The Education of a Prospective Master – Part 4 of an occasional series

This time I was in at the deep end! Preparing and baking bread myself.  My friend, Alex, runs what is in effect a very successful cottage industry from her home in South West London, baking bread, selling it locally and giving courses on bread making. She is a so-called ‘Bread Angel’ and can be found at and
She knew that I was looking to make bread myself from scratch and suggested that I join one of her courses. So, I did.
There were two of us. Over some four hours we were instructed on how to make various types of bread. First came a rye bread with, in my case, caraway seeds and molasses. From greasing a tin to mixing the ingredients, to letting the dough rest in the tin to baking it, it was all my own work (well, almost). The resulting loaf is sitting tantalisingly in my kitchen at home with strict instructions not to eat it for a couple of days so that it can rest and improve.
Next came a bread called “Not Quite a White loaf”. It was part white flour, part wholemeal flour as well as other usual ingredients. This was the only time that we were required to knead for Alex is a disciple of the ‘stretch and fold’ method of making bread, much favoured by bakers such as Dan Lepard, an Australian baker who lives in London. There was enough left for a couple of rolls. The result of my travails was really very edible!
And finally, a soda bread. An amazingly quick process and one which produced a remarkably delicious bread to eat fresh with butter and jam on my return home the same afternoon.
Thanks to Alex, over four hours I had learned a vast amount and had created enough bread to last Miriam and me at least a week.  I now need to see what happens when I fly solo! What is more, if in November I am elected Master, I will now be able to say, as the result of my various visits over the last few months, that I do know a little about baking bread.
Stephen Kramer
Upper Warden
August 2017

The two 'Students' and the result of their endeavours.