Learn to bake Real Bread – Kilkenny, Tipperary and Wicklow/Cork #realbreadireland

One of the aims of Real Bread Ireland is to help people rediscover the art of baking real bread at home. These are the members that run baking sessions:

Speltbaker, Kilkenny

These will run every second weekend starting on 14th/15th February. The bake house is small and numbers are limited to 5 per day. Because of this small number, we can tailor the course to individual requirements and make whatever people want to learn or have the biggest problems with.

Saturday is “the full Irish” and work on Soda breads, railway cake, fruit scones, stripy cats, apple tarts and such like and

Sunday is the continental day with yeast, sourdough and brioche dough, with loaves, rolls,  stromboli and pizza. 

The days are scheduled to run from 2-6pm on Saturdays and Sunday with tea and coffee at the start and a glass of wine with whatever we managed to make at the end of the day. We will supply all that is required for the days baking and people will receive a folder with recipes, addresses etc.

Cost is set at €60 per day or €100 per weekend. Contact Josephine on ideasunlimited@eircom.net for more information

Riot Rye, Tipperary

Joe Fitzmaurice does both Sourdough and Introduction to Baking courses. This is the information on his Sourdough:

Sourdough Course

8 places, €95 per person, 1 day course
Saturdays – 28th Feb 2015, 14th & 28th March, 25th April 2015 with more dates to follow
11am-5:30pm, lunch included

You will learn

  • how to make flavoursome and highly nutritious sourdough breads
  • how to start and maintain a sourdough starter
  • how to manage the fermentation and flavour of your doughs
  • about the nutritional benefits and digestability of sourdough breads
  • You will gain an understanding of how to blend flours and flavours and refresh your sourdough starters. Using temperature and various fermentation techniques, you will learn how to work with the subtle and complex textures, flavours and forms of your breads.

You will bring home with you a selection of breads, fresh sourdough starter and the confidence to bake real bread at home!

Find out more on his website.

Firehouse Bakery

The most obvious place for a baker based in Delgany to run baking courses is in West Cork. On an island….

We limit our class numbers to ensure each course is personailized. Throughout the day you will work side by side with Patrick as he introduces you to the versatile world of real bread, no square and pre-sliced loaves here.

By the day’s end you will have produced authentic soda bread, seen your yeasted loaves rise and tasted both sweet and savoury treats. You might even get to meet the king of the bread basket, sourdough.

Where possible each course will be tailored to the needs, abilities and interests of the group. If you have a particular interest please let us know.

Course includes:

Return ferry to Heir Island
Full day hands on baking experience
Bake your very own hand made bread in a wood fired clay oven
Lunch with wine, with Roaringwater Bay serving as the back drop
An artisan baker’s goodie bag to take home
And as much freshly baked bread as you can carry
Split tins, cob loaves, pizzas, flat breads, foccacias, cinnamon swirls and a whole lot more are all waiting for you at the Firehouse Bakery and Bread school. Book your place today!

Timings: 10:30 am – 5:30pm Ferry from Cunnamore Pier at 10am ( Sundays 9.30am) Returns at 6pm

Cost: €110 per person

Check out their website for more details but as of the date of this post the 23rd June is the earliest there is space available! They also run evening courses in Delgany, equally booked out.

Keith

BiabeagOnline.com – buying small scale Irish food products online

UPDATE 11:50 – I can see the site via iPhone over same wifi network but not on laptop on two different browers, Update again in a minute.

UPDATE 11:46 11th Dec – right now (8minutes after the blog post!) that website is down. It is hosted on wordpress.com so it is extremely unusual to see that. I had just purchased the domain name and tested that it was working so it maybe related to that. I’ll update again when up.

One of the ways in which small scale Irish food producers can survive and thrive is to develop alternative distribution and sales channels.

In some cases those channels fully substitute for working with distributors and/or retailers (either independent or multiples) and in other cases they are in addition to those.

When I worked with Bord Bia previously on this there were significant challenges to making a success of online retail – everything from the technology (websites, shopping carts and payment processing) through to fulfilment of multiple small orders.

It has gotten a lot easier and many more producers have moved to develop online stores – so many that when I finally got around to developing a quick guide/directory over Christmas I found more than I had anticipated and have been adding 3 or 4 a week as I see them. (There are no multiple retailers listed because they don’t need this assistance.)

The results are up on www.biabeagonline.com and it would be great if this makes it easier for small producers to sell and for us as consumers to find great food online – whether for regular purchases or irregular gifts and treats :-)

Some quick stats based on first 56 inclusions:

Screenshot 2015-01-11 11.31.31

Thats a lot of food producers selling their products with some of them using subscription packages to make it commercially viable and others like Real Italian Foodies curating a selection of products to make individual sales bigger.

As you can see online also makes it easier to reach niche food audiences and for those audiences to find relevant and suitable products.

If you find one I’ve missed please let me know in the comments and if there are inaccuracies point them out to me :-)

Keith

Food Producer Business – Starter Kit

This is a round up of a couple of different things I have referred to across different accounts and media. Aimed at anyone who is considering starting a business but especially a food product one in Kilkenny.

Farmers Markets:

You will want to test your product on real people. Farmers markets are the most popular and best way of doing this. Kilkenny has one every Thursday on the Parade outside the Castle. Here is Josephine, Spelt Bakers stall there:

Screenshot 2015-01-03 16.14.22

Food Production:

With initial production likely to be in your kitchen at home (unless you have very specific requirements) after a while you will hopefully need to produce in higher volumes. There is a commercial kitchen available to rent in Kilkenny

Further details:

  • 6 ring industrial gas hob / oven
  • Industrial fridge
  • industrial glass washer
  • Upright stainless steel deepfreeze
  • Double drainer sink and separate hand washing sink
  • PVC clad walls throughout
  • Industrial wall sockets and tiled floor with stainless steel gullies
  • Electricity and gas supply metered

For more information contact Kevin Mahon on +353 (86) 828 6863

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Office space:

Not an problem initially but occasionally you might want to find a space to do your marketing and admin in. The newly launched (available from mid January) shared work space New Work Junction offers an affordable and professional working environment.

Screenshot 2015-01-03 16.22.47

Commercial Focus:

With a multiplicity of startup programs around 2013 saw the beginning of one that has gained a great reputation. The Food Academy is run by Bord Bia and the local Enterprise Offices with the Support of Musgraves. Right now I can’t find an up to date website for it but check this Fingal LEO link for some info and contact your local LEO office.

Food Academy Start Logo

Keith

Biabeag – WordPress generated 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Decided to include it as a blog post :-)

Some of the stats are kinda interesting.

K

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Buying Irish artisan food online – list of sources

An increasingly useful option for small scale Irish food producers is to at least supplement their sales via retailers with an online store. This won’t always be appropriate or successful but it has gotten a hell of a lot easier in the last couple of years.

Finding those online store options can be difficult for consumers and I know that I have seen announcements almost weekly on Facebook for the last 3 or 4 months.

https://biabeagonline.wordpress.com

A new project (to make good use of my Christmas downtime) is to bring a list of those online sites together in one place. Nothing fancy but hope it helps. If you know of any relevant sites that are not there please let me know in the comments here :-)

Screenshot 2014-12-27 15.48.09

thanks, Keith

Videos of Meet the Chocolate Makers @thetrufflefairy @BLYSS_choc @Beanandgoose

Thanks as ever to Ken McGuire, AnyGivenFood, for videoing and editing/design of these rough cuts of the evening. This was a fixed camera as he had to head away but captured most of the evening :-)

And thanks to the crowd who turned up, to Julie and Rod Calder Potts for their work in hosting and to Karen, Mary and Lyss for sharing their passion and stories with us :-)

Karen Keane, Bean and Goose

Mary Teehan, Truffle Fairy

Alyssa Jade McDonald, Blyss Chocolate

Keith