My name’s Helen, and I’m working as a cook in Paris. I’ve been preparing ‘fancy’ food for a few years now, working in Michelin-starred and ‘fine dining’ restaurants, but what I really love is good bread. Hand-kneaded and lovingly-prepared, there really is nothing better. It takes a little bit of knowledge and skill, but it’s easy enough to teach yourself. What it really takes is patience, and this I’ve come to realise, is something that most chefs don’t actually have. I’ve watched the most accomplished cooks struggle with the simplest loaf – you have to realise that bread takes something special, after all the ingredients are perhaps the most basic around. Together these components work magic, and what I really fell in love with I guess is the anticipation and excitement in waiting to see the finished result. No two loaves are ever the same; each has the most gloriously unpredictable mind of its own.
So I’ve decided to embark upon an adventure. I’ve been making bread for a while in many different shapes, forms, textures and flavours, and now this little piece will catalogue my successes (and heartbreaks, of which I’m sure they’ll be many). Fortunately my current chef is very accommodating and lets me bake in his kitchen…..my tiny Parisian apartment isn’t really built for bread-making. This means I have a great oven to play with too. I’ll post photos and recipes, and as many useful tips as I can, but really I’m just sharing my fun!