts into question the whole commonly made claim of “freshly baked bread”, yet those seemingly informative labels on the wrapper reveal nothing of this time in the deep freeze. Like a desperate, ageing starlet, supermarket bread lies about its real age.

But not for much longer; European law is to change, and retailers will be soon forced to reveal all foods that have been previously frozen.

Needless to say, the stores are not happy with this and are campaigning hard to keep things as they are. Little wonder. The “thaw and serve” or “bake-off” industry – which encompasses all sorts of bakery goods from baguettes and ciabatta to muffins and doughnuts – allows convenience food to steal the clothes of the artisan and play on shoppers’ senses. We’ve all greedily sniffed the warm, toasty air as we’ve entered the supermarket, which pumps out wafts from the “in-store bakery”, letting us imagine that the breads and rolls are lovingly hand-made on site.

Real bakers regard this trick as an insult to their art. Gill Brooks, chief executive of the National Association of Master Bakers and the wife of a Lancashire baker who leaves home for work each morning at 2am to bake through the night, says supermarkets have misleadingly redefined what “fresh” means. “Under the rules of our organisation, fresh bread is made and baked that day, for consumption that day,” she says. “The NAMB does not recognise supermarket bread as fresh bread,” she adds.

Mrs Brooks believes that supermarkets have taken advantage of the looser labelling laws enjoyed by bakeries, where everything is made on the premises. “In small bakeries, we fight against having to put labelling on bags because all the work is done at the back of the shop. I believe ‘bake-off’ bread should carry a label with a list of ingredients and it should say ‘previously frozen’.”

Bake-off technology has been with us since the early eighties, when the company Délifrance began to supply convenience stores with ovens and frozen ready-to-bake baguettes made from French flour. The company now has more than 3,000 employees, operates 20 bakery production sites and its turnover is more than 5 million euros.

Those first warm baguettes of the 1980s were not unwelcome. We longed for our lunchtime sandwich to be more than the coming together of two soft white mattresses of Mother’s Pride. But now the supermarket “bake-off” bread is whiter, softer and less crisp than real French bread, and the dough itself has zero aroma. Little wonder I find it galling that my local supermarket has a picture on the wall showing a grinning “baker” wearing his food safety hairnet at a jaunty angle: “Meet Andy – our in-store baker!”

But the bake-off industry might just have met its match with the explosion of real artisan baking in the UK. Bakeries selling traditionally made, slow-fermentation loaves have put commercially made baguettes and “pain de campagne” to shame and are now springing up all over the UK. The Real Bread Campaign website has an interactive map that will pinpoint the nearest place to you which houses a flour-dusted craftsman clutching a paddle. And the larger of these bakeries are at last beginning to supply supermarkets.

The Bread Factory is London’s largest artisan bakery, with 70 bakers producing up to 5,000 loaves a day. “Two thirds of our staff are craftsmen, and everything is shaped by hand,” says head baker Cyril Denechaud. “It is possible to mass-produce baguettes by machine, and I have seen this done in France, but we do not. Some of our sourdough breads are made over three days, with a 72-hour fermentation.”

The Bread Factory was started by Gail Stephens, the originator of the boutique food shop Baker & Spice. It now also supplies the nine branches of Gail’s bakeries in the capital, as well as London branches of Waitrose under the Gail’s label. “‘Artisan’ is identified by three things: skill, time and the quality of ingredients,” says Denechaud. “No other bread should be defined by this term.” Waitrose sell breads that have been previously frozen – but, of the supermarkets, they have been the first to buy genuinely fresh artisan bread.

But why should we care how our supermarket bread has come to crispy life? Many buy it and seem to enjoy it, after all. Well, I believe that these customers are being ripped off. The supposedly fresh bread they buy is rock-hard and inedible within 24 hours because it has been produced in an utterly unnatural fashion. Real fresh bread can last for a week without going mouldy.

As well as this, the carbon footprint of bake-off bread is hardly exemplary. And, on a human level, it is a striking symbol of the way in which a skilled workforce has been watered down to nil in British supermarkets.

But what it really boils down to is a lack of trust in our big supermarkets. Yes, essentially it is bread, and grumbling about its integrity would make the inhabitants of a developing country laugh out loud. But supermarkets sell more than 80 per cent of the food consumed in the UK and if they are dishonest about the food they sell and do not volunteer important information on labels, they can hardly complain when forced to by the strong arm of the EU.

One of my first jobs was in a high street bakery. When I arrived for work, the baker who had been there since 1am would be clocking off. He timed his working hours to make sure that, when the doors opened in the morning at eight o’clock sharp, his loaves would only have just come out of the oven. He would have hated to have just been a switch-puller. What a shame that the majority of people in this country no longer know bakers of his sort.

Now the truth about our supermarket loaf has been revealed, will you still sniff the air hungrily as you walk through the stores’ doors? I can only hope that the artisan baking revolution continues – ending the great supermarket bread con for good.

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Thank you for your support

HUSK fire_9890

A pic of the fire to warm you up.

Just a quick note to thank everyone for their support over Christmas, The New Year and more importantly during all the snow and ice…
Everything is back to normal now after a few days when the roads were so bad I just couldn’t get out and deliver. Just a reminder, that while the winter is still biting I will be open from Wednesday to Saturday, 9am – 1pm.

Don’t forget though that every last Friday of the month is Woodfired Pizza Night, here at Husk in Heydon. If you’ve never tried one it’s about time you popped by. We have a variety of toppings all cooked in the Husk oven, as fresh as can be.

Look forward to seeing you.

Husk wood-fired-pizza

Fresh from the Husk oven

It's all in the preparation

It’s all in the preparation

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12″ Thin and Crusty

For any of you out there who have not tried my Woodfired Pizzas, here’s a little bit more info.

Every Friday I will be stoking up the fire at Husk and with the help of my wife, Linda and various others, will be serving the county and beyond with gorgeous Woodfired Pizzas.

We are open from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Best to ring with your order and then you are welcome to wait while they cook, which is definitely and art rather than a science, alternatively pop up The Earle Arms and enjoy a crafty pint before returning home the hero with your order.

Pizzas are 12″, thin and crispy and you can have either a tomato or garlicy oil sauce, then choose your toppings from the following.

Marguerita 2 cheeses, tomato sauce

Pepperoni, Salami 2 cheeses, tomato sauce, onion, pepper

Mushroom 2 cheeses, tomato sauce, onion, pepper, shiitake, porcini, granulatus

Extras choose from Black Olives, Anchovies, Jalapenos, Sundried Tomatoes, Chilli Flakes, Capers and Mushroom.

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Husk on holiday

 

Dear all, thank you for all your continued support.

Just to let you all know I am going to take a short break to re-charge my batteries.

Husk Bakery will be closed from Monday 17th August and open again Friday 28th evening just for Pizzas and Saturday 29th for bread.

Thank you, Paul.

 

 

 

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