Week 23 – Being British

This week we concentrated on something very foreign to me – British breads. Before moving here I had no idea that Britain really had any iconic breads. This naivety was shared by the German people I visited over Christmas, with them getting very upset that I’d choose to learn baking in a country that seemingly has no baked claims to fame. I’m happy to report after this week that this is not the case. Britain does have some breads to call their own, but they seem to keep them to themselves.

I’ve come to the conclusion that England is just like Australia but smaller and busier – or maybe it’s that Australia is just like England but bigger and quieter. In either case it should come as no surprise that, just like in Australia, the most popular breads here are basic and white. Therefore the first bread we created was a simple white bread. We formed these into a few different sizes and shapes and topped them with seeds. Nothing too exciting but they’re easy to make, low on ingredient costs and sell well (apparently).

From that point on things got progressively sweeter, fattier and more interesting. The climax was probably the malt loaf. A sticky, goopy mess of a loaf that’s made with treacle. Yummy.

On Friday we were given the chance to experiment with British products and make our own creations. To be honest, my attempts were a complete disaster. I tried making scones and two types of crumpets/pikelets. The scones were passable maybe but the crumpets were a write-off. I’m not sure why mine were so bad, but Lindsay managed to create some fine-looking examples. I’ll have to copy her more closely next time.

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