Dried Sourdough Starter

Our Dried Sourdough Starter bag contains 50g dried ferment.

This post tells you how to use half of it. The remaining 25g is a back-up.

To rehydrate your ferment

25g dry ferment
50g strong white bread flour (or a mixture of strong bread flour with some rye and/or wholemeal)
60g warm water

Mix everything well and leave for 24 hours in a warm place.

After 24 hours refresh by adding the following to you ferment
75g strong bread flour
40g warm water
Mix all well and leave for 24 hours at room temperature.

After 24 hour the ferment should look really active and just needs one further refresh.  Add 250g flour and 130g of water warm to your ferment.  Mix together but take care not to overmix.  Place it in a plastic container and leave it at room temperature for 6 hours.  Then place in fridge covered with a plastic bag or the lid of the container a little ajar so it still breath and doesn’t built up too much condensation inside the container.

The ferment can be use straight from the fridge after a further 12 hours and can be left (or used) for up to 4 days before refreshing.   My usual rule when baking is to use about 300g of ferment per 1kg of flour.  But you can use less than this (things will take a little more time) or you can use some in conjunction with yeast to make levain and levure loaves.  For my levain & levure I use 250g of ferment and 5g of fresh yeast per 1kg of flour.

Maintaining your ferment

The more regularly you bake the better as the routine is good for the ferment and will allow you to see how your ferment evolves with time.

Each time you bake and use some of the ferment, aim to refresh the rest, so it is ready for you again when you need want next.

For most home bakers (baking once or twice a week) I would suggest maintaining a ferment of about 150g after taking out what you need to bake.  In order to refresh this amount, add 300g of strong bread flour and 150g warm water.  This may mean discarding some ferment from time to time.  See below for ideas of what to do with this excess ferment.

If you know you’re going away for a couple of weeks refresh your ferment and place straight in fridge ensuring the lid is NOT on tightly so the ferment can breathe.  It will develop more slowly this way and therefore be happy on its own for 2-3 week. On your return, discard and outside crust (it may be thicker and slightly discoloured) and use the inside of the ferment (150g) to refresh and it will get back or normal.

Storing your ferment  

Your ferment should be stored in the fridge. Put the ferment in a plastic tub and cover the tub with a cloth and then with a lid. Leave the lid slightly ajar to prevent any build up of moisture in the lid. There is no need to clean the container before you put the refreshed ferment back in, just scrape out the excess of dough and place the refreshed ferment back in.

Variations on the ferment

You can vary your ferment to your own taste by replacing the 500g white flour with half white and half brown or with a proportion of rye or spelt.

Using excess ferment

Check our recipe for sourdough crackers (in Crumb), give it away to friends as gifts, or use the ferment with everyday baking with a little yeast (to make a levain & levure loaf).

COVID Update // 30 December 2020

Following the government announcement on 30 December, Bath has been moved into Tier 3 and sadly therefore the school is required to close temporarily.

We are currently away from the office but will start contacting all customers booked onto classes in the next 2 weeks (ie. until the next review date) on our return to the office on 4 January in order to re-book them onto a future date.

If you are booked onto a class, there is no need to contact us, we will be in touch with you by email in due course.  We will work through the classes in date order as quickly as we can.

Do please stay safe during this difficult time and keep baking.  Remember our mail order service will remain open for baking equipment, flour, yeast and all your other supplies.  If you have placed an order over the Christmas period it will be fulfilled on our return to the office.

The whole team would like to wish all our customers the very best for a happier and healthier new year.

 

 

 

 

 

COVID Update // Monday 21 December

Our office is closing for Christmas today but we are mindful of the individual positions of those booked for classes early in the new year following the introduction of Tier 4 and the recent tier review.

We would ask all customers booked on classes in January to follow the following procedure.

  1.  If you are booked on classes in the first 2 weeks of January:  wait until the next tier announcement on 30 December.  If following this you are in either tiers 3 or tier 4 and unable to travel, please send us an email immediately to [email protected]  and we will move your booking to a new convenient date.  Please do not telephone as the office does not re-open until 5 January, but we will be picking up emails and managing movers by email, through the holiday period.   Where possible we will ask customers to move to the next available slot (for example in February).  We know this may necessitate a further move if the situation does not improve, but we also need to get customers booked back in, as soon as possible, rather than creating a bottle neck in the summer.

2.  If you are booked on a class later in January then please wait for the tier review following the 30 December, which we assume will be on 15 January (or thereabouts), in order to see if you are prevented from travelling.

Thank you for your co-operation in managing what we appreciate is a very difficult situation for everyone.

We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and hope that you are able to find a way to spend time with your loved ones, even if that is only virtually.

Merry Christmas.  Stay safe.

Jo Bertinet

COVID Update // Thursday 26 November

Following the update from the government today, regarding the various tiers that the country will be placed into at the end of the current lockdown, we wanted to set out the position as we believe it to be.

The cookery school is in Tier 2 and is therefore able to re-open and run classes.  As you would be in a restaurant, you are socially distanced from all other customers who are not within your household and separated by perspex screens.

If you are booked onto a class in the few weeks following 2 December and you live in tiers 1 or 2 you are able to attend the class unless

  • you have any Covid symptoms;
  • have been asked to isolate by your local authority or Track & Trace;
  • or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid and are self isolating as a consequence.

If any of these circumstances apply then please contact us at the earliest possible opportunity (by email to [email protected] or by leaving a message on 01225 445531)  in order that we can move you to a new date.

If you are booked onto a class in the next few weeks and you live in a tier 3 are then you will not be able to attend.  If this is the case please contact us immediately (by email to [email protected] or by leaving a message on 01225 445531) in order that we can move your booking to a new date.

Once again thank you for your understanding and co-operation in these tricky times.

Richard & Jo Bertinet and the team at The Bertinet Kitchen

 

 

COVID Update // Sunday 1 November 2020

Following the government announcement yesterday (and subject to legislation being introduced and passed this week), it is anticipated the school will be required to close for 4 weeks from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December inclusive.

During this time we will not be able to offer our in person classes.  We are very sorry for the inconvenience this will cause our customers but the situation is once again out of our hands.   Cookery schools are unfortunately not ‘education’ for the purposes of the COVID regulations but are treated like other entertainment venues.

The closure will not affect the Online Baking clinic scheduled for 24 November or Online Baking party scheduled for 3 December.  We very much hope we will be running our classes again from 4 December and will be working on the basis that these will go ahead.

We will be in touch with everyone who is booked on classes during November over the course of the coming week or so, to discuss rescheduling their class.  In order to facilitate a good choice of dates we will look to add additional classes to the schedule.   Please bear with us during this time until we contact you.

Our mail order shop will not be affected and we will continue to despatch all of your baking equipment, flour, yeast, and other supplies so you can continue to bake at home.  Do make sure you are following both @RichardBertinet and @TheBertinetKitchen on Instagram for baking tips, videos and fun and to stay up to date with the very lates news.

Thank you for your support at this difficult time.

Richard & Jo Bertinet

COVID Update // 14 October 2020

Guidance for customers living in England

Customers living in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Overseas should consult their local government guidance.

The cookery school is in an area designated as Tier 1 medium risk and as such is allowed to operate in accordance with COVID secure guidance.  These include social distancing of customers, the use of screens to separate customers and the requirement that all customers and staff wear masks.  We also have increased ventilation and enhanced cleaning.

Customer attendance at our classes is determined by some basic restrictions and also by the tier / risk level of their home address.

  • Customers who have reason to suspect that they may have come into contact with the virus within the last 14 days should not attend classes.
  • Customers with COVID symptoms should not attend classes.
  • Customers who are ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ and have been asked to shield should not attend classes

Customers who are ‘clinically vulnerable’ (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/) should consider if it is sensible for them to attend classes regardless of the risk level where they live.  Classes can be postponed as long as you give us 28 days’ notice.

TIER 3

Customers living in a tier 3 area are advised not to travel.  If you live in a tier 3 area and have a class coming up, please notify us of the situation immediately upon your area being placed into tier 3.

If you are not living in a tier 3 area but have reason to think that your area will become a tier 3 area (and prevent you attending a course) then please contact us to postpone your booking.  In order to ensure you can move your booking you need to give us 28 days’ notice.

TIER 2

We do not believe that customers living in Tier 2 areas are prevented from attending courses.

The final decision as to whether it is safe to attend rests with each customer as the person best placed to judge their individual situation.

Those living in tier 2 are allowed to travel as long as they are not sharing overnight accommodation with someone outside their household.

In terms of the class itself, the rules are set out in the government guidance in the section ‘Visiting other Venues’: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-high

Venues can host more than 6 but no one should mix outside their household.  As above we have Covid secure measures in place to protect customers.

TIER 1

Customers living in tier 1 areas are not prevented from attending courses.

The travel guidance advises that you should avoid travelling with someone outside your household unless you can socially distance.

COVID Update // 9 September 2020

In view of the government announcement today regarding restrictions on social gatherings, we just wanted to reassure customers that we do not believe that this impacts on our classes.

As we understand them there is no intention to close down businesses where there are more than 6 people in a building.  (Restaurants are still allowed to operated and are not limited to a total of 6 customers or 6 customers and staff combined on their premises.)

On our classes all of our customers are socially distanced from each other (unless booked together and part of the same household bubble).  It is similar to how it would be in a restaurant on different tables.  In addition, we have also divided everyone with the use of clear perspex screens for added safety.

We are of course unable to have a sit down lunch together at the end of the class but we are instead offering students a picnic lunch to take away.

We will of course review the detailed guidance when it is published and post any update here.

COVID Update

We are delighted that as of 9 July the kitchen has fully re-opened and we are back running our hands on classes.

There are obviously a number of additional pre-cautions in place to ensure that our premises are COVID secure and to protect both our team and our customers.  These include

  • a reduction on the numbers of customers on a class to ensure appropriate social distancing
  • the installation of perspex screens to divide work areas
  • temperature checks on everyone in the building on a daily basis
  • enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures
  • provision and wearing of masks

Full details are provided to customers attending classes in their Joining Instructions approximately 2 weeks prior to their course date.

While things are a little different, we have worked hard to ensure that our classes are just as much fun, educational and rewarding as they have always been.

We look forward to welcoming all our customers, both existing ones and new ones, to the kitchen very soon.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updated 19.03.20

During these unprecedented times, the health and wellbeing of our customers and our team are our top priority.

Given the developments of the last couple of days, government recommendations now mean it is inappropriate for customers to travel to or attend classes at the school where they will inevitably be in close contact with each others.

For those of you who are booked onto classes up to the end of April, we are currently exploring the option of holding virtual classes.  We are keen not to let anyone down and will be in touch with customers a few weeks before their bookings to discuss the options.

We will be making separate provision for healthcare and other essential workers who we appreciate are rather busy with far more important things.  (Thank you – we are very grateful that you are.)

For those of you who are booked later in the year, please bear with us as the situation continues to evolve.  We will be in touch as your class approaches.  We will continue to watch developments closely and very much hope we will be able to welcome our customers back to the school before too long.  We are doing everything we can to make that happen.

While we will be working in new and creative ways(!), we will keep our mail order service operational for baking equipment and supplies (as long as they continue to be delivered to us).   We will continue to be available by email to answer any queries and while we may not be able to pick up the phone when you call, if you leave us a message, we will get back to you.

Our website remains open for online bookings for classes from June and we are enormously grateful to those who continue to support us by booking for later in the year.  We are also working on some new online courses which we will be launching as soon as we are able.

Please all stay safe and healthy so we can see you again at the kitchen before too long.

Thank you.

Richard & Jo Bertinet

___________________________________

The latest government advice for members of the public can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Contact NHS 111 online for more information and advice.

Marmalade Bread & Butter Pudding

The recipe makes a large pudding for 8, but if there are less of you – just halve the ingredients

Ingredients

Leftover brioche loaf, or failing that any good white loaf or even some stale croissant.
jar of marmalade
30cl grand marnier
200g sultanas

For the crème anglaise

10 eggs
150g caster sugar
1 litre full fat milk
1 vanilla pod

Preparation

Weigh or measure the sultanas, grand marnier and sugar.
Place the sultanas in the grand marnier and leave to infuse.
Slice the loaf into 1cm thick slices.
Separate the eggs and discard the whites.
Split the vanilla pod in half down its length and scrape out (but do not discard) the seeds.
Preheat the oven to 210°C (static) / 190°C (fan).

Method

Place the milk, vanilla pod and seeds into a heavy bottomed pan and bring to the boil.

Combine the egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl until they take on a mousse like appearance and a pale straw colour.  Pour the milk into the egg mixture and whisk well.

Return the crème to the pan and place over a medium heat.  Using a wooden spoon stir continuously in a figure of 8 until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.  (To test, lift the spoon out of the crème and draw a line down the back of the spoon.  If the line stays clean it is cooked.)  Strain immediately into a clean bowl and continue stirring for a few minutes.

Spread the sliced brioche with marmalade, then cut in half diagonally to form triangles.  Strain the sultanas.  (Do not discard the grand marnier.)  Arrange the triangles (points up) and sultanas evenly in an oven proof dish making sure there are no gaps between the slices.

When the dish is full slowly pour the crème over the brioche allowing time for it to absorb the liquid.

Place in the pre-heated oven and cook until golden brown (20 to 30 minutes).

(Optional) warm the grand marnier in a small sauce pan.  Remove from the heat and set alight with a match or taper.  Pour the flaming alcohol over the pudding.

To serve, sprinkle with a little sifted icing sugar.  Serve with crème fraiche, vanilla ice-cream or any left-over crème anglaise.