Thanks for looking at this, my first post. My daytime job is teaching English. So does my OH. In our twenties we decided we wanted to work overseas and set off on an European adventure. We lived in Germany for nearly five years and developed a taste for good wholesome Germanic bread. With an excellent bakery about 200m away we woke up to the aroma of freshly baked bread. Bliss!
The wanderlust took hold again and we packed our growing collection possessions and moved to near the Italian lakes. Somewhere on the way we had acquired a twenty month old, very articulate toddler, who knew what he liked food wise. Italian bread is wonderful to eat with a meal or to munch on. However, have you ever tried making a cheese and tomato sandwich from a ciabatta? Its delicious as long as you have a full set of teeth to deal with those crackly crusts. I began making bread in Italy, at first with a bread maker. Once I’d taken it to its limits I bought some fresh yeast and began a bread making journey of my own. At first it was just the odd loaf to supplement the local bread we still enjoyed.
After ten years in Bella Italia the teaching contract with the European Schools ended and we had to move back to Britain. After months of ‘debate’ we ended up in Shetland. Somehow or other we had acquired another son to add to our collection. I, no we, were appalled at the bread that is generally accepted here in Britain. So a hobby turned into a necessity. There was no way we were eating the doughy pap that passes for bread, now the only time I eat bought bread is on holiday, or in a chip butty – homemade bread just isn’t pliable enough to keep the chips encased properly.
I’m also a keen cook and on a few occasions I’ve catered for events that a local knitwear designer, Nielanell, has hosted. I think she’d heard about my bread and cooking through my son, Sam, who has helped her out in her studio for years. Now I make some bread for Niela as well; she is always willing to try some of the wackier breads that I produce and has even been persuaded to keep a journal with her thoughts on our baking efforts. The beer barm bread was ‘a delight’ as was the Sultana and cider – is there a theme developing here? I jest, just ask her about Niela’s buttocks though- it was two buns baked in a loaf tin – if you were wondering.
I would love to set up a bakery, at 56 I fear it will remain a hobby. I hope that my oldest son will do something in the bakery line. In the meantime look out for the journeyman bakers. It was a chance meeting with a local photographer and food blogger Elizabeth @ Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, who has inspired me to start a bakery blog. I realise this is a little longer than the couple of sentences needed to introduce this blog. Feel free to read as much or as little as you want. My fingers just seem to run away with themselves. It’s a bit like when I begin a baking session, I never know when to stop – I just hope there’s enough room in the freezer.