Today was the second week of our bread subscription baking. For every course, customers can sign up to buy bread made by the refugees each Tuesday. The ladies seem to really love this incentive to bake for sale.

The previous week, they baked 23 loaves very enthusiastically for the customers and they particularly enjoyed the busyness of the day. This week was even more productive as the number of clients has increased and the ladies were taught how to bake a new type of bread, a multigrain bread topped with seeds, by the lovely bakers Jean and Lizzie.

As the group gets to know each other better and friendships form, lots of the women have started to bake and cook at home and bring in their produce to the course. Last week we were treated to a delicious Iraqi tomato stew and meat-stuffed breads made by Khalidah. These dishes are traditional lunchtime dishes in her native Iraq and we were all blown away by the amazing flavours and warmth of the dish. This week, we were fuelled by Eteri’s Georgian ‘xachapuri’ which are incredibly rich cheese and egg filled flatbreads. She happily demonstrated and taught the class how to make them and this was after we had all munched on her scrumptious Napoleon creamfilled cakes! Both acts of immense generosity in giving and sharing their traditional foods really
seem to have touched everyone involved in the course and encouraged the feelings of integration and passion for baking.

During the different stages of making this week’s subscription bread, the women were also taught various skills used around a cafe and bakery. Some of them were a dab hand at the coffee machine and made some beautiful, and extremely strong, cappuccinos, others charmed the bakehouse‘s regulars on the tills, and others got stuck in with helping the professional bakers work
and shape dough – all skills that they can exercise in employment here.

Now that we are half way through the course, it is truly wonderful to see how all the ladies have progressed and how their amazing talents are being nurtured. It’s especially heartwarming to hear how much they all love the course and how it is something that they look forward to every week. Here’s to next week!