Canterbury Baking School

Monthly Archives: August, 2017

Start Autumn with Sourdough

August 31, 2017

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Summer is almost over, and the healthy lifestyle bug can start to give way to autumn and winter comfort eating. But here at Canterbury Baking School, we don’t think there’s a reason to abandon healthy eating through the colder months! For us, the autumn-winter diet starts with sourdough.

Let’s give ourselves a quick reminder of the benefits of sourdough bread. Not only is sourdough more digestible and nutritious than many other breads, it also has a low GI content, making it perfect for slow-release energy. The lactic acids present in sourdough make minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium more available to the body. Some sourdough can even be easier to eat for those who have gluten problems!

A great way to keep your bread choices healthy, especially if you’re trying to lose weight, is to use wholegrain wherever possible. We mill our own heritage wholegrains to make our sourdough bread.

Making sourdough bread is the perfect way to keep healthy living going into autumn!

Making sourdough bread is the perfect way to keep healthy living going into autumn!

With all that in mind, we thought we’d share our sourdough bread recipe to pair with your warm autumn dishes! (For tips on making your sourdough starters, read our introductory sourdough post here!)

Our Simple Sourdough recipe

Ingredients

300g sourdough starter

250ml water

500g flour

10g salt

Method

1 – Add some flour and water to your starter until it has the consistency of pancake batter.

2 – Leave the starter out overnight, covered.

3 – In the morning, add more flour and water to the starter.

4 – Mix together and form into a loose ball (without salt), or alternatively put the dough in a mixer for ten minutes or so.

5 – Cover with a wet tea towel and leave to rest for 2 1/2 hours.

6 – Uncover the dough, mix your salt with a little water then stretch and fold the mix into the dough.

7 – Lift, fold and rotate in the bowl about three times. Repeat every 30 minutes, recovering with a damp tea towel in between.

8 – Place your dough on an oiled surface, and oil or dust your hands. Pull out, fold in, roll, and tuck.

9 – Flour both your baton and dough and place in the prover, covering with a damp tea towel and leaving overnight.

10 – In the morning, heat your oven to 220 degrees (approx. Gas mark 7). When hot, place your dough on a floured stone to stop it spreading. Score, spray with water and place in the oven.

11 – Bake for 10-15 minutes on 220, then turn down to 190 (approx Gas mark 5) for half an hour, or when the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow.

Follow our recipe for the perfect sourdough loaf!

Follow our recipe for the perfect sourdough loaf!

A perfect sourdough like this is a fantastic complement to an autumn soup, used as toast for a comforting breakfast with some scrambled egg, or as the basis for a hearty sandwich! It tastes superb! So why not take your sourdough knowledge to the next level and sign up for one of our sourdough courses? Book your place here!

As always, we welcome your comments and feedback!

Don’t let GM crops take root!

August 16, 2017

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In this week’s blog, we’re letting off a bit of steam! The impact that Brexit could have on our farming industry is a huge concern for us, and could push British farming in a risky direction; relying on GM crops.

The all-important harvest is underway, and will get into full swing as we head into autumn. However, over half of the UK’s food comes from overseas, and British-produced crops are slowly dwindling. In America, GM crops are widely used, and with Brexit potentially doing even more damage to our farming industry, could we end up doing the same?

Traditionally the UK has taken a strong position against GM foods, but that stance has softened in recent years. Almost half of the EU’s member states, including Germany, France and Italy have officially banned GM crops. But what are GM crops exactly?

GM crops could do more harm than good!

GM crops could do more harm than good!

GM foods have been genetically modified with extra proteins and other compounds to create supposedly superior harvests. GM crops are more resilient to pests, disease, and provide an increased yield. However, they can have adverse effects for consumers. The added proteins can often cause problems for people with gluten intolerances and similar issues, and can also affect antibiotic medication, reducing their ability to fight illnesses and infections.

The added compounds in GM crops can also sometimes be transferred to other plants, potentially creating ‘super weeds’. These weeds are more resistant to chemical treatments, which could damage any native natural crops nearby. This can also harm the ecosystem, destroying native insects that naturally eat the weeds.

Although GM crops cannot be grown in the UK, they are still imported, usually as animal feed. However, any dairy or meat products from animals fed on GM crops do not have to be labelled as such by any government authority, meaning they could make their way onto the consumer market without our knowledge.

Some animal feeds could be GM, and can often slip under the radar

Some animal feeds could be GM, and can often slip under the radar

Up until recently, the EU oversaw all laws and legislation regarding GM crops. But after Brexit, we will have to make our own decision. If European exporters hike prices for crops too much, we may be forced to rely on GM crops from America and other suppliers.

Here at Canterbury Baking School we don’t use any genetically modified grains. We prefer to work with our wheat and other heritage grains in their natural state. We strongly oppose GM crops, and believe that natural organic grains will always be a healthier and tastier option!

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What are your thoughts on GM crops? As always, we love to hear your feedback!