Who Am I?
I’m Jo and I’m a bakeoholic!
For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated with food; the smells, the tastes, the ingredients, the processes...everything. As a child I wasn’t a big fan of eating (too busy running around building and destroying things!) but I was always happy to get involved in any cooking. I grew up on a small ‘smallholding’ in the South East of England. Inspired by the ‘Good Life’, my parents moved us to the countryside when I was four, where we enjoyed a modicum of self-sufficiency looking after chickens, geese, goats and a vegetable patch. We didn’t go the whole hog à la Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, but we’d make our own bread, jam and yoghurt, get eggs from the chickens and milk from the goats. We’d occasionally ‘retire’ a hen for the Sunday roast and very occasionally have some luck with the air-rifle and surprise mum with a rabbit.
My mother is French, so we spent most of our holidays in France. If you want to surround yourself with people who prioritise food above almost anything else, then that’s the place to be. Eating one meal whilst planning the next was, and still is, the way I spend my summers. Over the years food obsessions have come and gone, from making sausages and curing meats, to making macarons and salted caramel chocolate bars, but one constant has been my love of baking...particularly bread. Fond memories of fresh baguettes and over stuffed pan bagnats in France have entrenched a passion for this humble staple that cannot be sated.
So I invite you to join me on my baking journey, get excited about and develop a passion for bread. Baguettes, boules, fougasse, focaccia, pizza, brioche, buns, baps and rolls...they all start with four simple ingredients; flour, water, salt and yeast, and once you can transform them into the bread of your choice, you will never be stuck for a meal again.