Cinnamon Square Bakery in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, is to offer free bread-making classes to all primary schools in and around his local area.
Paul Barker, who runs the bakery, told British Baker: “The pupils are aged 9-11, an age where they can absorb a bit more of the science. Class sizes will be limited to 15 and we will teach the teachers too and give them additional written information so they can take their skills back to the classroom. We will provide added support if they need it.”
He added: “We will explain about gluten development, yeast and carbon dioxide. On the wall we have a ‘Circle of Loaf’ showing each stage of the process with a picture of a loaf in the middle. I am a member of the Real Bread campaign, which encourages us to pass on our knowledge to the next generation.”
Barker’s double fronted shop premises comprises a 70-seater coffee shop, the bakery and a ‘Makery’ where classes take place.
Before starting his own business, Barker was a craft baker for seven years, worked at Campden BRI for four, alongside bakery and milling scientist Stan Cauvain, then worked in product development for McVitie’s for two, followed by Puratos for nine years.
“My heart is in baking,” he said. “My wife Tricia does the marketing and helps in other areas. Altogether we employ 25 staff and have children’s parties here five days a week.”
Barker, a former BIA winner, was one of the team who helped advise the BBC on criteria for the BBC TV programme ‘The Great British Bake-Off’.