I was first introduced to the crazy world of the Cake and Bake Show when on our promo tour for our book Bread Revolution. On the back of a couple of solid demo’s I was delighted to be invited back this year to showcase my bread-making skills.
With nothing to plug this year (at least not for now – watch this space) nothing short of a memorable mainstage demo would probably see this be my last appearance as baking is clearly on the up and there is no shortage of baking figures to fill their 3-day calendar of demo slots.
So, I decided at the last minute to jack in my planned demo of horseradish leaf bagels with signal crayfish in favour of something a little different…
In honour of Sourdough September and with my new Real Bread Campaign Ambassador hat on I took to the stage. In 30 minutes I aimed to dispell the myths behind sourdough and show that it can be done at home, it doesn’t require a culinary degree and you can fit it into a busy lifestyle.
But what of the sourdough starter? I could offer up a recipe (very straightforward) but just didn’t “trust” that the 100+ people in the audience would go home and get on with it… so, out comes our secret weapon… an industrial grade cement mixer.
Our friend Andrew Webb (Editor of LoveFood.com) was compering and took great delight in unveiling the appropriately Real Bread Campaign branded mixer, and that was that… 20kgs of Stoneground White Flour (thanks to Mariages!) and 20Kgs of Water along with a small vile of our very own starter from back at the bakery is all it took.
As the demo ended, I was amazed. The whole audience got up, and then proceeded to form an orderly queue and with the help of our bakery apprentice Felix we sent over 200 people home with their own starter.
I thought it nice to create a parallel to anyone familiar with tamagotchi’s and simply ask they follow us on twitter @thoughtfulbread and await further instruction. The twitter chat continues, and people have given their starters some great names (there’s Porthos, Aramis and Athos, and others including Dougall and Betty – fantastic!).
As at today with the end of the month looming it is great to have played a small part in what has been a fantastic campaign to help put sourdough on the map.
For those of you not in the know, the Cake and Bake show is the industry show for all you cakers and bakers out there. They run two shows a year, one in London and one in Manchester. For more information and tickets, visit http://www.thecakeandbakeshow.co.uk
Here’s to hopefully being invited back to the next show for the chance to continue to put Real Bread on the map, and thanks to Luke and the team behind the show, and Kate and her team at Nudge PR for looking after us all so well.