Which got me thinking: isn’t it about time I learnt to do the honours myself? Although I consider myself a foodie, I’m a baker novice. Long ago put off by pals’ tales of moulding starters and non-rising sourdough, I made the decision to leave it to the professionals (or supermarkets) to bake what I dunk in my soup and spread my jam on.
So now, with my loaf-tasting reaching new critical heights, wasn’t it even more important to book that course?
“Has anyone NOT baked before?” asked Emmanuel, our teacher and master baker, as I arrived at Bread Ahead in Borough Market. Scanning the room, I mistook someone itching their elbow for a hand raising. Too late, mine was gingerly hovering above my head. Busted. “Don’t worry,” continued cheery Emmanuel, all smiles, “we are here to show you it’s easy!”
Yikes. Our tools were worryingly basic: a transparent plastic mixing bowl, which would provide a window into our bubbling proving dough, a scraper and some scales. And the seven hour session would see us make a mighty four loaves of bread…at least that was the idea.