Monday, 22 February 2010

Ways to make your dough last longer

Week 8

Firstly, I stand corrected that a pancake is generally tossed and not flipped. Unfortunately tossing just didn't sound right at the time so I stuck to flipping. Hope you understand.

In preparation for the Great British Bake Off which is soon to hit our screens, I have taken up baking (much safer than flipping or tossing) my own bread. It's very cheap (about 60p a big loaf) but so far my results would be better used as weapons of mass destruction. So until I've cracked the light and fluffy thing, I'm happy to pay for the privilege of having it ready made so this week's Food of the Week is...


For years and years I'd been happily buying supermarket bread until one day when I splashed out on some bread from The Flour Station.

Initially I thought it was really expensive. But then I realised that I didn't need to eat as much of it as supermarket loaves because it had substance to it rather than big bubbles of air. It also tasted really good (rather than of air) and remarkably, lasted a lot longer.

I've since discovered that The Flour Station was born out of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen project and was designed to bring new standards of baking to London. Which I would say they have achieved.

So what's the difference?

Their breads are sourdough or 'levain' and use a massive 24 hour long fermentation process with wild yeast (clearly where I've been going wrong as packet yeasts state just 30 minutes fermentation). I'm a big fan of their multigrain bread but recently tried their rye bread which is delicious - apparently their master baker is Polish so knows what he's doing with rye. Whatever your taste, they have loads of different breads so if you normally buy supermarket bread, try one and make your own decision!

n.b. they use some organic ingredients but focus on locally sourced so aren't always 100% organic. What is important is that they don't use anything artificial so you know it's good for you.

Best Way to Serve

With butter! Also good with jam, soup, cheese, scrambled eggs and just about anything else.

Where can I buy Flour Station bread and what's it going to do to my bank balance?

Price: £2.50-£3.50 for a big loaf

Flour Station is sold at a number of markets across London including, Wimbledon Farmers Market (Saturdays), Queens Park (Sundays), Parliament Hill (Saturdays), Borough Market (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and the new Clapham Market (Venn Street, by Clapham Common on Fridays and Saturdays)

It's also available through Selfridges, John Lewis Food Hall, selected London based Waitrose stores and a number of delis

Restaurant of the Week


This week's choice is Dehesa, a charcuterie and tapas bar inspired by the cuisine of Spain and Italy (but more Spain than Italy in my opinion). It's website says that it is the sister restaurant to Salt Yard in Fitzrovia, offering sharing dishes served in a relaxed environment

Why is it good?
1) Great location - just off Carnaby Street so Oxford Circus tube is a stone's throw away
2) They have an unusual menu that mixes the best of Italian and Spanish food and wine from stuffed courgette flowers to fino sherry to iberico ham.
3) It's around £20-£40 for a meal so you get great food in a really central location for a reasonable price

Originally you couldn't book tables but this has now changed which helps as it's not the biggest of restaurants and was often packed out. It's intimate but you can also end up sharing tables so check when you book to ensure your table is suited to the occasion you are planning.

Dehesa on Urbanspoon

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