Now We Are 6 (Months)

December 12th, 2012

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On the 1st of December, Brick House turned 6 months old. It’s one of those peculiar instances where the time has gone by in the blink of an eye, and yet it seems like we’ve been up and running for ages.

It’s been a while since I put finger to keyboard about the business, so I thought now would be a good time to update you and remind myself of all the stuff that’s been going on behind the shutters of our little bakery since I did the last Brick House diary post a few months back.

So, since June it seems like it’s been getting busier week on week. We’ve been steadily picking up new business, and our existing clients are ordering more bread. We’re still supplying Franklin’s Farm Shop, Anderson & Co, The Rye and Cannon & Cannon, but we’ve also picked up some great new clients including Green & Blue, Bambuni, Aga’s Little Deli, Fleischmob, Salon, and more recently a couple of places in central London, La Fromagerie and Duck Soup. We also had a great summer supplying the bread for Frank’s bar in Peckham. We’re no longer at The Great Exhibition on a Saturday, and are doing the new Herne Hill market every Sunday instead, which has been fantastic because we’ve met so many lovely people, many of whom we now count as regulars. It’s really become one of the highlights of our week. Oh, and while we’re blowing our own trumpet, we also managed to win The Real Bread Campaign and Jellied Eel Magazine’s London Loaf competition. Still can’t quite believe that one.

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Hand To Mouth’s Christmas Wish List ‘12

December 4th, 2012

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So it’s that time of year again, and whilst I’ve got a million other things I should probably be getting on with, this post always seems popular, so for those of you out there still reading this blog, I thought I better not leave you hanging.

So in no particular order, here are my top 10 gift ideas for the food lover in your life.

1. The Big Green Egg

You’re going to need to find a rich relative for this one. The Big Green Egg is barbecue / smoker / pizza oven / outdoor cooking wet dream that not only looks like a bomb, it is the bomb. More controllable and efficient than a barbecue, it seals in moisture and flavour, which can only be a good thing. I want one so bad it hurts. Someone make it happen. Pretty please.

2. A Girl & Her Pig

April Bloomfield is an ex-pat British chef who’s been killing the New York restaurant scene for almost a decade. In this, her first book, she lays out the food that has made her a star. Simple, unpretentious recipes using great ingredients. Along with Margot Henderson’s ‘You’re All Invited‘, the ladies have the Christmas cook books all wrapped up this year.

3. Falcon Prep Set

By this time next year, I’m pretty sure affordable enamel-ware will have had it’s day, so snap up this rather attractive prep set including an array of bowls and a colander before it’s all over.

4. Ice Cream Ball

The Ice Cream ball uses the oldest of the old school ice cream making methodologies, freezing point depression. Just add your ingredients in to one side of the ball, and ice and salt into the other, roll it around a bit, and you’ve got yourself some ice cream. Just. Like. That.

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Happy Thanksgiving…

November 23rd, 2012

…to all the Americans out there.

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May your turkeys be plump, and your pumpkin pies sweet.

Hopefully see you soon.

HTM x

Our Peckham Rye Is The London Loaf 2012

October 26th, 2012

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So it’s been a couple of months since I darkened your doorways with a post, so I thought I should come out of hiding.

Brick House has become so all consuming that I barely have time to sleep, let alone keep up with blogging, but I thought I should drop a quick one (so to speak) to let those who don’t know already, that we won the London Loaf 2012!

Peckham Rye

It’s still a bit of a shock, but we’re hugely proud, and extremely grateful to everyone who voted for us and supported us since we opened. We’d also like to say biggguppp to The Real Bread Campaign & The Jellied Eel who ran the competition, and the judges for the final, Lucas Hollweg, Diana Henry & Victoria Stewart.

If you want to see how it all went down, including a hugely slick little video interview with yours truly, click here. If not, we just wanted to say thanks.

Since the win, there’s been lots going on. We’re having all sorts of interesting conversations with people, looking at how we can move the business forward, updating the website and so on, and we hope to share some of this soon.

So until then…

Strawberry & Rhubarb Pie

August 10th, 2012

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I’ve had a bit of an obsession with the idea of American pie since watching Twin Peaks in my yoof. Something about that classic diner environment and Special Agent Dale Cooper’s palpable enjoyment of those perfect slices of pie really captured my imagination. The diner’s waitress, played by Madchen Amick, may have also had something to do with it.

We got fully immersed into the pie thang whilst we were out in the States, and this recipe is in particular inspired by a visit to Mission Pie that was just down the road from our apartment in San Francisco. In the UK we’re used to the idea of eating something like this as a pudding, but out in the states, pie is basically a snack. Something you’d have in the afternoon with a coffee, and it’s usually served at room temperature with some whipped cream.

Both rhubarb and strawberries are bang in season, and there’s something about the combination of the two that really works. The filling almost fizzes on your tongue like a sherbert sweet. The lattice top looks cool, but the pie works just as well with a solid lid, so don’t be put off by the fiddly bit.

Ingredients

For the pastry

340g plain flour

20g caster sugar

8g salt

240g cold unsalted butter

100ml ice cold water

For the filling

600g strawberries

300g rhubarb

Juice of one orange

Juice of one lemon

1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out

140g caster sugar

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Local Hero #25 Sweetings

August 8th, 2012

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The wife and I have been meaning to check out Sweetings Fish Restaurant for ages, so on a rare morning off from Brick House last week we went and did just that.

Sweetings is one of those rare restaurants that’s delightfully trapped in time. It’s the kind of place that you wished you’d been going to for years, where all the staff know your name and where you have your own tankard behind the bar. I can totally imagine my dad having a boozy lunch here when he worked in The City.

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Sweetings really reminded us of one of our favorite places to eat in San Francisco, The Swan Oyster Depot. It’s got that kind of American generosity you don’t see in many restaurants in the UK. When you sit down the table is loaded with all the sauces and condiments you could ever want (including Tabasco, which always gets points), there’s a big gravy float full of the house tartare sauce, a plate piled high with buttered brown bread, and a load of lemon wedges.

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A Loaf For London?

July 24th, 2012

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Hello peoples.

Jellied Eel and The Real Bread Campaign have teamed up to run a competition for London’s favourite loaf, and we’re very pleased to say that Brick House’s Peckham Rye is in the running.

So if you like what we do, and want to support us you can vote for our lovely loaf here.

A big thanks to everyone who has voted so far.

Fingers crossed.

Cheers

F

Italian Cauliflower Cheese

July 10th, 2012

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brick House has been keeping me pretty busy, so there’s not been much action on here of late. I really want to keep Hand To Mouth going, but mustering the energy after early mornings and busy days is a pretty tricky. That being said, I’m going to do my level best to keep the dream alive.

Those of us living in England will have no doubt noticed that the weather of late has been (and I’m afraid there’s no other word for it) shit. Summer has properly evaded us. In fact as I write this, rain has started lashing down on the bakery roof. So at a time of year when we should be thinking about salads and light summery food, my thoughts have turned to more comforting stuff, this Italian cauliflower cheese being the perfect example.

The ingredients will answer the question as to why this version has a touch of the Italian about it, and the addition of the breadcrumbs turns it from a Vespa into a Moto Guzzi.

Ingredients

1 large cauliflower

400 ml milk

50g unsalted butter

50g plain flour

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