Re-starting the Heart of the Baking Industry

Posted Monday 21 January 2013

a pair of hands and a desire in your heart

a pair of hands and a desire in your heart

Natural ingredients

Natural ingredients

The Second World War brought bakery development to a standstill.  Existing bakery machinery became obsolete.  Bakery schools ceased to function.  A generation of Craftsmen went missing.  The art and craft of baking was almost completely wiped out.  New methods were developed to try and counter a nation’s desire for bread and a lack of skilled bakers.  This involved adding chemicals to dough, pre mixes, and specialised machinery.  This unexpectedly dealt another deadly blow to the true art and craft of baking as this became an industry standard and training in the old methods was no longer a sound financial strategy.

It is becoming apparent that people have begun to get tired of the tasteless, uniformed and uninspiring bread that has become part of their diet.  In fact I would go as far to say that most of the population has never tasted good, old fashioned, additive free bakery products.

In recent years cooking has again become a national pastime, with magazines and television giving a massive amount of airplay and print space to it.  Using this media coverage many of the Chef’s, to their credit, have attempted to revitalise baking themselves.  Though what we must realise is that although the crafts are similar, different skills and knowledge are needed, so while a plumber may be able to give you some advice on joinery, the best person to speak to would be a joiner.  I thus suggest that in order for the craft of baking not to be lost for good, bakers must take and make opportunities to pass on their skills.

A heavy burden rests on the old school to see that our craft, the most ancient in the world, is kept alive in both bakeries and homes.  We must get back to the inspiration of exhibitions and demonstrations by the small amount of remaining masters of the old school of baking. 

As a result of my passion and my beliefs about the craft baking, we have devoted a section of our website to helping people to learn the craft of baking.  I hope to share with you some of my experience gathered over the years, while showing you that baking is not complicated. 

I believe in order to create bakery products in your home; all you need; are natural ingredients, a pair of hands and a desire in your heart.

Sean McVey - Master Craftsman Baker

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