People keep on asking what you’ll need to set up a Bread Church or more specifically “where do you get the stuff from?”
The answer to that is basically, not very much and you can just use whatever bowls you have around. But for those of you who are thinking of larger numbers attending or want to get more consistent equipment and supplies here is my list of Bread Church supplies (click on the item and the link will take you to the website to buy the items).
Plastic bowls – these are best. Cheap, long lasting and unbreakable! We suggest you choose the large size for 500g bread flour mixes and for the super scones at 700g flour.
Dough scrapers – these are ideal. Good to use with their curved edge to get out all your lovely dough mixture and easy to clean.
Scales – this is a bit of a ‘what you like yourself’ matter. I go for digital scales beacuse the measurement is more consistent. This type of digital scale is ideal but be careful with it as it has a raised glass top which is great for seeing the amounts but can be fragile and needs handling with care. The other alternative are these more traditional scales. Solid and old fashioned dependable. More expensive so you may just buy a couple to be used at a centre table.
Measuring jugs – these are good. Up to a litre which is fine for the amount of water for two people to share using our 500g bread recipe. Again plastic so easy clean and unbreakable. They also stack easily which is useful if you are making your Bread Church mobile.
Foil containers – we have found using these works very well. Ideal because folk get quite ‘attached’ to their bread and people can write their name on their loaves to make sure they get theirs back from the oven. Just get folk to write their name on the foil container before the dough goes in using these pens. As long as folk are careful the tins can be reused again and again and when they finally are past using they can be readily put in the recycling. Two sizes. No. 6a are the larger size and we use two per person to produce two great loaves from the 500g flour mix. The smaller one, no. 2, are good for two tins per person for a 300g flour mix which we use with introductory groups and visits to venues such as schools.
Linen napkins – we use these to cover the dough while it rises and then again to cover the dough when shaped and in the tins. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour to make sure it doesn’t stick and cover with these cloths. Just the right size for up to four large tins and used with these baking trays on which we fit up to six large tins ready to go in the oven together.
Bread flour – again this is readily available from your local store. Just make sure it says Strong Bread Flour. We always use white strong bread flour as the basic ingredient as it is easy to work, gives a good rise and bakes well. A mix of half white strong bread flour and half stoneground wholemeal or eight grain (granary) flour also works well. These mixed flours may need a little more water, take a bit more working and welcome a longer rising time but do produce a more satisfying loaf in terms of texture and flavour. Although the bags come in various sizes, if you want to buy in bulk I would recommend the following flour in 16kg bags from Matthews Cotswold Flour;
Strong white bread flour
Stoneground wholemeal bread flour
Eight grain (granary) bread flour
A tasty alternative is the ‘Cotswold Crunch’ strong bread flour.
Dried yeast – again you can get yeast from your local store. make sure you find dried easybake yeast rather than the ones that require adding to water and sugar before using. Its just a bit easier to use the sort you can add dry and simply mix in with the flour, salt and water. For bulk purchase we use Fermipan yeast.
Salt – we recommend using low sodium salt. No need to add to blood pressure and other issues! It is the flavour we want from the salt and no-one has ever noticed the difference using the low sodium salt.
If you think of any other supplies or ingredients that we can help you source do let us know and we’ll find it for you. Just go to the contact page.