Bakery Cakes and other items

Recipes that wouldn’t darken the door of a patisserie but wholesome and tasty, nevertheless.

Bara Brith

Bara Brith is as Welsh as Welsh can be. It’s a speckled bread (bara – bread and brith – speckled) and was an 18th century embellishment on a somewhat plainer Welsh tea loaf. 

Every family in Wales has a hidden and treasured recipe for Bara Brith. Recipes are handed down from generation to generation, probably with a slight tweaking, like a culinary version of Chinese Whispers. Click to read more…

Beltane Hearth Bread

Welcome to another step-by-step recipe from BreadClub20. Why not drop by our main Facebook page by clicking here…. If you like what you see and enjoy the recipe, we hope you go on to join us by ‘Liking’ and ‘Subscribing’.

Beannachtai na Bealtaine!


When May 1st falls on a Sunday, it is doubly auspicious. It’s then that it’s properly Beltane. It’s halfway between the Spring equinox and the Summer solstice. Traditionally, it is a festival day in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. In Wales, we call it Calan Mai. In times gone by, special bonfires would be built to bless the fields, the animals and the community and feasts would be prepared. Families would bake Hearth bread – baked on the hearth – on a pan, griddle or stone in the ashes of the fire. Click to read more..

Beskuit – Rusks from Namibia

Welcome to another step-by-step recipe from BreadClub20. Why not drop by our main Facebook page by clicking here…. If you like what you see and enjoy the recipe, we hope you go on to join us by ‘Liking’ and ‘Subscribing’.Before the Great Pandemic of 2020, we had aspirations of travelling to South Africa. We’ve been to the north, to Egypt (www.manc-holidays.co.uk), into the Sahara and also to Morocco. Our daughter-in-law is Namibian and, although she has been ‘out of Africa’ for two decades, she still remembers with fondness the climate, the sights and sounds…and the cuisine. Click to read more….

Chelsea Buns

On the main road from Pimlico to Chelsea, just by Ranelagh House and Gardens is Jew’s Row. It’s by Grosvenor Row and not far from the Chelsea Hospital. 

Back in the early 18th century, The Chelsea Bun House was situated in Jew’s Row. Frequented by Royalty – Georges II and III, as well as Princess Caroline, Lord Ranelagh and Jonathan Swift, it was famous for its Easter Hot Cross Buns as well as the distinctive bun that took its name into history – the Chelsea Bun. 

The business survived until 1839, when the Chelsea Bun House was finally demolished. Founded by the Louden family,  David Louden eventually sold out to Richard Hand, known as ‘Captain Bun’. Richard’s wife continued to run the Bun House after his death. From son to son, the business continued until it closed in 1839 when the property reverted to the Crown and all the equipment was auctioned off. Click to read more….

Eccles Cakes

Eccles cakes are part of a Lancashire food tradition. We buy them today in small packets of four or five without giving a second thought to their origin. 

Traditionally eaten as an accompaniment to Lancashire cheese, be it young and creamy, crumbly or mature, the Lancashire Eccles cake was named after the town in Greater Manchester.

Locals will know it as ‘squashed fly cake’ or ‘fly pie’. It’s probably best described as a ‘cake’ although both the Eccles cake and the Barm cake do not fit into the traditional form of a ‘sponge’.  Click to read more….

Geoff’s Mam’s Parkin

I had a Facebook message today from an old school friend of mine who lives out in South Nanango in the South Burnett region of Queensland, Australia. 

I had to look up South Nanango on Google maps and had visions of it being in the middle of nowhere – all desert or bush, dust and kangaroos. Turns out it’s on the east coast, just a couple of hours north west of Brisbane. That’s almost ‘downtown’! Click to read more….

Ginger Loaf

Welcome to another step-by-step recipe from BreadClub20. Why not drop by our main Facebook page by clicking here…. If you like what you see and enjoy the recipe, we hope you go on to join us by ‘Liking’ and ‘Subscribing’.

There’s a generic term ‘gingerbread’ that seems to cover everything from a moist ginger loaf right through to a ginger ‘snap’. We make ginger ‘cake’, gingerbread men and houses, ginger snaps and ginger loaf. Each is different in their mix and very different in their look and taste. Click to read more…

Malt Loaf – the very best you’ll ever make

What do they say? If Carlsberg made malt loaf…..? 

The trouble is, I’m not a great fan of Carlsberg! 

However, let’s not dwell on that. A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for Malt Loaf. 

https://breadclub20.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-best-malt-loaf-youll-ever-make.html

At the time, I was looking for a recipe that that gave me that good old-fashioed taste of Soreen or Harvo. The taste of my childhood. Click to read more….

Parkin (Vegan)

Me and the wife and t’family of three

Went to Royton-by-the-sea

We watched clog dancers and listened to t’band

Then we went on Royton sands.

We were eating parkin, Click to read more…..

Pastel de Nata – Portuguese custard tarts

Pastel de nata is what Lisbon is all about. 

The small custard tarts were invented in the nearby Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Hieronymites Monastery) in the 17th century by the brothers of the Catholic order of St. Jerome. 

At that time, egg whites were commonly used to starch religious habits and using egg yolks for cakes became commonplace. 

When the monasteries were closed down after the Liberal Revolution of 1820, the religious brothers started selling pastel de nata on the street of Lisbon. Fourteen years later, in 1834, street selling ceased and production opened up again in 1837 at the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém. Click to read more….

Real Cornish Pasties

What’s this got to do with bread? 

Well, it’s simple really. I had to do a lot of research and homework to discover what made a real Cornish pasty. There are World Cornish Pasty Champions out there lovingly creating ‘ansome pasties and I wanted to discover their secrets. 

And I’ve found the key. They all use strong white bread flour in order to develop the gluten necessary to create a strong, yet pliable, pastry. Strong white bread flour is a staple in any bread baker’s kitchen, so I feel justified in including this recipe at BreadClub20. Click to read more….

Sticky Jamaican Ginger Cake

Well over 50 years ago, McVities launched their Jamaican Sticky Ginger cake. Many, many people have fond memories of it being served, buttered or not, with a cup of tea or even as an after-dinner pudding covered in custard. 

Although it fell into decline when McVities sold out to United Biscuits, it was revamped a few years ago in its original form, but carried the strap line a ‘sticky pudding cake’. Presumably, this was due to product description and various forms of legislation?

Recently, it’s been given a new lease of life by Brandhouse, brand specialists in London, and the ‘sticky pudding cake’ epithet has been dropped. It’s back to just ‘The Original Jamaican Ginger Cake’.  Click to read more….

Sticky Malt Loaf

When I was a lad, there used to be two main brands of malt loaf: Harvo and Soreen

Harvo was originally made by Rank Hovis McDougall. The company was taken over by Premier Foods who the trademark allowed to expire in 2006. 

Soreen was produced by a Dane, John Rahbek Sorenson. He set up factories in Hulme and Beswick, Manchester, in 1932 and made his definitive Soreen malt loaf until he sold out to Imperial Bakers in 1938. The name stayed, as did the product, and is still available today; recognised as a healthy snack by the government’s Change4Life campaign.  Click to read more…

The Great Northern Maltloaf

Welcome to another step-by-step recipe from BreadClub20. Why not drop by our main Facebook page by clicking here…. If you like what you see and enjoy the recipe, we hope you go on to join us by ‘Liking’ and ‘Subscribing’.

Today, we’re making Malt Loaf. You’ll find a note at the bottom about another BreadClub20 recipe for Malt Loaf. This one is slightly different and is the creation of Sean Wilson, actor, owner of the Saddleworth Cheese Company , inventor of the blue-veined Smelly Ha’porth cheese and author of The Great Northern Cookbook.

Click to read more….