This week’s bakery session at e5 saw us branching out away from just breads to also include simple side dishes and snacks that are traditionally eaten as an accompaniment. The simple flatbread is perhaps the most universal form of bread and is used instead of cutlery in many cultures. While experimenting with different loaves and ways of baking, we are also asking ourselves how we can use these different approaches to implement our own style and way of presenting our products and ourselves through the bread, to the general public.

For example, alongside our Tibetan buttermilk and Turkmen flatbread which we made this week, we learnt the recipes of two simple dishes to accompany the bread; a pomegranate and red onion salad and a leek pate. Traditionally, these dishes are eaten with wood oven cooked flatbreads and roasted meats and each taste deliciously complements another. We are learning to see breads in the culinary context in which they are found around the world in the hope that this approach may lead us to creating a plate of fresh bread and sides which is truly delectable.

Lunchtime was served under the warm April sun and was a concoction of salads, daals, curries and breads which the participants had so generously brought with them for us all to share. We stretched from the warm spices of a Sri Lankan curry to the burnt aubergine flavours of Iran topped off with a good slab of Hackney sourdough; every plate was a delight of colours and flavours.

As time progresses, we are looking more to the future and to how we can keep all our participants, who have all so wonderfully embarked on this journey, together as a group. The bonds which are being created and the skills and confidence which is being picked up, will hopefully continue to flourish, alongside the e5 Bakehouse and perhaps independently of it too. For now, as we enter the warmer months, it is a time to continue to learn and grow as a group and plan for how best to continue.