As from Monday, I am going to start trading on my webshop for several reasons :-

  • I miss it and from the messages I am receiving from my customers so are they. 🙂
  • I need to get back to the baking for other people and not just my family as I am sure they are getting fed up of having to eat everything I bake.
  • I see that many other home bakers are offering their goods for sale by delivery or collection whilst following the social distancing rules. Also, cafes and restaurants are offering their goods as home delivery in the area and I want to remain part of this. I am worrying that my customers will go elsewhere and I will miss out and I want to keep my products out there for all to try. 🙂

On the home schooling front, we seem to have reached the point of having a routine that works for all of us. The children get their work done on a morning so that the afternoon is free to enjoy (as much as you can enjoy when stuck on lockdown). It is working out well and it means I am there as a teacher/mentor for the children for a few hours each day rather than having to pester them constantly all day to get their work done. Much calmer atmosphere all round and the bonus being that I have time to study on an afternoon or work on my blog or even relax a bit – sitting in the sunshine in the back garden would be a good idea!! I might have to do this today. 🙂

Yesterday morning I decided to bake a few ideas for the children to enjoy for their snack time or even breakfast – as I have two daughters who are rather fussy when it comes to breakfast. I checked what flour I had available as I knew I was running out, checked through a few recipes for bread based ideas then realising I didn’t have any strong white flour I went ahead and baked with standard plain flour instead. We made – I say we made – the children helped with the kneading of the dough and the rest of the work was left to me. One daughter hung around whilst the dough was proving and she was adamant that she wasn’t having anything to eat until the bread was baked. I think this was the decider for me as I baked the breads sooner than I should have just to feed a child. Don’t you just hate when that happens? Anyway the resultant bakes were Mini Chocolate Chunky Brioche Buns and Mini Salted Pretzels.

Mini Chocolate Chunky Brioches

The Chocolate Chunky Brioche Buns were not light and airy like typical Brioches probably due to the manhandling or rather child handling of the dough prior to proving. Also, I added cocoa to the dough but didn’t remove some of the flour to compensate for the cocoa. I think the big chunks of dark chocolate made up for the lack of lightness to the buns though as the children loved them. 🙂

Mini Salted Pretzels

The Mini Salted Pretzels seemed more suited to the plain flour as the resultant dough when baked produced an airy enough baked product. The plain flour in the recipe did not seem to change the texture too much although if the dough had been allowed to prove for longer I am sure the Pretzels would have risen more but due to an impatient child I couldn’t let this happen. I know I am too soft when it comes to my children but when they are complaining about having to wait for food you just have to cave and let them eat.

The recipes which I sort of followed but then didn’t as I changed the recipe to suit what I wanted to do are from the “Baking – A Commonsense Guide” published by Murdoch Books. This is one of newer books in my collection but it is actually quite an old book. There are so many recipes in it which I haven’t even tried yet and one of my favourite pastimes is looking through recipes, working out why certain ingredients are used, what would happen if I changed an ingredient and how to make the recipe healthier/suitable for other tastes (nut friendly) for instance.

Right back to the decision about what I am going to be baking next week. Think it may have to be something simple that will use up the ingredients I already have in stock. What I don’t want to be having to do is go to the supermarket too much ( fit it in with my own shopping) as I really don’t like supermarkets at the minute just like many other people. If my orders become enough that it makes it worthwhile to have ingredients delivered from one of the wholesalers in my area then I will start using those instead.

Hoping this lockdown doesn’t last forever but in the meantime I will be running my webshop following all the government guidelines :-

  • all contact free and social distancing will be adhered to.
  • No cash payments will be taken so all orders will have to paid for before collection or delivery can be completed.
  • Orders will be placed by email, private message on Facebook or via the webshop.
  • Payment can be made by bank transfer or through Paypal to my account.

Hope you find this acceptable. I haven’t decided about postal deliveries as I have read so many stories of customers not receiving their orders on time and then the bakes are going out of date. I don’t want to put any more pressure on the Royal Mail deliveries so it may be made by contact free collection or social distancing delivery to your door only at the present time sorry. 🙁 In the mean time I will be researching the different parcel collection and delivery services available for me to make use of – maybe I will change to one of them instead of using Royal Mail 🙂