Back in 2000 I did a weekend Bread Matters course with Andrew Whitley at the Village Bakery in Melmerby, Cumbria. Funny things courses. You often don’t get what you wanted but you get something you hadn’t thought about. What I got was the opportunity to compare where I was at with the other people baking on the course. Where I was at seemed reasonable in the circumstances but I also got some very misleading information about sourdough which probably set me back quite some time.
Anyway, Bread Matters became the name of the book which eventually gave birth to the Real Bread Campaign. Nothing’s perfect.
But 21 years on I still have rye starter from that weekend and it’s looking pretty good.
Andrew Whitley used to work for the BBC in Russia and the story is that he got it from a bakery (a monastery bakery?) where it had been in use for 100 years.
But the most useful bit is the ring-binder with the course information and bread formulas. It’s the perfect thickness for racking a 10 litre box of cider. It’ll even take two boxes side by side.