Why bread?

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Somebody asked me this at the school drop off the other day. Why bread? Why is that your thing? Why did you make it your job?

It’s something I get asked quite a lot and it’s a question that I always struggle to answer off the cuff. I guess it’s because it was never really about bread in the first place...

I mean, I do love making bread and out of all the things I started teaching seven years ago, bread making was the one that filled my students with the most pride and satisfaction having finally cracked it. The process is unlike any other, but what’s really at the heart of Bake with Jack is something so much bigger and so much simpler. It’s you. It’s people.

Being present, talking, discussing, questioning, laughing, learning, that is where the real value lies. It’s about being in the moment, claiming back our attention from a noisy world, spending time together and enjoying creating something, together. Bread helps us to make that happen.

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But isn’t everything about that? When you really break it down, when I really sit and think about the things I enjoy the most, being up on stage, spending time baking bread with a family, writing, filming, the reason why I do it is always the same. It’s creation, contribution, connection and kindness, always.

Being told that you can do something is one thing, but believing that you can do it is very powerful. I see it all the time in my classes when a proud loaf comes out of the oven, and the times that I am not there to see it, you guys send me your photos from all over the world letting me know! Bursting with pride in the discovery that you can and you could all along.

You can make bread, and it’s even better than what you can buy, just look at the olive and rye bread in this picture.

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For some people, their thing is bread. For others it could be literally anything. Painting, or writing, or music, or taking photos, or even saving lives. But whatever it is that you think is the thing, I reckon if you really break it down, the real thing is probably much bigger and much simpler.

Making bread brings us together. Working together, kneading and shaping, waiting for the rise, baking and eating… it’s a long process, it’s a peaceful process, it’s not particularly hard work and it’s hugely rewarding at the end.

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These photos were taken at a Private Course I hosted recently. Bringing together some good friends, on a beautiful day, on a beautiful farm. If you’d like a bread making course just for you, friends and family, find out more here.