I have just completed my first Facebook Live for Homepride flour’s new launch of their newest edition to the family, strong white bread flour. I really enjoyed filming it, and as it was live I could see the amount of questions people had about making bread. When I thought about doing a script for the Facebook Live it became unnatural and daunting but once I was able to talk about my passion for baking it became a natural chat. Homepride Flour and Pier Marketing were great, Thanks Guys x.
Bread making has taken on a somewhat mysterious quality and you see some pretty impressive bread art sourdoughs on Instagram which constantly impress me. However, this could make bread-making intimidating for some, but it should not be. Starting with basic recipes is the key and having simple understanding of the processes helps you understand the science and this will help you get on the Bread road.
I feel that of all the baking processes baking bread is the one that is regarded with most love, but with the most trepidation. I am sometimes able to share this skill when I do classes and demonstrations and during this when someone says afterwards ‘I am doing this at home now’, it is great as the secret is out! I see in my future teaching baking classes where I live as sharing skills is so rewarding. I would normally worry about standing in front of lots of people doing a presentation, but I have no trepidations in teaching baking, as this is a passion.
Just recently I was asked if will guest chef at Claire Clark’s new Academy in Milton Keynes this year and we are off to the launch tonight. It is a great honor to do this, as Claire is a worldwide renowned name in Patisserie and judge off Crème de la Crème. It is just wonderful that she is putting her name behind getting home bakers, students and offering professional classes. I wish I lived closer. If only all the local colleges invested in patisserie classes and brought in outside chefs to impart their skill, knowledge and experiences. In Wales the Welsh Assembly has made it mandatory that prospective students have a grade C in Mathematics and English to do Professional Cookery. I do feel that although we need chefs that can read and count, that this puts off those young people who have great flair but can’t get a grade C. We may not have had Jamie Oliver if this was imposed then! For those young people put off, get into a kitchen and start from there, and let the passion for cooking start.
I say to people to go for it and expand those skills and have fun be it in Baking or Cookery, or indeed anything they love. A great baker doesn’t need to master all recipes, but to get good at a few then try the next one. Being unpretentious and presenting well-baked wholesome loaves is enough. I have been asked a lot recently how I learnt to bake, and it really started by loving food, feeling happy around cooking and seeing it as a labour of love that gets appreciated. I haven’t had the experience in professional kitchens where repetitive cooking is sometimes needed, but this is where the craft starts for Professional cookery students. My son who has aspirations of this has been cutting vegetables, and onions in a placement for a while, but he says he has done this well, and it has not put him off. I wouldn’t mind doing work experience with chefs like Claire Clark, even at my age, this is how you develop. However, I have developed much better skills after being on the Great British Bake Off as I have really immersed myself into understanding food and taste.
I was hooked on Masterchef this year, and every time I heard a new term, out came the books and Google, and I tried the recipes out on my family. Cooking and Baking for me gives me a sense of peace and a creative life balance. All my skills as a manager are in baking as I need to be observant, scientific, logical, put a bit of flair into it, and have respect for the ingredients, as without them being considered the whole bake will fall, it is really a team effort of baker and ingredients. Baking Bread for me binds us all.