Archive for May, 2012

Our first wood-fired loaves emerge

Looking only slightly trepidatious, Carrie takes the first loaf out of the oven . . .

It’s only perfect!

We’ll be working on adjusting our schedules and timings, on laying out appropriate amounts of wood for the fire, on getting the embers right and clearing the space for the bread to bake . . . it all takes time, but we’re progressing very well indeed just now!

Final cure hits 570C

Driving the thermometer right off the scale, our big wood-fired baking oven, straight from the Haussler manufacturing works in Germany, has completed its cycle of curing.  It felt pretty spectacular, but we have a lot of practising yet to do before we can be sure of breadmaking protocols.  That will come imminently, we’re confident!

An additional component of the curing process was getting sufficient updraft (2.3metres of stainless steel flue) and preventing downdrafts here on the fells of Sparty Lea.  The solution we found, which we have to say works absolutely brilliantly, eliciting even draw and totally eliminating downdraft gustings which had seen our eyes red in a smoke-filled kitchen, was a Wind-Kat designed and built in Germany, sourced and distributed by the friendly folks at and we’re grateful for an incredibly speedy delivery too!

Firing the oven!

It’s hard to believe, but we have finally fired our wood-burning bakery oven up at Elpha Green in Sparty Lea!  There are a total of 6 curing firings (using wood at 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and finally 18 kilos) until the oven has settled in, and we can begin to practise our baking.

We’re aiming for our first practise bake on Tuesday the 22nd of May, and meanwhile the whole bakery kitchen is coming together too, so our production of real home-baked bread will commence shortly thereafter.  It’s all very exciting indeed!

Although we’re about 2 weeks off schedule now, thanks to all that deluge of rain at the end of April, we’re pretty confident that we shall be able to offer our first breadmaking course in the Elpha Green bakery on Tuesday the 19th of June.  That will be our hugely popular Breadmaking for Beginners course.  Please contact Carrie immediately on 01434 618879 to book your place.