Hi, I’m Dan.

Yes – believe it or not, it was hot in July 2010 in London.

I like bread, cakes, ale and other grain-based foods.

I’m writing this blog at a time when such things get a bad press, with wheat and gluten demonised in many quarters for a range of perceived health problems.

And yet these members of the grass family, domesticated as much 10,000 years ago, were and continue to be the foods that support most of the world’s (ever-increasing) population.

I strongly feel that the problems aren’t with grains themselves, but the industrialised processes of the past decades. I do not like industrial foods. Industrial bread is all wrong. Bread, for thousands of years, was made with long fermentation – half a day or more. Industrial bread is fermented for perhaps 20 minutes. No wonder people feel ill.

So I’m celebrating these wonders. Bread – that daily staple. Cakes – treats for various occasions. And ale, because it has a shared heritage with bread, and because we live at a great time for real beer.

I started this blog while living in Rome, learning about Roman baked goods and loving the Italian craft beer scene. I’m now living in Lewes, in the south of England, a long way from the Eternal City, but still a great place to enjoy bread, cakes and ale – humanity’s staples and reliable pleasures.

Daniel Etherington

I use metric and celsius in my recipes. I’m British and grew up with a right hodgepodge of metric and imperial. Most of the world uses metric international standards now. If you don’t, you could try using conversion tables like these. But I also heartily recommend investing in some digital scales, which can be pretty affordable, especially in the US, where kitchen equipment and electronics generally seem to be more reasonably priced than here in the UK. Grams for recipes are easier and more accurate.