Helen is an alchemist, a magician of sorts. She lives in White Cottage Bakery and turns flour, water and salt (with the help of wild yeasts and time), into the most delicious breads. Up until very recently, she made just enough to fuel her passion and fill a few farm shop shelves. Enough to keep a few of us happy and feeling fortunate when we managed to get hold of the good things she makes.
A few weeks ago, I got to spend my Sunday in Helen's cottage bakery! The minute you walk in, you are greeted with the scent of freshly baked bread, morning coffee and toast. There's fig and cardamon jam from the garden, plum compote, good homemade cultured butter, rye bread and smoking hot tea. All the good things, patiently awaiting at the breakfast table. The aroma of sweet spices still lingering in the air, from the freshly baked sticky spelt sourdough Chelsea buns. I have a weakness for these Cardamon and Cinnamon swirls. If you tried them, you'd have a crush on them too.
I watched the day unfold as her students stretched and slapped sourdough. kneading, shaping, scoring. Turning simple locally grown ingredients, into bountiful baskets of bread by the end of the day. Some had garden herbs in them, others were woven with rosemary and roasted garlic, there were perfectly formed rye loaves and that boule they baked in her AGA.
We sat down for lunch as the dough had its first rise. Big bowls of Spring salads, passed around for lunch, warm soda bread the students had prepared. There was a watermelon and feta salad! A green salad (Pea, fava and mint). We've made it for our lunch, twice since then. There was also that sun warmed tomato salad, that I keep dreaming about. We washed it all down with Helen's sparkling homemade pink elderflower.
I've since developed a weakness for all of Helen's detail. Her textures and tones, all the pieces that are dotted around her bakery and home. that big grey bowl, old wood filled with markings and cracks. Things from another time, that have seen other homes. The light is what got me the most, the shadows it casts over surfaces and walls. There's not a part of it that couldn't be framed into a picture. The perfect setting to celebrate the passing of time, food and bountiful harvests.
We get to return to Helen's Bakery and School in September. The begining of term starts on the 9th of September!
We're delighted to announce a collaboration with White Cottage Bakery At the beginning of Autumn.
When: September 28th, 9:30am - 1:00pm
What: A Food styling and Photography Workshop, followed by a delicious seasonal lunch.
The workshop will cover a series of topics including:
Basic camera settings
The use of natural light
The basics of composition
Visual story telling, food styling ("Tableaux" and 'Flat lays")
Basic editing using your phone
For tickets Click HERE
Please Note: Spaces are limited