This is the 10th anniversary year for #RealBreadWeek, running from 24th February to 4th March, and we are thrilled to be a part of it…
Real Bread Week is the annual, international celebration of supporting your local, independent Real Bread bakery and baking your own, something that we’ve become very much a part of over recent years. Those who have been following our journey will know that I, along with my good friend friend Katie, trained as Bread Angels with Jane Mason of Virtuous Bread back in 2015, and subsequently completed a Five Day Intensive Bread course and further Croissant & Viennoiserie training with Richard Bertinet at his Cookery School in Bath.
We had no plans to open a Micro Bakery, but following our initial training as Bread Angels, decided to practise baking together once a month, swapping some of our bread for variety and offering spares on Facebook to those that might want to buy it. That very first Friday attracted 30 customers who spent £380 as said ‘Monthly? We want this every week…’ and that was how we accidentally opened a bakery!
We are proud to members of the Real Bread Campaign, embrace their definition of Real Bread, and are delighted to make #RealBread available to our local community as well as inspiring, encouraging and equipping others to make their own through our range of Baking Courses.
Bread Angels go to Panary…
Back in 2015, Katie and I had no idea of the benefits of training as Bread Angels, we just wanted to make better bread and were looking forward to learning with Jane Mason who is very well regarded in the bread world. We have since discovered the support, privileges and benefits of joining a host of other Angels, around the world, who are bringing real bread to those around them just like us. Be it sharing recipes, marketing and packaging ideas, or simply a glass of wine, we are proud to partner with those on the same mission. This last weekend was a perfect example of learning together as we were invited to spend a day with Paul Merry who runs a bakery and bread school at Panary, within the grounds of Cann Mill the home of Stoates Flour near Shaftesbury, Dorset.
The phrase often used in the English language ‘Best thing since sliced bread’ now makes me shudder, as I continue to understand more of the history of bread, it’s value and traditions around the world and the damage that intensively produced sliced bread has done to the diet and lifestyle of British people. When we go to France on holiday and discover fabulous loaves at La Boulangerie or at Le Marche, I’m embarrassed to think what our French neighbours might think of our long-life, plastic wrapped offerings. The more I discover about bread and baking, the more I realise that there is so much more to learn; it’s an art, a craft, with many tips and tricks that can be passed down by those who have been creating beautiful bread over the years. When I find myself facing a challenge, such as teaching the students of an entire school to make their own individual loaves, I remind myself that people have been baking bread for thousands of years, well before electric ovens and thermometers, before shop bought yeast and certainly before plastic bags, I’m filled with confidence that we can make good #RealBread using just four ingredients: flour, yeast, salt and water.
Spending a day with Paul at Panary, along with some of the other Bread Angels, was a great opportunity to understand more, learn new techniques and celebrate the simple joys of really good bread.
- As the Micro Bakery has been busy recently, we’ve streamlined our ordering system and are training my daughter, Macy, to help us serve customers when they come to collect each Friday
- The chickens are enjoying the longer days and some are coming back into lay after their winter break
- Andy and I enjoyed a recent Apple Pruning Workshop with The Orchard Project, we learnt loads and are looking forward to trying some Restorative Pruning on our oldest trees
Jobs for the Week:
- Pack up the children’s bee suits and a collection of bee keeping equipment for a morning with a local primary school
- Research Wood-fired Bread Ovens, this is a big thing on the list for this year!
- Order in gallons of organic milk for next week’s Cheese in a Day course
Have you got a local #RealBread Baker that you support? Do you bake your own bread?
Have a great week,
Love this post – wish we’d been there on the same day! Paul is an absolute hoot, and so incredibly knowledgeable. I could LIVE in that little room at Panary! PS – your photo of the Angels At Paul’s Table shows up sideways this end… Jenny aka Fritzy Ritz from the Loaf On Mars Micro-Bakery x
That photo is a pain, it seems to look OK on the website, I hope it’s just the mail out that’s come out sideways?
Hope to see you soon x