The Next Loaf – Aug 23
I’m Rebecca Bishop – AKA The Next Loaf – the founder of Two Magpies Bakery and recently published author of the baking book ‘Two Magpies Bakery’ founder Rebecca Bishop (AKA “The Next Loaf”). Each month my new baking column will feature baking tips and trends, recipes plus recommendations for books, ingredients and equipment to help you bake more beautifully.
In recent years I’ve focused on sharing baking skills and recipes through my writing and in-person baking classes, currently held at Two Magpies bakery, Darsham. My new business venture, ‘The Next Loaf’ will soon be running baking classes online and from various venues around East Anglia – including small classes in my own home. Class content will range from sourdough and yeasted breads, viennoiserie, pizza and delicious wholesome cakes and bakes. More details and dates to follow in subsequent months. To get the latest information sign up for my newsletter www.thenextloaf.co.uk or follow me on Instagram @thenextloaf
This month I’m mainly using…
My Ooni woodfired pizza oven. With August’s warm evenings upon us I like to be outside as much as possible. I make my pizza dough the day before (it also freezes well so good when it’s too hot to be in the kitchen) then assemble my family’s favourite toppings. Once your pizza oven is seriously hot shape your dough, I do two at a time, laying each base on a bed of semolina whilst everyone chooses their favourite toppings. The semolina makes it easy to swiftly scoop the dough onto your peel then into the oven to bake for 1-2 minutes – turning frequently to prevent scorching. I like to drizzle salsa verde over my pizza after baking for colour and freshness
What I’m reading
Have you come across The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit? Published by Bloomsbury back in 2010, its’s been my go-to book for years. The book is divided into flavour themes (meaty, cheesy, woodland and floral fruity) and is such a great source of inspiration. This modern classic is also a great bedside read and the birthday gift I always buy for fellow foodies.
What I’ve been baking…
Have you ever baked with rye flour? It’s got a bit of a bad rep for being tricky (and sticky) but it’s well worth mastering its idiosyncrasies for that deliciously tangy taste. I’ve been working on a couple of ideas using dark rye flour from Hodmedods, a wonderful Suffolk grain and pulse company www.hodmedods.co.uk
My favourite recipe so far is rye with raisins, toasted coriander seeds with a touch of barley malt for sweetness. Recipe coming soon!
When you’re combining wet ingredients (such as the beaten egg white in this month’s recipe) with dry ingredients, just add a small amount to begin (no more than a quarter). At this stage you can use a fairly heavy hand to loosen the mix and remove any lumps, then gently fold in the remainder of the wet ingredients in small increments without losing the aeration.
All the gear
It’s worth investing in a couple of heavy-duty baking trays to ensure an even colour on your bakes – flimsy trays tend to buckle and twist in the oven. I also line my trays with a silicone mat when I’m baking cookies to help reduce the clean-up at the end.
Cherry Bakewell Ice Cream Cookies
Serve up a plateful of cookies and this hack version of cherry almond ice-cream then let family and friends go wild creating their own version of perfection.
Makes 6 sandwiches (or 12 cookies)
• 250g round almonds
• 25g light brown sugar
• 125g caster sugar
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp almond extract
• 90g egg white (approx. 3 eggs)
• 50g icing sugar (to dust the cookies)
• 50g flaked almonds (raw)
Ice cream filling (optional)
• 200g fresh cherries
• 100g toasted flaked almonds
• 1 tub vanilla ice cream
Preheat your oven to 175°C fan. Prepare your baking sheet with lining paper or a silicone mat.
Weigh the almonds, brown sugar, caster sugar, baking powder and almond extract into a large bowl. Mix to combine, rubbing the essence into the dry ingredients.
Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, whip the egg whites for 6-10 minutes until stiff peaks have formed. Fold the egg white gradually into the almond mix (see my ‘baking know-how’ above) then portion the mix into 40g balls. Place the balls of cookie dough into your baking sheet and gently press down to create a 5mm thin disc (aim to make all your cookies the same size so that you can ‘sandwich’ them together later).
Push some flaked almonds onto the top of each cookie and dust generously with icing sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes until crisp and golden then allow to cool.
To make your sandwich filling allow a tub of good quality vanilla ice-cream (I love Suffolk meadow www.suffolkmeadow.co.uk) to soften slightly then combine with chopped fresh cherry and toasted flaked almonds. Re-freeze until spreadable then serve with the cookies (or assemble beforehand and store in your freezer).
Want to raise your baking game? From January 2024 ‘The Next Loaf’ will be hosting monthly baking classes for a maximum of 6 people in Wenhaston, Suffolk. Suitable for beginners or bakers looking for more consistency and challenge, we’ll be mixing, shaping and baking our way through an exciting range of classes. To keep up to date with all the latest news and class dates sign up for my newsletter www.thenextloaf.co.uk
Waterloo Farm classes
On the 22 and 23 August I’m excited to be offering sourdough bread baking courses to raise important funds in support of a new local environmental charity, Natural Habitat. They’ll be taking place at beautiful Waterloo Farm, just outside Halesworth, and will cover the fundamentals of sourdough baking – including wood-fired sourdough pizza for lunch! Email me to book your place.
22 & 23 Sourdough baking classes at
Aug Waterloo Farm, Halesworth
Baking demonstration and book signing at Holkham food festival
23/24 Baking demonstration and book Sept signing at Aldeburgh food and drink festival (day TBC)