Some thoughts

Thought I’d get the ball rolling. A couple of things I’d welcome the chance to understand better in addition to meeting like minded people:

  • shaping & slashing techniques especially with high hydration doughs
  • principles behind working out how much yeast or starter to have in a new dough recipe




About Carl Legge

Food writer, smallholder and permaculturalist.
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12 Responses to Some thoughts

  1. PaulY says:

    Hi Carl, Mick and all

    Likewise re meeting like-minded people.

    I’m looking to extend my horizons – hoping to learn new techniques, methods, combinations, ideas, etc.

    I’m looking to be convinced that sourdough – using wholemeal – is all it’s cracked up to be.

    But, in the main, I’m interested in filled breads, fruit breads, savoury breads, etc. Anything that can be wrapped in dough; placed on top of dough – or beneath – it; or mixed into a dough. (I’m also a firm believer that anything you can make with pastry, you can make with a bread dough!)

    I’m also vegan, so I’m into working out vegan alternatives to traditional recipes.

    And, if I can contribute in any way, I’d like to do that!

    Cheers, Paul

  2. Matt Bourne says:

    Hi all,

    I’m also interested in learning how to work better with high hydration doughs. In addition I’d be interested in learning more about making rye breads. Plus hoping to pick up some slashing tips!

    Is there going to be the temporary wood fired oven project like there was at the last Bethesda do?

    Warm wishes,


  3. sgratch says:

    I’d love to get involved in an oven-building/wood-firing project despite being completely inept at building, DIY, and the like. Would also be interested to try dutch oven/campfire baking (nudge, nudge Carl).

    PaulY: I’d like to be on the team to convince you of the wonders of sourdough! I’m part of a vegan workers’ co-op (though not vegan myself) so should be able to point you in the right direction for vegan goodies. I generally prefer my fillings on my bread rather than on/in my dough; seeds/grains on the other hand…

    Mick: Is here the place to say I’d like to camp on the field? And when do you need to know if (non-baking) partners are attending? I think you have someone in charge of catering for the weekend; I’d be happy to help with prep,etc.

    I look forward to meeting you all.


  4. carllegge says:

    Thanks for comments so far.

    Wood fired oven project would be great, so count me in. Hapy to do some stuff on lighting camp fires and cooking over them. Do we have a wood supply handy Mick?

    I cook a bit, so would be happy to help with food prep too.

    And I would also intend to camp on site if possible,



  5. bethesdabakers says:

    Joe Firebeard is hoping to to bring his oven on wheels if he can get it road legal. That would be fantastic.

    I’m hoping to interest some bakers in knocking up a clay oven the problem is it would have to be done in advance. Plus a wood supply would need to be organised – as it will be if Joe manages to bring his oven. There are a couple of my customers who might be interested in such a project. Any ideas?

  6. Matt Bourne says:

    Fingers crossed for Joe’s oven.

    I am happy to fill my car boot with firewood to bring, I’ve got quite a bit lying around.


  7. I could come a few days early to get a clay oven built if there were one or two others up for it too. Is there a clay source nearby? I guess we’d need sand (for a former) & bricks & maybe straw too. I lost my River Cottage Bread book with the clay oven building instructions, but it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with a plan. My problem is I will be coming by train (& don’t drive) so can’t bring/collect anything heavy.

  8. carllegge says:

    Nice idea Geraint. I have a few books on clay oven building so can bring them.

    Anyone else up for this?

    Mick, are there raw materials close and would we be able to have access to the site early?



  9. Matt Bourne says:

    I’m up for helping with a cob build, but afraid I can’t get there in advance of the 1st due to work comms.

  10. emilydev9 says:

    A while back some of us were talking about working with sweet doughs – e.g., for a chocolate loaf – that inhibit normal yeast processes. I might be able to order in some of the specialised yeast (is it called SAF Gold?) from King Arthur via my parents (who are visiting in May) if anyone’s interested in playing around with it.

  11. stig23 says:

    I’d be interested in learning more about sweet doughs. We always seem to get on to them on the Sunday, and I have always been heading off for the train – staying till Monday this time. Sourdough chocolate bread? Sourdough stollen? Comparative yeast and sourdough bake-offs??

    Or if Robin would like to hold a brioche masterclass, count me in! Stig

    • stig23 says:

      I know I am replying to my own comment … but if anyone has a laptop with them and would like to teach me how to use the blog, i’d really appreciate a tutorial. Thank you! Stig

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