Good bread takes patience, passion and instinct

Bread has always been a big part of my life, with my parents both baking at home. When I was growing up my brothers and I ate toast, toast and more toast! I trained as a chef from the age of seventeen. I became more and more obsessed with bread during my time working with Daphne Lambert, an inspiring and hugely knowledgeable chef and nutritionalist.

It was Daphne who triggered my sourdough infatuation. My wild yeast starter is named after her. From there I set up my own bakery in Hay on Wye. My day starts anywhere between 10pm and 2am.

I bake through the night and in the morning the loaves are dispatched to markets, deli’s, hotels and restaurants in Wales and along the border.

I make a number of breads including; 100% rye sourdough, mix grained sourdough, ciabatta, brioche, 100% spelt bread, spiced buns and cakes.

Good bread takes patience, passion and instinct. The wild yeast starter and long fermentation act as a natural preservative and flavour enhancer, giving the bread superb depth and character. Making bread brings you into the moment completely. It stimulates all of the senses whether it be the feel or look of the dough, the sweet toasted smell of the baking bread, or the crackle as you squeeze a stone baked ciabatta.

Bread is magical and inspirational, I feel privileged to have found my meaning in life.

Hay’s farmers’ market

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As dawn arrives baking begins and by 8am a colourful cluster of loaves, from sourdoughs to focaccias, are lined up in trays.

Hay festival

“Once again I’ll be supplying the Hay Festival with a range of handcrafted loaves.”