Da Bara Bakery

Da bara’, in Cornish, means ‘good bread’. (And dese are da brothers that make da good bread).

I can’t help it, my mind’s off on a tangent all of it’s own now. Perhaps it’s the smell of good bread all around that inspires almost poetic sentiment? There’s no refuting the wholesome fraternity between Ben, and his younger brother Tim. Only a few months ago they turned a long held hobby of bread making at home into a full-time bakery business.

Could it be that there’s some endearing nuttiness in such brotherly love?  Or why would they opt for six nights a week together, smothered in yeast, flour and sticky dough, right through the small hours while most people sleep? Long, nocturnal hours are however proving their worth; brothers Tim and Ben now supply the likes of Fifteen Cornwall, Hotel Tresanton and an expanding number of farm shops with their good bread.

We earn dough, break bread before the daily grind, and spend crusts on food to eat. Bread litters our language as much as it fills our stomachs; it’s so ordinary, but so necessary, and it can lift the human spirit. The final irony, as we despondently advance upon the weekly supermarket shop, is that our nose should be arrested by the warm, wafting smells of baking buns pumped to the front door to draw us in. I’m drawn irresistibly to the shelves of fresh bakes. Each one full of squidgy pledges that never deliver the flavour promised when I get them home. Most bread, as we know it now, has lost its taste and goodness and it’s a bloomer of a shame. Continue reading

Advertisements

Hovis Wholemeal Bread Challenge

Two slices of squashed Hovis wholemeal with marmite and cream-cheese

Just before Christmas I took part in the Hovis Wholemeal Challenge.

I agreed to give it a go because I’m actually a bit of a glutton and have never been known to refuse the offer of any kind of food.

But, I wish I’d known a little a bit more about what the challenge would entail beforehand so that I could have got my head round the task properly and put myself in genuine ‘guinea-pig’ mode.

I’d assumed I’d be trying lots of different Hovis products and I was really looking forward to seeing what tasty offering they have.

The first week involved filling out a survey everyday to see what my morning eating habits were before the challenge. That seemed simple enough. I was asked what I ate, when I ate, if I snacked during the morning and when I started to feel hungry again.

I did feel a little smug for not eating breakfast or for being a ‘snacker’. I’m a pretty typical woman so not eating leaves me with a virtuous feeling. Although the general healthy eating message is that if you miss breakfast you are more likely to snack and develop unhealthy eating habits.  I knew I wasn’t feeling hungry because I tend to eat fairly carb-loaded suppers. So  I’m not actually a conventional carb-avoider. Continue reading

The Flavour Weekly: Proper coffee and real bread

I’ve been busy.

Busy is good. Not only have I been occupied working but I also been busy taking my taste buds on a sensory adventure. Now it’s time to play catch up.

Last week I happened to be in London and since that’s a bit a rarity for me to venture across the Tamar, I leapt at the invitation from the ‘make mine Milk’ team to learn a few proper coffee making skills along with a group of other bloggers. It was a ruse to get some feedback on their campaign so far and discuss upcoming activity for 2011, however I’m easily seduced by the fantastic spread of breakfast they provided us with.

The ‘coffee morning’ took place at the London School of Coffee where  we were treated to a crash course in Barista skills.

Daisy Rollo, originally from Brittany, was our barista trainer. She grew up with the smell of cafe au lait and a warm croissant in her nostrils everyday. I grew up with Tetley tea and burnt toast in mine so I feel I started life – as most Brits – with a certain plebeian disadvantage. Continue reading

Cuisine Couture Catering

William and Nicola Marsden

Pencoose Pantry

It’s not everyday that when you go round to meet someone for the first time they are ready to serve you a wholesome and extremely appetizing brunch. William and Nicola Marsden’s business premises at Pencoose Barn are also home. Catering operations, alongside family life, centre on a long wooden table that runs down the centre of a large and busy kitchen.

On the morning I met them, their youngest child, Tommy, aged one and a half, was happily enjoying a wholesome, fresh-baked roll and, judging by the aroma, I think there may have been an added slight sea-salt crust and hint of rosemary. Nicola regrets that, “My children have to move aside when the serious catering takes over,” and with typical mother’s guilt she berates herself for this. Meanwhile he was busy play cutting a set of plastic fruit and vegetables, while I looked on in awe. An early apprenticeship I supposed?

Continue reading