What a year. Covid this, that, and the other.
Covid 19 cancellations meant abandoning the Christmas cooking course, so I shall make up for that here, giving a peculiar little tip for mince tart makers who are rolling their pastry, and the Baker’s Topic will be my Christmas favourite – stollen.
Look at this photo of a lovely little gadget to set the thickness of anything you are rolling out. At this time of year it will be your short crust pastry for a batch of Christmas mince tarts.
The tool is a depth gauge. The stem, or shaft, is a skewer, and the type here is simply a common bamboo one. At its blunt end, able to slide on it firmly, is the marker, set at the exact thickness that the pastry should be rolled to. For my mince pie bottoms that is between 2mm. and 3mm . (When I’m making croissants it is set at 6 mm.) That little blue marker is a plastic button, a piece of packaging that held bags on a stake. You can use anything provided it has a central hole that meets the diameter of your skewer.
After rolling to what you think is about the correct thickness, you plunge the marker vertically into the pastry. If there is a gap underneath the marker disc, you have rolled it out a little thin. If the marker disc leaves an indentation on the paste, it is a bit thick, and you need to roll it out more.
Who knows, perhaps I shall again be forced to cancel the courses set down for early in the year, since many places seem to be heading for Tier 3 restrictions. Here’s hoping with the new Calendar:
- Tue 12th — 1 Day Basic Bread Baking
- Mon 18th — 1 Day Basic British Baking (*COURSE FULL*)
- Sat 30th — 1 Day Patisserie and Viennoiserie Course
- Sat 6th — 1 Day French Baking
- Fri 12th — 4 day bread baking course, Devon
- Sat 20th — 1 Day Sweet Doughs (Easter)
- Sat 27th — 1 Day Nordic & Germanic Baking
- Sun 28th — 1 Day Basic British Baking
When you click on a course in Calendar, you are taken to it, with Booking facility on the right.
Nowadays more and more people give an experience or a course as a gift. Gift Vouchers are a great vehicle for this. Having chosen the broad area, the giver does not need to agonise over exactly which experience would suit best, since the choice is made by the recipient.
PANARY has gift vouchers as an entire category on the website. Visit it at
That’s it Panarians, enjoy your Christmas cooking.