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  • firebeard 12:47 pm on August 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply  


    Hi Folks,

    Trefriw Baking 2012 was the sixth in a series of annual baking weekends. It was a great success with a mix of new folks and regulars baking together and sharing their knowledge. I think it is very important to keep these events going. As a not for profit event they can be run for a very modest attendance fee and provide an accessible learning opportunity.

    We need to find someone to organise the event in 2013.

    This has been a roving event, each years venue and organisers bringing their own influence on the way the event shapes up.

    A group size of 20 to 25 bakers some of whom will bring partners or family members makes a good size event.

    It is good if we can get the date set and announced before the new year so that that most peoples diary’s will still be empty.

    We need to make the event easier to organise. All the expenditure of holding the event is incurred before the event takes place. In order to plan the event the organisers need to know their available budget in advance.

    The event is run on a not for profit basis, the last two events have given any surplus funds they hold after the event is finished to the rugby clubs who provided the venues.

    I would suggest announcing the price for the event right at the beginning when the date is published.

    Tickets for the event could be sold right from the beginning when the event is announced.

    Once all the places are filled you could make a list of interested people who might buy tickets from anyone who has a ticket and is unable to attend.

    This event has been based on the idea of everyone being equal and sharing. So far most of the financial risk of hosting the event has been born by the organisers. The early sale of tickets would share the financial risk among the group. In the past we have had a lot of expressions of interest when the event is announced which it is been hard to convert into a firm commitment. This has made it very difficult to know if it is going to be necessary to advertise the event more widely in order to achieve the desired group size.

    We need peoples ideas and input into the future of this event.

    All the best,


    • Vix Osborne 5:58 pm on February 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I am a newbie to this baking habit – inspired by Paul Merry and by Mick Hartley among others – and would love to know if plans are underway for a 2013 Baking event. Any news? Thanks

  • firebeard 5:49 am on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Thank you to everyone 

    Thank you to every one who came for all your help in making this a friendly and smooth running event. I really appreciate the way folks helped make and serve the meals, tidy up and keep everything going. It was great to see so many people happily baking bread and sharing their knowledge with each other. Thank you to John Lister of Shipton Mills and Anne Parry of Felin Ganol for the wonderful flour we enjoyed using.


    • bakingben 5:04 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you Joe and Jay for making the event such a success: we appreciate all the effort that went into organising it.
      The bread I made last night turned from a flat disc into something the rugby club might have used in one of their games!


  • firebeard 2:37 pm on July 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Bits and pieces 

    I have been to Daily Bread in Northampton today and bought a few bits and pieces for people to use. I will get a few more things from Costco tomorrow.

    Potato flour 1kg
    Soya flour 1kg
    Pumpkin seeds 1kg
    Sunflower seeds 1kg
    Poppy seeds 500g
    Linseed 1kg
    Fine sea salt 5kg
    Desiccated coconut 1kg
    Doves farms gram flour 1kg
    Lanes lecigan granules 250g

    • firebeard 3:03 pm on July 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I will get sultanas and raisins from Costco. I need to finalise the costing for the meals this evening before I know just how much I have left to spend on ingredients. I will get some eggs, butter and cocoa also.

      I am going to do a tour of all the people I know who have hens to see how many eggs I can scrounge up. If anyone has home produce they can bring to share it is most welcome.


  • firebeard 9:21 am on July 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: the plan   

    The Plan 

    The plan,

    Friday Evening

    There will be a chance for people to mix up starters, sponges etc if needed for the next day.

    For the campers and others who wish to join us we will have an evening meal. I will make a Moroccan Vegetable Stew. I am hoping that some of the folks who arrive early will get stuck in and make some flat breads to serve with it.


    Campers self service breakfast.

    The fun begins, we have loads of flour, sourdough starter and commercial yeast for you to experiment with. There are no set activities, some folks will already have a list of things they want to bake, anyone looking for ideas or help please ask as everyone is friendly.

    I will make vegetable soup for lunch. We need some folks to organise and make bread rolls to serve with the soup.

    Jay is going to make a paella for the evening meal and would like some people to help to prep the vegetable etc.

    It would be good if some people could make sweet things for desert.

    Tidy up and clean the venue.


    Campers self service breakfast.

    More playing, you are welcome to do you own thing or group together to work on projects or learn something new.

    I would like a group to get together to bake pizza for lunch. We have mozzarella, tinned tomatoes, vegetables and olives. We have a vegan attending so we will have to make one of the pizzas without cheese.

    The baking continues through the afternoon. Most people will be leaving during the afternoon or early evening.

    Tidy up and clean the venue.

    There will be an evening meal for the remaining campers and others who would like to join us.


    Campers self service breakfast.

    Tidy up, clean and empty the venue.

  • firebeard 8:01 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply



    The good folks at Shipton Mills have been very kind and given us a favourable price on their flour. This has enabled us to get a wide range of flours for people to experiment with on our tight budget. I am really looking forward to baking with the Shipton Mills flour.

    Canadian Strong white bread flour 4 16 kg
    Fines Bakers white bread flour No 1 (101) 2 16 kg
    French White flour type 55 (102) 1 25 kg
    Untreated Organic white flour No.4 (105) 1 25 kg
    Organic 100% wholemeal flour (205) 1 25 kg
    Organic Spelt wholemeal flour (407) 1 25 kg
    Stone ground 100% wholemeal flour (210) 1 25 kg
    Organic Dark Rye flour type 1350 (603) 1 25 kg
    Organic Light Rye flour type 997 (601) 1 25 kg
    Organic Light Malthouse flour (301) 1 16 kg
    Italian white flour type “00” (118) 1 25 kg

    Buckwheat flour 1 1 kg
    Organic Malted Wheat flakes (305) 4 0.5 kg
    Organic Medium Oatmeal for biscuits (404) 1 1 kg
    Organic Pinhead Oats for porridge (403) 1 1 kg
    Organic Semolina (507) 3 1 kg
    Organic Wheatgerm & bran (508) 2 0.5 kg

    We also have some flour from Felin Ganol. Unfortunately Anne will not be able to join us for the baking weekend this year. We enjoyed using their flour last year and I thought it would be nice to have some very traditional flour from a Welsh mill again.

    Wholemeal bread 2 12.5 kg
    Wholemeal plain 1 6 kg
    Spelt 1 6 kg
    White 1 12.5 kg

  • firebeard 4:41 pm on June 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Baker at work 

    I called in to see Gareth the other day to get his advice about buying flour for the event. He was busy baking and shaping loaves to go in the fridge to bake the next day.

  • firebeard 12:24 pm on June 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply


    I made these yesteryday with Dove Farms Malthouse flour.

  • firebeard 8:11 pm on June 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    June Baking 

    Hi Folks,

    Time flies, May has been and gone and I am afraid I have not had as much time as I would have liked to make our Fougasse Bake-off into a lively event. Thank you to everyone who got involved and took up the challenge. I know from your emails that some more of you had a go as well as the folks who posted on the blog.

    I had been meaning to suggest picnic breads as a topic for our June bake-off. But as the month is already slipping by and it is less than a month till the event I think we should widen it out and include any baking. If you have time please post a photo and a little something on the blog about any baking you do in the lead up to the event. It would be fun to see what folks are up to and a good introduction for the new folks who are joining us this year.

    All the best,


  • firebeard 9:31 am on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Who’s Coming the list so far 

    Trefriw Baking 2012
    7th & 8th July 2012

    So far we have 18 people who have committed to attend the event and paid the event fees. We are looking to get 30 people to attend as bakers. People attending as bakers are welcome to bring along non baking partners and family members so long as they book a place in advance. People of all leaves of experience are welcome to attend as bakers.

    The fees for the weekend are £55 for a baker for the two days and £20 for a non baker for the two days. Camping is available at the rate of £5 per adult per night. For details of how to pay please contact Jay and Joe at: bakingweekend@hotmail.co.uk

    There is a limit to the number of places available. Once the 30 baking places are filled we may have to turn people away who wish to attend the event. We will add people to the list once we receive their payment.

    The list so far:

    joe rowntree

    jay butters

    terry lyons

    ben johnson

    christine noble

    jack connah

    ed connah

    chris young

    mick hartley

    paul youd

    sarah parry james

    sian spashett

    lisa killelay

    jo ryan

    geraint roberts

    dianne brown

    marcus row

    gareth roberts

    • firebeard 5:39 pm on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Unfortunately it now looks like Gareth will be unable to join us for the baking weekend.

      We have a few more people to add to the above list:

      allison jackson

      robin irving

      jo furness

      richard coldman

    • realbreadcampaign 9:11 am on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Anyone driving over from London?

      I’ve just looked at trains and as they want 80 quid for the roundtrip I wondered if anyone might be up for a car share…



  • firebeard 8:55 am on May 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    Cheese Bread 

    I made this yesterday with some left over pizza dough that I had in the fridge from the night before. I stretched out a couple of pizza bases covered them with grated parmesan and rolled them into a ball. Once the dough had recovered I pressed it into a 20cm disc, let it recover again then cut and stretched it out to 30cm. After proving I gave it an egg was and sprinkled a little parmesan over the top. I was lucky with the baking, while it was in the oven I got the mower out and started cutting the lawn and remembered to go in and check it just at the right time.

    • bakingben 9:28 am on May 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply


      This is made from wholemeal spelt with cooked spinach, goats cheese and olive oil in the naturally leavened dough and surrounded by the homegrown spinach. It is unique in that it is missing a 3rd dimension but I guess it’s supposed to be a “flat bread” and tastes good! Firebeard’s cheese bread is a wonderful design. Best wishes, Ben J

    • stig23 8:51 pm on May 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Joe that is too beautiful – I am glad that what I baked got eaten before I could feel obliged to dig out the camera and struggle with tech. I made a fat and heavy fougasse using Mick’s sourdough recipe from Mair’s weekend, which he did and does with great style (and perfect holes), with apricots and almonds. This is something I usually make as a seasonal treat when cobnuts are around, so yesterday I just made it dead plain with sprinkling of semolina and salt for some crunch. All the holes closed up in the baking and the bottom was soggy and the crust was too hard. Hey ho. Still, the youth inhaled it. Stig

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