Welcome to Bethesdabakin'

THIS August a gathering of bakers is taking place in the small town of Bethesda in North Wales.

Some are enthusiastic amateurs, others bake for a living. A few are somewhere between. Most have never met each other, but now consider themselves firm friends. All are passionate about baking real bread; the miracle of flour, yeast, salt and water.

All of this is largely due to the efforts of one person. Mick, the baker of Bethesda, who first conceived Bethesdabakin' earlier this year, and whose skills and indefagitable energy are an example to us all.

Mick first proposed this festival of bread on the forum of Dan Lepard's site, one of the great baking resources on the web. You can read his chronicles there, through the link on this page.

At present it looks as though at least two dozen bakers from all over Britain and the rest of the world will be descending on Bethesda for the bank holiday weekend. If you have stumbled on this site by chance, please feel free to join us. Sign up via membership of Dan Lepard's forum, where a charming lady called Teck Poh is taking names.

There is no admission charge, beyond your expenses, but everyone should expect to rise to the occasion, even if it is just to contribute a favourite recipe or help with the washing up.

We look forward to seeing everyone in August. Until then, peace and loaf -or should that be yeast and love - to you all!

April 25, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Earth Oven Building

Earth Oven Building at Bethesda
Preparations continue for the building of an earth oven as part of Bethesdabakin'.
Mick has been sending me soil samples from the Rugby Club grounds to test for suitability as a building material. The ideal soil will have a high ratio of clay to sand (we can always add sand to soil that doesn't have enough, but it's much more difficult to remove sand from a soil that has too much). So far we have not found the ideal soil but the hunt continues.
The plan is to build the oven over the Friday and Saturday. Friday we will be build the foundations and on Saturday we have the fun and messy job of building the walls. To get an idea of the processes involved look here: http://www.danlepard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=861
While at Bethesda please do drop by the oven building and lend your hands (and feet) to some mud wrangling. There is nothing quite as satisfying as baking a loaf that you have made with your bare hands in an oven you helped build with your bare hands. See you in the mud!