1.Local, stoneground flour
2.Water (more if its wholemeal flour - wholemeal keeps absorbing water after its made into dough)
3.Seasalt (has the potassium, magnesium and other trace minerals lacking in table salt)
4.Yeast (fresh or a sourdough starter)
5.Time & patience (rise once in warm area, re-shape, then leave to rise overnight - slowly risen bread is reportedly more easily digested)
6.Bake in a very hot oven and moisten with a spray of water.
That's it - Tom enjoys keeping things simple.
Tom gave away lots of bread baking tips and tales and I'm going to try and share the highlights with you now.
If anyone is reading this who attended the talk and feels I have neglected to mention a useful titbit of information, please feel free to comment.
We discovered that the history of civilisation is all about growing the grains that make the bread - flat bread to start with , then the canny Egytians sealed grains away for storage and accidentally invented sour dough.
Wealthy people always had white bread because it was harder to produce white flour.
'The upper crust' was eaten by the wealthier 'upper classes' because the bottom of the bread always got burnt.
My favourite tale from Tom's family baking heritage is that his grandad used to sleep on top of a huge container of raising dough, and would get woken as it tipped him of in the morning, all risen and ready to be baked!
Tom is involved with the Real Bread Campaign who have home baking advice and tips on how to source 'real bread' from local bakers.
If you check out the Bristol Local Food Directory you can find where to source fresh yeast and local flours.
After many bread baking dilemma questions were answered we got down to the business of sharing the bread. It was a fun evening so thanks to everyone who made it. We'd love to hear how people have got on with their new bread baking knowledge so do let us know. If you haven't given it a go yet here is the recipe Tom was using to make the dough last night.