I’m a member of the Bread Angels, a brigade of micro-bakers who love making bread and sharing it with friends, families, neighbours and even to complete strangers.  Our motto is BAKE WELL. DO GOOD.

Being part of this group has brought me so much happiness.  We’ve been on baking days together at Panary with the wonderful Paul Merry

Four of us went on a brilliant Christmas Baking course at the School of Artisan Food with one of my bread heroes Emmanuel Hadjiandreou

and one weekend in November, nine lovely Angels came to my flat for bread photography workshops with the amazing Joan Ransley.

I met Joan in 2007 on an Arvon Foundation “Find Your Culinary Voice” five-day residential writing course.  They said of all the courses they had run at Totleigh Barton, ours was the only one where writers did not have to be beaten with a stick when it was their turn to help cook dinner! We ALL wanted to be in the kitchen…

When I met Joan, it was love at first sight – haha!  We’ve been firm friends ever since.  She’s such an inspiration and is so encouraging when she teaches.  We had a phenomenal two days at my place and many amazing photographs were taken.  This collage was put together by Joan

and here are a few of my favourite photos of the ones I took – I was mostly making cups of tea though!  The course focused on taking photos with smartphones rather than cameras and Joan showed us how to get the best from our phones, and from all the tools on Instagram.  I was really pleased with some of my pix.

Brenda’s Brilliant Biscuits

Juli’s sourdough bread, my chum Lucy’s chutney and Stilton from Cheeses of Muswell Hill

Ma Baker setting up a shot of Marianna’s Charcoal Rye

One of the nicest things for me was the Angels saying how lovely my flat was.  I had to do a phenomenal amount of decluttering and cleaning to get it into a fit state for guests but I did it.  Whoopee – thank-you Marie Kondo!

I loved all the running around finding props for people.  “Do you have any chocolate?” YES!  “Do you have any beetroot?” YES! Do you have any flaked almonds?”  YES!

Battenburgbelle did the catering and lunch was, of course, absolutely gorgeous.  Inspired by chatting to lots of Angels, Cathy has done the micro-bakery course too, so she’s a certified Bread Angel now!

If you are interested in food photography and styling I would 100% recommend taking one of Joan’s courses.

They are so inspiring and so much fun!

If you are interested in learning how to bake bread, or are a breadmaker who wants to improve your baking skills I would 100% recommend taking a course with a Bread Angel. You will have such a lovely time – here’s me with my own personal Angel Juli.

Thanks, Joan and all the lovely Angels for a wonderful day of fabulous food, fun, photography, and friendship.

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