Get ready to carb-up because it's Real Bread Week this week which is a full 7 days dedicated to buying your loaves from independent bakeries and, if you dare, baking your own. Now, while I'm not quite convinced that the loaves I can pick up from the supermarket aren't 'real bread', I am fully on board with any campaign that encourages people to shop locally or make their food from scratch, myself included.
If you follow my escapades on my Insta stories you'll know I'm no stranger to cooking. But bread is something I never make at home for two, very important reasons:
-Bread takes time and I am very impatient.
-Bread takes a light, careful touch and I am a bit (a lot) clumsy.
Despite this, when I got a message from Helen from Country Mile Kitchen asking me if I fancied having a go at making my own bread, I put my fears behind me and headed down to St Helens with the lovely Suzanne from Foodie Liverpool to see if I'd be able to knock up a loaf worthy of the Artisane shop window.
We spent a full day measuring, mixing, kneading, resting and shaping our loaves, led by Helen our resident expert.
She taught as all about loads of tech-y things like 'hydration levels' and the formula for the perfect water temperature and even got us making a 5- strand plaited loaf.
Turns out kneading is not as easy as they make it look on the Bake off, but our efforts were kindly interspersed by tea breaks and an amazing 2 course veggie lunch (with wine...)
Whether you're inspired by our efforts and decide to give bread making a go this week or just fancy popping out to buy some from your nearest Indie bakery (I'll list my favourites below), I've got the perfect accompaniment because this week also marks Global Scouse Day! There's a whole host of places serving up Liverpool's favourite dish, have a look at the hashtag on Twitter to see what's happening.
Now all that's left to do is slather a thick layer of salty butter on your hand-crafted loaves and get dunking.
My favourite places to buy fresh bread: Artisane, Baltic Bakehouse, Homebaked Anfield, Furrow, EA Bakehouse, Rough Hand Made, The Wild Loaf.
Details about Country Mile Kitchen: Helen runs different style baking classes a few times a month so you can book on alone, with a friend or with a big group (convince your boss it's a team-building activity?). If you are lucky enough to live within a mile of Helen you can order a bread subscription right to your front door, so you don't even need to get out of your PJ's.