The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Been around for while, but thought I'd better introduce myself formally

Breadandwine's picture

Been around for while, but thought I'd better introduce myself formally

The son of a baker, I've been making my own bread since 1974, when all the plant bakeries in England went on strike. I found I enjoyed it and I've been making it ever since.

I took early retirement in 1993 and did a City and Guilds course on teaching adults - I've been teaching breadmaking ever since, in and around Taunton, Somerset.

I have two main groups that I teach, Family Learning, where students (some as young as 4 and 5) and parents learn together - generally 5 week courses, and also Adults with Learning Disabilities. But I've taught all sorts of groups and ages - from 3-year-olds in pre-schools, to 80-odd year-olds in Community Centres.

I'm pretty well obsessed with bread - I make it most days - but I'd never call myself an artisan baker - more your jobbing baker, prepared to have a go at anything.

My main interest is in spreading the word - I'd like everyone to make their own bread, I want to get across the simplicity of the process - the healthiness of it, the economy of it, and, above all the absolute satisfaction and fun that can be gained by making it yourself.

This is a lovely site and I much appreciate the work that goes into keeping it going. My only gripe is - I just don't have time to read the wonderful threads that appear in my inbox every day!

Last year I started a blog on the subject (bread, that is, not time or the lack of it!), and I try and add to it most days:

Best wishes - and happy breadmaking!


Ruralidle's picture

Hello Breadandwine

Welcome to The Fresh Loaf.  I am a UK based baker and there are a few of us around on the forum.  Particularly look out for ananda (Andy) as he is in the same line of business as you - teaching baking.  He works at the other end of the country to you - Newcastle upon Tyne college.

I am sure that, with your experience, you will be able to make a great contribution to TFL and if you need help and advice there are plenty of people around who will assist. It really is a very friendly place to be.

Happy Baking

Breadandwine's picture

I hope to both contribute to the forum and to learn from it, as I said, I've been making my own bread for 37 years - and I'm still discovering new things. Long may that continue.

One of the delights of bread making is that it can be as complicated as you like to make it, but it can also be the most simple cooking that you can ever do.

Some of my bread interests are:

Breads without dairy or eggs - I should have said I'm a vegan.

Using a bread dough instead of pastry - jam tarts for instance.

Filled breads - pasties, calzones, etc. I'm not concerned about using cheese or (very occasionally) meat in my sessions, since my students are mainly omnivores.

And I love hearing about new (to me) uses for breads, such as Carta da musica in Pane Frattau (thin, dried discs of bread, soaked in broth and used instead of pasta to layer up a lasagne-like dish). From Sardinia, it's absolutely gorgeous:

Cheers, Paul