Scandinavian Rye Bread: Hearty and Wholesome

As the traditional bread of Scandinavia with variants from region to region, Scandinavian rye bread is noted for it’s sweet and sour taste, dense texture and complex enticing flavours produced through its sourdough fermentation process. As a nation known for being big bread lovers, Scandinavian rye bread is distinguished as being healthier, darker and denser, containing more nutrients.

Rye was and still is a key ingredient to many traditional rye and pumpernickel breads. Dark rye bread was considered a staple through the Middle ages and many different types of rye grain have originated from central, eastern and western Europe. Historically, rye was common in the Nordic countries. Vikings were the first people to grow this type of grain and believed that rye provided them increased amount of strength and sustenance.

Scandinavians have been using rye flour for generations in making their signature wholesome hearty rye loaves. Dense, moist and flavorsome, rye is often combined with caraway seeds, oats and barley to create lighter rye bread.

Did you know?

Scandinavians invented Smørrebrød (pronounced shmur-brugh), a traditional Nordic open sandwich consisting of rye bread and topped with various fillings. The sourdough rye is usually buttered to stop the fillings soaking the bread. The choice of toppings are endless and can range from cold cut meats and cheeses, spreads and fresh herbs, vegetables and salad. Dating back to the 19th century, Scandinavian agricultural workers would have Smørrebrød for lunch using previous nights leftovers as fillings. Many note that the concept stemmed from the Middle ages when stale bread (called trencher) was service and used during meals to soak up juices and flavours of the accompanying food. Nowadays, open-faced sandwiches are eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner and can be served as a starter, main or desert!

Authentic and #realbread rye bread can be identified by its chewy, dense, sour, nutty and very filling form. Artisan bakers perfect the bread-making process (including the fermentation) to ensure that each loaf is a unique artisan experience.

Here at Dolce Forno we provide various rye breads. Serve your customers and guests open-sandwiches with our range of rye breads. Are you a cafe, venue or restaurant looking for a local supplier of fresh baked pugliese, ciabatta, sourdough and other artisan breads? Dolce Forno delivers freshly baked artisan breads and pastries within Hertfordshire, St Albans, Surrey, Berkshire, London and Buckinghamshire.

Contact us today to arrange a FREE sample tray of our artisan breads or pastries. Call our team at Dolce Forno Breads on 01727 762 456 or alternatively email  contact@dolceforno.co.uk to find out more.

Puglia – The Breadbasket of Italy

Italy’s answer to French Pain Rustique bread, Pugliese bread origins stem from the Puglia region of Italy, in the Southeastern “heel” or “boot” of the country.

Puglia is widely known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland and wide tranquil scape of Mediterranean coastline. Its attractions include the vibrant port Capital Bari and the historic city Lecce, being the ‘Florence of the South’ for inspiration baroque architecture. The small town of Alberobello is famous for it’s preserved and unique historical trulli buildings, which are small dwellings built from the local limestone with dry-stone walls and conical roof.

Puglia is also Italy’s top regional produced of olive oil with approximately 40% of total output with an estimated 60 million olive trees. Making it heavenly liquid gold within local recipes and dishes.

Puglia’s overall landscape and blissful settings is as memorable, satisfying and historically rich as their signature bread. It’s often noted as the breadbasket of Italy.

Puglia, or Apulia has a long tradition of bread making dating back to the Roman empire. Pugliese bread has small holes due to the dough being stretched and folded at intervals during the bread making process. This gives the final load a chewy heavenly texture. This artisan handmade bread often crafted with lots of extra virgin olive oil is produced through a slow fermentation process for a greater depth of flavour. From wet dough a pre-ferment is made (often known as a starter). Some of the finely milled flour is mixed with water and yeast and left overnight to develop flavour. The following day, the dough is mixed with the remaining ingredients. Pugliese bread is typically shaped as a batard (oval) or a round loaf with a dimpled top. It is then processed with long slow rises before being baked.

The recipe for Pugliese bread also requires a Biga, an important step within Italian baking. A type of pre-fermentation that adds complexity to the bread’s flavour and provides the light, open texture whilst helping to preserve the bread by making it less perishable.

Like all good things in life Pugliese bread requires dedication, skill, patience and time – and can never be rushed. Its flavour is enhanced by a long fermentation period making it a crucial step within its production. A remarkable and distinguishable flavour you can enjoy.

Its light, airy and moist and sometimes complimented with the flavours of basil or freshly hand-stripped rosemary to create a gourmet aroma and memorable taste. It’s soft porous and moist interior contrasts with a thin, light and crisp crust. Beautifully caramelised crust and chewy textured interior. The handcrafted bread is great with prosciutto, salami and similar fillings. Pugliese bread is great for making sandwiches or simply dipping into olive oil.

Are you a cafe, venue or restaurant looking for a local supplier of fresh baked pugliese, ciabatta, sourdough and other artisan breads? Dolce Forno delivers freshly baked artisan breads and pastries within Hertfordshire, St Albans, Surrey, Berkshire, London and Buckinghamshire.
Contact us today to arrange a FREE sample tray of our artisan breads or pastries. Call our team at Dolce Forno Breads on 01727 762 456 or alternatively email contact@dolceforno.co.uk to find out more.

The French Baguette

The ‘baguette’ is considered one of the iconic symbols of French culture. A traditional baguette is made with wheat flour, water, yeast and salt, and consists of a crisp crust filled with a soft, fluffy centre.

Like Italy, France has a strong history in bread. Long wide loaves of bread have been around since the time of Louis XIV, and thin ones since the mid-18th century. It’s increasing availability was due to the cheapness of wheat during the 19th century. This meant that white bread was no longer exclusively for the rich.

The first steam oven was brought to the city of Paris in the early 19th century by an Austrian office. This was also when the the croissant was introduced. With the use of deck and steam ovens, loaves could be baked to produce a crisp crust and white airy centre. Deck/steam ovens are a combination of a gas-fired traditional oven and brick oven, a thick ‘deck’ of stone or firebrick heated by natural gas instead of wood.

In 1920, a law passed that prevented french workers to start work from 4.00am. This made it impossible for bakers to get the bread cooked in time for customers’ breakfast. The solution was… to make bread into long thin forms, allowing them to cook faster – and just in time for breakfast!

Interesting Facts about the French Baguette

  • The baguette was not labelled the ‘baguette’ until the 1920s. Stemming from the latin word baculum which became baccheto (Italian) meaning staff or stick.
  • The average French man eats a half a baguette a day, compared with almost a whole baguette in 1970 and more than three in 1900.
  • National law dictates that ‘French’ bread should contain only flour, yeast, salt and water.
  • Baguettes are now widely eaten as sandwiches. Cut a baguette in half then slice each half along the middle. The bread is versatile enough to be sweet or savoury and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • March 21st is National French Bread Day.
  • According to a legend, it was Napoleon who asked for the baguette to have a long shape. This made it easier for his soldiers to carry their bread around down their pants while in the battlefield.
  • In 2013, a Parisian baker installed the first vending machine for baguettes, available 24/7!

There are ways of telling the difference between a artisan produced baguette and one from a supermarket… Many feel the loaf will smell much more strongly of bread, the crust tends to be darker and richer and the interior is usually a cream colour rather that pure white.

So while you enjoy the memorable taste, texture and sight of the beloved french baguette – take a bite and think about the long history this magic baton has created since its beginnings!

Are you a cafe, venue or restaurant looking for a local supplier of fresh baked ciabatta, sourdough and other artisan breads? Dolce Forno delivers freshly baked artisan breads and pastries within Hertfordshire, St Albans, Surrey, Berkshire, London and Buckinghamshire.

Contact us today to arrange a FREE sample tray of our artisan breads or pastries. Call our team at Dolce Forno Breads on 01727 762 456 or alternatively email contact@dolceforno.co.uk to find out more.

Cake for every occasion

Will there be cake at the event?

Everyone knows what cake is. A sweet dessert, typically baked with the main ingredients comprising of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, baking powder/soda or oil. Nowadays, cakes are made from various combinations – with thousands of recipes developed and passed down generation by generation.Served as a celebratory dish on big occasions such as someone’s birthday, wedding or anniversary, times have changed and we consume a sweet slice of cake whenever or whenever!

Cake has always been part of life…

According to food historians, the first culture to show evidence of baking and an interest in cake were the ancient Egyptians. However, their cakes were more bread-like and in substitute for sugar, honey was used.

Did you know…

  • The term “cake” has a long history, with it’s origins from the Old Norse word “kaka”.
  • In ancient times cakes were used as offerings to gods and spirits around the world
  • The Chinese celebration of the Harvest Moon Festival included moon cakes to honour the moon goddess
  • Russians have sun cakes called blini to pay their respects to a deity called Maslenitsa
  • Ancient Celtics rolled cakes down a hill during the Beltane festival
  • Medieval European bakers often produced fruitcakes and gingerbread which could last for months

However, the precursor of modern round cakes were first baked in Europe during the mid 17th century, due to the advances in technology such as more reliable ovens, availability and production of food holds and ingredients (such as refined sugar). It wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that cakes were produced with extra refined white flour and baking powder instead of yeast.

People still consider cake to be the wow factor to every occasion whether it’s a meeting, corporate or launch event. Cakes have certainly kept their image as ‘treats’ which emphasises importance. We certainly believe cake is for every occasion!

For us at Dolce Forno, each cake is a work of art and we truly believe in the artisan and handcrafted experience. Each cake is created without machinery and solely just the skilled hands of bakers.

 

The Renaissance of Craft Bakeries and #RealBread

Similar to craft breweries, there has been a surge and demand for artisan and handcrafted bakeries and #realbread in recent years. More consumers, not solely in the UK but internationally, are demanding new pleasures in taste and textures within their white, brown and multi-grained bread. In addition, they have also become more interested in the methodology and processes behind what they consume.
All breads were “artisan” in the earlier days prior to mass produced and supermarket bread. It was long before preservatives were added so it could be stored for longer periods of time. It is during this time bakers really were able to demonstrate and develop their craft and skill in producing delicious baked goods with fresh, quality ingredients coupled with their enthusiasm and passion.
Now, collectively we’ve become a nation passionate about #realbread – with no generational gap when it comes to good real bread. It can bring us to our childhood or even spark new memories by the people we share it with. This is one of the key factors of “artisan” bread which essentially makes it timeless.
The label ‘artisan’ in respect of food denotes, none-tech-assisted methods, high-quality ingredients and truly skilled – we truly provide this in each loaf, bun, cake and pastry we offer. At Dolce Forno Bread, we are aware that our customers take consideration about what goes into the final product – the ideas and concepts, the process, right through to the final result.
This #realbread renaissance is truly evolving, and Dolce Forno are proud to be part of the movement.

Are you a cafe, venue or restaurant looking for a local supplier of fresh baked ciabatta, sourdough and other artisan breads? Dolce Forno delivers freshly baked artisan breads and pastries within Hertfordshire, St Albans, Surrey, Berkshire, London and Buckinghamshire.

Call our team at Dolce Forno Breads on 01727 762 456 or alternatively email contact@dolceforno-breads.co.uk to find out more about our craft artisan bakery and breads delivery services.

 

Let them eat brioche!

Brioche
A light sweet yeast bread typically in the form of a small round roll.

It wasn’t cake that Marie Antoinette wanted to feed to the French. Her instructions were actually, “Let them eat brioche.” Brioche is certainly as rich and buttery as cake, but that’s where the similarities end.

It is more of a bread than it is a cake. Yeast-risen with a chewy, bread-like interior. Traditionally, brioche is formed into loaf-sized or smaller dinner roll-sized “brioche à tête” (“tête” translates as “head” – perhaps in homage to the unfortunate Marie Antoinette…).

Brioche

Not exactly sweet and not exactly savoury – brioche is a fantastic bread for any meal of the day. Some prefer spreading their favourite jam or chocolate spread. Brioche burgers have become a major trend in the past few years with restaurants up and down the country taking advantage of the contrasting flavours and texture of the burger and bun. It’s also a great companion for a hot soup – especially as we approach the nippy Autumn evenings.

Let them eat brioche during your next breakfast meeting or corporate briefing! Dolce Forno delivers freshly baked artisan breads and pastries within Hertfordshire, St Albans, Surrey, Berkshire, North London or Buckinghamshire.

Call our team at Dolce Forno Breads on 01727 762 456 or alternatively email contact@dolceforno-breads.co.uk to find out more about our craft artisan bakery and breads.

hand crafted breads

Conversation and Croissants

Croissant
French crescent-shaped roll made of sweet flaky yeast dough, eaten for breakfast.

A cornerstone of French pastry – the croissant is known internationally. We know that everyone eats it differently depending on preferences.

Should you add butter, marmalade or strawberry jam or should you go for the savoury option with ham or cheese? Warm it up or keep cold? Cut in half or hold it all together?

Tasty, small packages of folded buttery dough that has been handcrafted into the shape of golden crescent smile to brighten up your day. How should you really eat a croissant?

How do you eat a croissant?

  • Go Savoury
    Whether it’s cooked, preserved meats such as pastrami, salami, Parma ham or perhaps Cheese whether it’s sliced, melted – soft or hard cheese. Eggs scrambled or fried. The options are endless and the croissant is as versatile as sliced bread.
  • Get Sweet
    If you have a sweet tooth – chocolate spread would make the croissant even more divine. Perhaps add jam (whether its homemade or bought from the supermarket) or Sevillian orange marmalade. Some argue you don’t have to add butter to an all-butter croissant. But if you’re like us – adding another level of luxury is a guilty pleasure! Spread it on! You can also purchase/order Almond Croissants or Pain au Chocolat if you’re looking for straightforward no-hassle divine sweetness!
  • Back to Basics
    Why add things to it when you can savor the croissant for all its golden glory and richness of life? Wrap one end with a napkin and tissue; eat from one end to the other. This ensures it maintains its form and prevents it breaking and falling apart! Some croissant lovers enjoy it simply with a creamy coffee, which adds a complimentary bitter flavor to intensify the sweet elements of the pastry. Some enjoy it with freshly squeezed orange juice.

Perfectly flaky and buttery pastry. Crispy and soft with a glorious flavour. Are we making you hungry?

Looking for freshly baked croissants for your conference, meeting or event? Dolce Forno delivers freshly baked artisan breads and pastries within Hertfordshire, St Albans, Surrey, Berkshire, London and Buckinghamshire.

Call our team at Dolce Forno Breads on 01727 762 456 or alternatively email contact@dolceforno-breads.co.uk to find out more about our craft artisan bakery and breads delivery services.

Viennoiserie - Dolce Forno Breads

What is Viennoiserie?

Viennoiserie
A baked product made in a similar manner to bread, but with ingredients giving them a sweeter, heavier quality closer to pastry.

Not many people are aware of term viennoiserie. Viennoiserie covers a range of pastries and baked goods including the delicious and irresistible pain au chocolat, cinnamon pain au raisin, small brioches (briochettes) and pastries with an apple/apricot filling. Invented the mid- 1800s, the art of viennoiserie is now widely well known across the world. This is mainly due to the undoubtedly popular and buttery, layered, rich and golden croissant – which we all love.

Now it’s been argued that the croissant isn’t actually French. Many emphasise the croissant’s ancestry to originate from Austria. The story goes that after a failed attack by the Turks during the Siege of Vienna in 1683, Viennese bakers produced pastries to celebrate, shaping it to in the form of the crescent they saw on the flags of the Ottoman Turks. With the German name for crescent ‘kipfel’ becoming popular in Vienna soon after…

The story continues on that in 1770, the Austrian Princess Marie Antoinette travelled to France to marry King Louis XVI. In her honor, Parisian bakers made similar pastries to Kipfel, coining the French term, croissant. Croissants became as popular as kipfel in Austria, perfected by artisans through the craft and technique.

This technique for producing viennese specialties is positioned between the craft of the Boulanger (baker) and the work of a patissier (pastry maker). Made with a yeast-leavened dough, which has similar qualities to bread making, butter, eggs, milk, sugar and cream are added to the dough to sweeten and bring them towards pastry making.

Popular within the range of viennoiserie are many of today’s favourites:

· Croissants

· Pain au chocolat

· Pain aux raisins

· Brioche

· Baguette viennoise

· Chausson aux pommes

Typically eaten at breakfast, but now eaten at any time of day. High quality viennoiserie goods from an artisan bakery combine great taste with excellent texture and aesthetics.

Now viennoiserie goods are available in corporate and company meetings, conferences, trade shows right through to hospitality, hotels and members clubs.

Looking for an artisan bakery? We deliver freshly baked and handcrafted breads, pastries and viennoiserie goods within Hertfordshire, St Albans, Surrey, Berkshire, North London or Buckinghamshire.

Bring a touch of Viennese and Parisian culture to your next corporate event or meeting. Call our team at Dolce Forno Breads on 01727 762 456 or alternatively email contact@dolceforno-breads.co.uk to find out more about our viennoiserie and craft baked goods.