Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Coming up in January 2014

January 2nd, 2014

After a well deserved rest we’re back in full swing at Loaf, with the bakery open and our first cookery school courses to come later this month. It’s pretty fair to say we’ve all eaten a lot of very rich & tasty food over the festive season, so it’s time to get back to some fresh ingredients and good old home baking & cooking. After an abundance of interest in course bookings and gift vouchers over the Christmas period, we’re looking forward to meeting a lot of new faces in the Cookery School in 2014.

Cookery Courses coming up in January 2014

Kitchen Essentials Cooking Meat 14 Jan 2014 Marmalade Masterclass - 15 Jan 2014 Butchery: Perfect Poultry 29th Jan 2014

As well as our popular Bread: Back to Basics, Bread: Simply Sourdough and Handmade Pasta courses, we’ve got the following courses coming up this month:

  • Kitchen Essentials: Cooking Meat – Tuesday 14th January, 7-9pm.
  • Marmalade Masterclass - Wednesday 15th January, 6.30-9.30pm.
  • Butchery: Perfect Poultry - Wednesday 29th January, 6.30-9.30pm.

Click here to see our huge list of Loaf Cookery School courses for January 2014 onwards. Courses book up fast, but are repeated again throughout the year. If you have a gift voucher call us on 0121 458 7682 on email cookeryschool(at)loafonline.co.uk with the name and date of the course you would like to book.

Fig & Raspberry Frangipan

Fig and Raspberry Frangipan ready for the oven

Stirchley Brewhouse

Our Friday pop-up cafe is back for 2014 serving hot and cold lunches, brewed coffee, loose leaf teas and cakes. We’ll be open from 10am – 4pm on the following dates with a new menu on each occasion:

  • Friday 31st January
  • Friday 14th March
  • Friday 28th March

Check out what goodies we have on offer on our events page the day before.

Happy Christmas & Thank you!

December 23rd, 2013

What a year!

It’s been fantastic. Thank you to everyone that has made 2013 a real success. We’ve grown from strength to strength over the year, increasing our staff  team, taking on new directors, extending our selection of bread & cakes, developing new courses and pop-up events and meeting lots of new faces in the cookery school, bakery & on our local high street in Stirchley.

Thank you to all our customers, friends, colleagues & families. Special mention also goes to our:

  • Bread Bond Holders - without whom none of this would have been possible – thank you
  • Bread Club members - for returning to the bakery week after week to pick up baked goodies!
  • Loaf Directors - Matt, Michelle, Russ… and former directors Tim & Ria
  • Loaf Staff - Andy, Dom, Jane, Nancy, Sarah & Tom
  • Cookery School Guest Tutors - Haseen, Lap, Lizzy, Mohini, Rachel & Steve
  • Everards Brewery - our landlords who have helped us grow on Stirchley high street
  • Stirchey Stores Members - for sharing the Loaf love by selling our bread & cakes in the shop
  • Creative & green fingered friends - Clare, Fraser, Jack, Jacob, Kerry, Mike, Paul & Walter
  • Fellow Food Lovers - Brad, Carl, Chris, Krishan, Lap, Nico, Nick, Vic
  • Fordall Farm - a community owned business who are a real inspiration to us.

And many, many more… there are just too many to mention!

Loaf in Lights - Christmas 2013

Have a very Happy Christmas and promise of a wonderful new year.

We look forward to developing new & exciting projects in 2014 and hope you will join us for the ride!

From the Loaf Team

x x x

* Christmas Closure - The Loaf Community Bakery, Cookery School and Stirchley Stores will be closed from Wednesday 25th December, re-opening on Thursday 2nd January 2014. Bread Subscribers – we will be baking for you again on Friday 3rd January.

 

Christmas Eve – Curds & Whey are back!

December 19th, 2013

Curds & Whey Cheese Stall Returns – Tuesday 24 December, 8.15am – 2pm.

On Tuesday 24 December Curds & Whey will be back in Stirchley Stores selling a selection of artisan cheese from the UK and the continent.Pop in between 8.15am – 2pm.

You can also pre-order, making buying on the day nice and simple. Pick up an order form from Stirchley Stores or check it out below. Select the cheese you would like and email your order in advance to curdsandwheyuk(at)gmail.com or call  07964 60 67 62.

Order form (pdf): Curds & Whey Christmas_Order_Form-Dec-2013 (2)

Curds & Whey Christmas 2013 Form

Curds & Whey Christmas 2013 Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Goodies from the Cookery School

November 29th, 2013

Christmas Cookery School Gift Vouchers As always we have loads of great courses on offer in 2014 which make ideal presents for Christmas. You can check out our course calendar on the cookery school page, or go directly to the shop to buy a specific course. If you’d like to buy vouchers so that your lucky recipient can choose their own date and course, then just pop by the cookery school, give us a call on 0121 458 7682 or email cookeryschool@loafonline.co.uk.

Gift Voucher

We’ve also put together a budding bread makers starter pack including a locally made bakers peel, a spiral proving basket that will hold 500g dough, a plastic dough scraper and a dough scoring knife. All this for the bargain price of £30. The items are all available separately too. If you want to upgrade to a 1kg basket it is £2 extra, and we also have baskets in an oval rather than a round shape. If you want to top off the gift with some of our sourdough starter, just pop into the bakery between 7am and 3pm Tuesday-Friday with a jam jar and we’ll fill it up with starter free. Ring the doorbell as we’ll be busy working in the bakery!

bread making kit

We’ve also got some great books for sale. For budding bread makers we have  Dough by Richard Bertinet for £13 and Bread Matters for £17. For budding foragers we have the pocket version of Food for Free by Richard Mabey for just £4.50. Pop by the cookery school to purchase!

Dough - Richard Bertinet Bread Matters - Andrew Whitley Food for Free - Richard Mabey

Fine Quality Cheese Stall – This Friday

November 28th, 2013

Curds & Whey - This Friday 29th November, 2 – 7pm in Stirchley Stores

There will be no Stirchley Brewhouse tomorrow, Friday 29th November. Instead the fantastic Curds & Whey will be in Stirchley Stores selling artisan cheese from the UK and the continent, from 2pm to 7pm…. and his cheese compliments our bread very nicely. Of course.

You can follow Curds & Whey on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/Curds_Whey

Curds & Whey

 

 

Today’s special in the shop was…

November 15th, 2013

image

An Alternative Christmas

November 13th, 2013

Baker Kids Christmas Cookery CourseIf you’re one of those people who cringes at the sight of shop windows turning Christmassy on November 1st, then you’re probably fed up with the commercialization of this time of year and the rush for presents too. So here’s some alternative Christmas pressie ideas from the Baker family. For the past few years we’ve been doing a handmade Secret Santa for adults and a fun activity (and small present to unwrap!) for some of the children. It’s been great fun. Try these:

Alternative Christmas Present Ideas

Hand Baked – we’ve created our own hampers full of sloe gin, ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend), jams and chutneys, lemon curd, chocolate truffles, elderflower cordial etc… and of course fresh bread for the table. You could even go the whole hog and make Christmas Cakes or puddings too.

Hand Crafted - i dusted the sewing machine off and made textile table bread baskets from recycled materials, and vintage tea cup candles. We’ve also received embroidered Loaf couches. You may have seen these in the Cookery School being used to prove dough if you’ve done the Bread: Back to Basics course.

Baker Kids Christmas Cookery CourseShare a Skill - Last Christmas we invited all seven of our Baker nieces and nephews to the Cookery School for their very own course making bread, pizzas, pitta bread, humous and lots more. Then we sat down and tucked into our food creations for lunch. It was a fantastic opportunity to spend time together and teach them new cooking skills, especially as we don’t all live in the same city. And it went down a treat. We threw in some some baking gifts to unwrap too (novelty biscuit cutters etc).

Baker Kids Christmas Cookery CourseYou could try this in your own kitchen, or think of a different skill to share, or as an alternative plan a day trip somewhere fun together instead. Everyone has a skill, passion or place they’d love to visit with their loved ones. So be creative.

Try baking, making your own hamper or food related paraphernalia or go on an adventure somewhere new together as a family or group of friends.

If you’re still stumped – here’s a little bit of Loaf help along the way. Try the following:

  • Bake – Bake beautiful bread to your heart’s delight. Make you’re own bread using peels, baskets, scrapers & knifes, or give the gift of bread making equipment from the Loaf Cookery School.
  • Read Up – Pick up a bread making or foraging book then recreate the magic in your own kitchen or give a gift to a loved one. Check out our Mini Loaf Bookstore  (pictured below) in the Cookery School. We currently have: Dough by Richard Bertinet ; Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley; & Food for Free- by Richard Mabey. We’ve also got The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard coming soon.
  • Give the Gift of Learning -  buy a Gift Voucher for a loved one at Loaf Cookery School.

For any of the above pop into the Cookery School, call 0121 458 7682 or email Nancy on info@loafonline.co.uk . Unfortunately we cannot deliver books or cookery school equipment by post.

Gift VoucherMini Loaf Bookstore

 

Coming up next week… our Shellfish course

October 17th, 2013

Seafood Two: Shellfish course

This Wednesday 23rd October – 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

Being one of the furthest cities in the UK from the coast it’s not surprising that so many of us in Birmingham love seafood but don’t know where to start when it comes to shellfish preparation. It’s a forgotten food skill that our coastal ancestors would have passed down through generations, but in recent years we’ve begun to lose.

Seafood Two: Shellfish. Photo: Jane Baker

Here’s how the evening will look…

Shellfish Masterclass

  • Clean, prepare, and cook a range of shellfish such as crabs, oysters, and lobster.
  • Master how to cook beautiful Asian & European style shellfish dishes.
  • Take away tips and recipes to create the magic at home in your own kitchen.
  • Under the expert guidance of fish expert Lap-fai Lee

Evening Meal included
Enjoy a fantastic shellfish feast such as crab linguine, dressed oysters, and chargrilled squid, at the end of the evening.

Receive a Loaf Loyalty Card for future discounts on Real Bread in the shop.

Seafood Two: Shellfish. Photo: Jane Baker

Afterwards why not take a visit to to the fantastic wholesale fish market in Birmingham city centre brimming with a wide range of fish and shellfish, and begin to create the magic again at home.

For more info and to book click here Seafood Two: Shellfish

And if f you like the sound of this why not try our Seafood One: Fish course two

Indian Flatbread Workshop – with Gujarati food expert, Mohini Howard

October 3rd, 2013

Indian Flatbread Workshop - Weds 6 November 2013, 6.30pm to 9.30pm. 

This is a one -off workshop, so places are limited and book fast.

If you were here for our Pop-up Paratha event back in September, you’ll remember how tasty  Mohini’s massala stuffed indian flatbreads were. So, with such interest, we’ve decided to put on an Indian Flatbread course to teach you the secrets too.

Mohini Howard pop-up paratha event

Returning as our guest tutor Gujarati food expert, Mohini Howard, will take us through making a basic wheat-based dough, which will be rolled by us into chapattis, puris and parathas. We’ll also be making Mohini’s great potato massala stuffing for parathas. We’ll then move on to a maize flour paste which is turned into a Gujarati classic – rotla.  We’ll then finish up by cooking our chosen breads and sharing them together with Mohini’s killer daal and if you’re lucky some homemade chai.

Dosa, the classic south Indian rice-based flatbread is not covered on this course, but has a course all of it’s own – check it out here.

The Indian Flatbread Workshop Costs £50 (including VAT). 

For more information and to book click here

Pop-up Paratha event

Birmingham Post Review – Forage and Cook Course

October 3rd, 2013

If you missed it, last week we had another wonderful piece of press coverage in the Birmingham Post, thanks to feature writer Mary Griffin.

Mary, who rolled up her foraging sleeves and joined us, alongside other course participants including Halo Garrity, Rob Walker, Dave Smith, Chrissa Murrell and her husband Stu, discovered that you really can find bounteous edible wild foods on your urban doorstop. Even in Stirchley.

Birmingham Post, 25 Sept 2013

Birmingham Post, Life  (25 September 2013, page 11)

Mary’s list of wild foods found in Stirchley near Loaf included:

  • Hawthorn (whose berries can be used in a hedgerow jelly)
  • Sumac (the red conical flowers can be dried and sprinkled on a salad)
  • Wild cherries (Tom tells us where to look out for them around Birmingham)
  • Meadowsweet growing in the long grass (a little sprig can infuse tea or cream)
  • Horseradish (which we dig up a thumb-sized chunk of)
  • Nettles (Tom shows us which bits to pick and which to avoid) and vetch (with a peppery, rockety flavour)
  • Yarrow (a good substitute for lavender or rosemary)
  • Dead nettles (no sting and you can suck the nectar out of the flowers)
  • Himalayan balsam (a non-native invasive plant with tasty pink flowers)
  • Rowan (which makes a good jelly mixed with apples)
  • Wood avens (which can make dandelion and burdock if you infuse the root)
  • Rosehips (which make good syrup)

…as well as mint, sloes, elderberries, blackberries and hazelnuts.

Amazing really. And that’s just a small sample of hundreds of wild foods that can be found locally, and in cities across the UK.

Tom Baker leading the Forage and Cook course. Photo by Jane Baker

For more information and to book on any of our courses visit the Loaf Cookery School page

To read the review online visit the press section on our About Us page and click on the link to the Birmingham Post. Or if you have a printed copy, it’s on page 11 of the Life section.