A new bread-making school in south London has seen a surge in male bakers interested in the craft.

Six months after opening Harrington’s Kitchen, Stephen Harrington, a former city broker, said his classes are now a 50:50 split beween men and women, but notably higher in favour of men than the average class.

Harrington said: “Men are increasingly being drawn to the activity. Male celebrity chefs have been a common feature on our TV screens and, with a surge in baking programmes, coupled with a recession mind-set – ‘why buy something that you could make at home?’ – more and more men are taking to the kitchen to produce artisanal handmade loaves.

“And since there are not many meals that don’t benefit from adding a warm slice of freshly made bread, it makes the pursuit all the more worthwhile.”

The Beckenham-based school offers both beginner and advanced courses in bread-making, where attendees can learn how to produce items such as French bread, fougasse, grissini and focaccia.