This is a large book of 207 pages, well illustrated with photos of each recipe, most being full page, and many step-by-step pictures of more tricky procedures. Not only that, there is a QR code link to a video showing his kneading technique. The initial section of the book gives details about and explanations of ingredients and equipment that he uses, followed by the recipes, and then sections on basic recipes, weights, measures and temperatures, formulas, glossary and an index.
There are six chapters of recipes; savoury breads and sourdoughs, grainy and healthy breads, quick breads and scones, festive breads, not quite breads, and sweet breads. The walnut crown bread, olive and oven roasted tomato panini, black onion seed bagels, onion fougasse, dark been, walnut and cranberry beer rolls (photograph of our efforts below made with beer from the Lerwick Brewery), spinach, pumpkin, cumin & feta damper, and blueberry & cranberry bagels are all recipes that look interesting and worth cooking.
This is not a book that is obviously aimed at the novice. While he does include a plain white yeasted loaf, it’s not the first recipe in the book: that honour goes to a baguette recipe. Similarly, his wholemeal loaf comes later in the same chapter. However, if baking holds few fears, this book has some interesting recipes that are worth trying out.
Bread by Dean Brettschneider is published by Jacqui Small, cover price £25.
For great bread you do need to use the right flour. The strong flours used in baking bread contain more gluten than a regular flour. We’ve been using Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Very Strong Canadian flour with a protein content of 14.8g per 100g (regular plain flour contains 10 – 12 g of protein), and have found it excellent, especially in sourdough and bread with slower rise times.
The Lerwick Brewery
The Lerwick Brewery is just under 450 miles south of the Arctic circle; being on an island so far north means that the climate doesn’t vary wildly; with mild winters (because of thegulf stream) and cool summers the cool temperatures are ideal for brewing. The brewery produces three beers: 60°North, a pilsner style lager, Skipper’s Ticket pale ale and Tushkar oatmeal stout.
60°North isn’t pale, fizzy and flavourless, but darker, fruitier and rounded; it’s still crisp though. A lager worth drinking, which has been recognised by its short listing for the Highland and Islands Food and Drink Awards. The Skipper’s Ticket ale is similarly fruity, with spicy notes; again, a lighter drink, ideal for summer, especially when compared to the chocolate and coffee flavours found in the dark oatmeal Tushkar stout (named, incidentally, after the peat cutting spade that’s an essential in the tree-less Shetland Isles).
We are not practised beer tasters, but even so we found all three of these brews very easy to drink and, especially with the lager, the craft nature of the brewery really shows through compared to more mass produced drinks.
Lerwick Brewery’s beers are available through a range of independent beer sellers across Scotland. They are also available from the online shop at www.lerwickbrewery.com.
Fuss Free Flavours received a review copy of Bread, beer from the Lerwick Brewery, vouchers from Sainsbury’s. All opinions are our own.