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  • rowmarcus 8:18 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    A few cheeky shots from the weekend we just had: https://picasaweb.google.com/rowmarcus/TrefriwWeekend?authuser=0&feat=directlink
    If you find you’re not one of those featured in the images, I’m sorry it simply means I must have managed to miss out on snapping you 😦
    Also a vid of Joe and Rick: http://youtu.be/1erPLTb0yQM

    • Robin 10:01 am on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Were those meringues? Did I leave too early????

      • rowmarcus 4:30 pm on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        indeed you did leave too early bud, Jack and Eddie knocked up some lovely dessert meringues and we had them with fruit and whipped cream on Sunday night 🙂

        • Robin 5:54 pm on July 10, 2012 Permalink

          Grrr 😦

        • Robin 6:01 pm on July 10, 2012 Permalink

          Meringue place, meringue time…

  • rowmarcus 7:14 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: well done   

    Just to add in my two-penneth – I also very much enjoyed the weekend and the baking and the people who took part! Three cheers to Jay and Joe for successfully staging this great occasion, I hope to be able to take part in many more!

  • rowmarcus 8:05 am on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: accommodation   

    I’m booked in to stay at the Eagles Hotel (you can check out, but never leave, obviously) Fri to Mon. anyone else staying in Llanrwst over the weekend?

  • rowmarcus 3:21 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply


    Greetings fellow bakers!
    Probably a question for Joe I think – what flours do you plan on us having to ‘play with’ over the coming weekend? Just having a think about what I want to bake, which inevitably leads to thinking about what ingredients I’ll need of course. I’m guessing there’ll be white wheat flours, and probably wholemeal; how about ryes or spelt?

  • rowmarcus 10:33 pm on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    So when is kick-off? 

    Not to borrow from the vocabulary of the footballing world too heavily (specially as being English I’ve just had my hopes dashed by the Italians during penalties – penalties!) but what time is it all starting on – I guess – Saturday 7th July? Or have I managed to miss this bit of information probably displayed in full view on the website…

    • jay 6:13 am on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Marcus
      The idea is to start on Saturday, but if anyone wishes bake a quick loaf for Saturdays breakfast or to do some preparation on Friday that will be fine.
      all the best

      • bethesdabakers 6:58 am on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Marcus, mon ami

        I don’t think you appreciate the philosophical nature of your question. The event is YOU, so it happens when you’re there. Can be a difficult concept to grasp if you haven’t been to one of these before. No one blows a starting whistle or gives you a programme – you have to decide yourself what to do and how you cooperate with other people.

        I sincerely hope you are going to show people your fabulous red onion and wheat beer bread – that’s worth anyone traveling for.

        What time are you arriving on Friday? You can always come over and help us set up.

        My mobile is 07729 151781


        • marcus 2:36 pm on June 27, 2012 Permalink

          🙂 cheers Mick.
          I’m probably going to be driving up on the Friday so a fair chance I’ll be around to help set up – guess it will be late afternoon when I roll up.
          My number’s 07980 150792


  • rowmarcus 12:56 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Where to stay? 

    Hey, hope its not just me leaving everything to the last minute (as so often seems to happen), but has anyone else also not yet booked themselves some kind of place to stay over the weekend?  Or are you all real tough and rugged types who prefer the canvas option?  I camped once, it rained and I didn’t sleep much, so be keen to know if there are any recommended B&Bs in either Trefriw or Llanrwst?

    • jay 5:39 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Marcus,
      If you check out the Contact/location link on the blog it offers some local b and b / hotel sites for you to check through.If you need to discuss any please call me on 01492 641009.
      all the best



      • bethesdabakers 6:22 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Marcus

        I tried Prince’s Arms Hotel – full. Crafnant House – no singles.

        Ended up at Fairy Falls Hotel £50 single occupancy 01492 642640

    • Terry Lyons 4:55 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply


      Not quite sure where I’m going to sleep. Last year I towed the mobile WFO up to Bethesda….and slept in the van for security reasons….besides I was stoney broke so had no other options. When Chris from the Real Bread Campaign had his tent pinched on the first night ….and was wondering around like a lost soul at midnight……I offered him accommodation next to me in the front of a small Citroen van….he declined…..I really don’t blame him as I snore terribly and we would have had to contorted our bodies in an unconvensional way just to fit 2 persons in.

      I may have the chance of towing the mobile WFO to the venue…..but only if people want it there. As usual I haven’t a pot to piss in, so camping a la “in car experience” may be an option. You’re not on your own leaving accommodation to the last minute.


      • bethesdabakers 8:20 pm on June 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Hey Terry

        You can borrow my pot. Not sure if I can (or want to) picture you and Chris contorting your bodies in an unconventional way – it’s not much of a chat-up line.

        Everyone would like you to bring the oven if you can manage it.


  • rowmarcus 9:32 am on April 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Sourdough Wheatbeer and Red Onion 

    This is a recipe I have done a few times, plus it guest-starred on Mick’s weekly bake when I spent a couple of days in his microbakery at the end of last year.

    If you like German wheat beer, I think there’s a good chance you’ll like this – however I should stress that it doesn’t limit itself to eating only with savoury things, like ham and cheese, in fact it goes remarkably well with marmelade and other preserves, perhaps surprisingly.


    The loaf relies on a common approach of development in 2 stages: pre-ferment and then final dough. The ingredients and instructions are split out on this basis.

    The evening before baking, prepare the pre-ferment:

    • 1 red onion, finely chopped
    • 30g unsalted butter
    • 200ml de-alcoholised wheat beer
    • 200g strong white flour
    • 50g starter at 100% hydration

    Place approx 230ml of wheat beer in a saucepan and heat until boiling, then take off the heat and allow to cool.  In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, saute the finely chopped red onion in the butter, until soft and translucent, then also remove from the heat to cool.

    Once these ingredients are at room temperature, measure out 200ml of the wheat beer into a mixing bowl, then whisk in your 50g starter: next add the 200g strong white flour and mix in briefly before adding the cooled butter and onions, then combine to fully distribute the elements before covering with cling-film to leave to develop overnight.

    Next day, ideally the pre-ferment has had about 12 hours to develop and you should see it has risen – do not be put off that it isn’t fighting to escape its container, as long as it has grown since yesterday then it should be fine.

    For the final dough:

    • all the pre-ferment
    • 80g rye flour
    • 215g strong white flour
    • 113g water, from the tap
    • 2 tsp salt

    Add the water to the pre-ferment and mix to fully incorporate.  In your main mixing bowl, dry combine the rye, strong white flours with the salt, then add all the pre-ferment and water mixture and mix all the ingredients together by hand.  My recommended approach here is to follow the hand-kneading technique (as described on this site) with initial quick kneads at 10, 15, 20 minutes, followed by another after 1 hr, again after 1 hr, then after a further 1 hr you should shape the dough and leave it to prove for up to 4 hours before baking.

    I baked this one (above) on a pre-heated stone, starting the oven on 250C for the first 15 minutes, then reduced the oven to 190C for the remaining 30 minutes, just to avoid it getting too dark.

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