'I cannot think of a better way to pass a weekend. Am convinced that the skills learned will be used for the rest of my life.'
As millions wait to see if their jobs will survive the current recession, many feel angry that the culprits have got off lightly and that ordinary people are being sacrificed on the altar of a quick return to business as usual. The speculators have piled into grains and the price of staples such as wheat is on the rise again. Bread riots, often the precursor to major political change, have happened this year in countries where price hikes mean real hunger. Even in Britain, finding enough for the essentials out of a precarious income brings anxiety and an increasing sense of powerlessness.
More and more people are deciding it’s time to take matters into their own hands, starting with bread. You can bake your own delicious and nutritious bread for about half the cost of a typical supermarket loaf, avoiding the additives into the bargain. If you control what goes into it and when it is baked, you can enjoy real freshness, not the pappy perma-softness of shop loaves laced with industrial enzymes that aren’t declared on the label.
Rediscovering domestic skills like breadmaking means trading the ‘convenience’ of the ready-made for the satisfaction of greater self-reliance and a sense of fulfilment when the bread on the table is our very own. It’s also great fun, as Bread Matters students often remark. And for some, those home-made loaves may point the way to a new career in which baking bread helps to make ends meet.
For beginner or old hand, domestic cook or aspiring professional, Bread Matters is the place to come to learn new skills and get to grips with good bread. It’s led by Andrew Whitley who started one of the UK’s best known organic bakeries in the 1970s. After many years as a full-time artisan baker, he knows what he’s talking about.
You learn by doing, so everyone makes a variety of breads, feeling the changes as a dough comes together, observing the crucial part time plays in developing good flavour, satisfying texture and nutritional integrity. You will go home with several loaves of your own bread, more confidence and a greater understanding of the processes at the heart of breadmaking.
Bread Matters is based a few miles South of Edinburgh, not far from West Linton and the Pentland Hills. Macbiehill Farmhouse is powered by renewable energy and on five acres under organic conversion is developing an agro-forestry project for food, fuel and a more diverse landscape. A warm welcome, good companionship and lovely surroundings await you.
For details of courses in 2013-14, please click here.
'Well delivered and highly interactive – a hands-on experience that was inspiring!'
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