I’m now a Bread Angel!

Very excited to become a Bread Angel!

Very excited to become a Bread Angel!

Yep, I attained my Bread Angels ‘wings’ on Sunday thanks to expert guidance from Bread Angel 'Ma Baker' aka the delightful Liz Wilson based in Fulham, West London.

The Bread Angels home baking network was founded by Jane Mason of Virtuous Bread fame and was created to allow people around the world to buy, make, learn about, share, and eat good bread. The initiative is growing healthily, so I'm really chuffed to join the worldwide ranks of over 200 Bread Angels!

It’s been quite a journey since I started baking bread many years ago when my boys were very young, to embarking on a new venture inspired by Virtuous Bread, so I thought I'd share a few of key steps I took to earn my wings. 

My husband is Eastern European and he inherited his family’s love for bread, but I was concerned that the shop bought bread contained more than the advertised flour, yeast, water and salt. I had an inkling that something was going on and there was, starting with the highly profitable Chorleywood Method. This industrial process is used to produce 80% of the world's bread, resulting in mass distributed, low nutrition bread-mix pulp. Whilst setting up my company 'DiCooks' I felt it timely to investigate the facts more closely and see if I could offer more nutritious, healthy and tastier bread to my customers.

The first real break through was meeting the real bread world's Godfather Andrew Whitley at the launch of his highly influential book, Do Sourdough slow bread for busy lives. Winner of the prestigious Andre Simon Award - Andrew's ability to slice straight through rogue internet forum opinion and false rumour in an informed and approachable manner was both insightful and very encouraging. Another key stage was attending the 'Real Bread: the Uprising' international conference where Andrew delivered a deeply alarming keynote speech detailing just how far the giant food processing companies (supplying all our supermarkets) have gone to in making the ‘Staff of Life’ not only increasingly inedible but, with growing evidence, making many people ill.

The 20 minute speech is well worth viewing - delivered by a seasoned food industry veteran who has been campaigning for good, healthy bread for 30 years.

Those resourceful meetings led me to become a member of the Real Bread Campaign which does invaluable work getting the message out there, and exposing just what’s going on with our precious bread supply. Whilst honing my bread making skills, I learned of Bread Angels through the Real Bread Campaign and living in a small, semi-rural community, I realised that it would be the perfect place to spread the word and really embrace the core message of Bread Angels. The rest, they say, is history.

I started Di Cooks with my Cookisto night which has rapidly grown into a regular, successful takeaway for local people. Using fresh, mostly seasonal ingredients to make tasty dishes that you won't find in your regular high street takeaway outlet, my Cookisto menus have provided a perfect testing ground to stealthy promote my Honest Bread by providing hunks of fresh bread with each dish. I'm delighted to say that these offerings led to frequent requests for additional bread-only orders, which now make up part of my weekly business. 

Now I’m Bread Angel approved, I'm ready to extend my commitment to promoting and delivering real bread by launching 'Honest Bread' making workshops to teach how easy, economical and therapeutic bread making is. My Honest Bread classes will start in January 2016 with dates announced soon. The real bread community cannot resist a pun, so in keeping with tradition, my classes are something you knead to kick-start 2016...

If you would like to be the first to know about my Honest Bread making class dates and prices, please drop me a message at diana@dicooks.co.uk I will also post this information, along with my regular news, cookery tips and opinions via Twitter @DiCooks & Facebook page