I started baking when I was 17. I worked the night shift at Sunblest Bakery, now Allied Bakeries, in Bredbury, Stockport. We turned out commercial bread products by the thousands, night after night – week in, week out.
A couple of years later, whilst at University, I worked at Castle Bakery in the beautiful town of Beaumaris, Ynys Môn – the Isle of Anglesey, in North Wales. From 4 a.m. until noon, we baked bread, pastries and cakes for the locals and the tourists alike.
Experiences that gave me skills for life and a love for baking bread.
When my daughter married, I baked 120 ‘flowerpot’ breads for the reception, each in their own individual terracotta pot. I suppose that’s what influenced the idea behind BreadClub20.
During the Covid pandemic lockdown of Spring 2020, my daughter and her family came home for the birth of their second son. We walked the lanes and woodland paths and talked endlessly about our lives and interests. When she left to go back home to London, I made her a promise that I’d teach her how to make bread.
So, we started a WhatsApp group. Just the two of us, and I shared ideas and suggestions. The story behind bread fascinates me. Every type of bread product originated somewhere and many have become intrinsically part of the fabric of our social history.
I started baking once a week and soon found that the freezer was full; not to mention some very fat sparrows and robins at our bird table. I started baking for friends and found myself being asked more and more for recipes and tips.
Today, we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as here at BreadClub20.com. The idea has grown. My baking friends now extend as far away as Australia, New Zealand, The United States and South America, the Middle East and Europe; as well as the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. We explore new recipes and we delve into the social history of something that is a staple in our diets. After all, bread, in one form or another, has been around since 8000 BC.
Once Lockdown ends and we’re all freed from the imprisonment of the pandemic, I’ll be off travelling again, an interest that’s been put on hold since January 2020. My travel journal at www.manc-holidays.co.uk will be restarted. If you’re interested in travel, why not drop by?