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Fabulous and fruity

This week saw Just Bread participants branching out a little.  Along with making a fantastic seeded rye, the trainees also created a raspberry and red currant jam.                 Each of the women made three loaves, one for them to take home and two for our fabulous subscribers who are helping the women by subscribing to a…

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Just Bread – New Course!

Are you a refugee woman interested in learning artisan bread baking skills? Our latest bread baking training course will be starting 14th June 2016 (E5 Bakehouse and Refugee Council working in partnership) Based within a bakery in London Fields (near Hackney Central) you will be taught by a professional baker from E5 Bakehouse’s team. Every Tuesday for 10 weeks (10am till 4pm). Meet and train with other refugee women. Reasonable travel expenses covered and lunch is provided If you are interested in being considered for a place, please email RiJ@refugeecouncil.org.uk or call 02073461047.  Places are limited so we will be meeting and selecting women with a genuine interest in bread…

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Just Bread in 2015

Wow, what a year! 2015 has been a time of incredible growth for Just Bread. Thanks to the wonderful support of our partners, supporters, customers and trainees we’ve delivered 20 weeks of training, and 2 new groups of trainees have become Just Bread graduates. And that was just the bread and butter! From film festivals to…

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Big thank you to Optimity Advisors

Optimity advisors is a small consultancy firm based in old street London. Each month the staff are given a sum of money to stock an old school ‘tuck shop’ with drinks, fruit and snacks or even home made cakes and pizza nights with all the proceeds going to charity. Each month a volunteer/s takes it…

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Celebrating in Style

Having completed their training just a week ago, today it was time for our Just Bread bakers to come together and celebrate. And we did so in style, thanks to the team at the Goring Hotel in Belgravia, who opened their doors to us with great generosity. The women were taken on a grand tour of…

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Pumpkin, poppy, sesame and sunflower

It was a wholesome week for the Just Bread bakesters as we set about making 150 of our 66% seeded rye rolls which, with a coarser grain, took a little extra energy and strength to prepare for baking. With the dough set to prove by the warm oven, the women shared lunch with special guests…

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Getting down to business

It was another week of firsts for the Just Bread team, who came together to make an astounding 120 ciabatta ‘slippers’ to satisfy our growing number of subscribers. There was a real sense of professionalism among the bakers today who – now in week four of their training – are already being required to demonstrate the…

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Wild Loaves Rising

It was all go at the Bakehouse today as our bakers prepared their first loaves for Just Bread subscribers. On the menu this week was e5’s signature sourdough, the Hackney Wild, and the women got to work quickly, measuring the ingredients with meticulous precision and confidently stretching and folding the dough. This week’s tea break conversation turned to baking cultures around the world and in particular in our particpants’ home countries. Nazy, who grew up in Iran, explained how in her home town each variety of bread is made in a separate bakery, while Noha told the group about ‘ashe’-or ‘life’- a round pocket bread that is a favourite in…

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And we’re off!

Our new group of trainee bakers got off to a fantastic start today, perfecting a rustic white sourdough, and learning all about starters and yeasts and flour types. With expert guidance from Ben and Jean at e5, the women were coached through every step of turning flour and water into the delicious loaves similar to those…

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Exciting next steps for Just Bread trainees

As we quickly enter into summertime, our days together experimenting with food and bread at e5 are slowly drawing to a close. We have enjoyed a wonderful course with our eight incredible students, who have been committed, enthusiastic and kind students from the first day onwards. Over the duration of the ten weeks, the collaboration…

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Flatbreads and flavours

The past two weeks our trainees have been working together on developing flatbreads and sides for their first public event.  Suffice to say, they are all eager and highly motivated to impress.  Details will become available in due course. Inspired by both the backgrounds of our trainees and the famed wholesome sourdoughs of e5 Bakehouse,…

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New course mid March 2015 – Now recruiting

We are delighted to announce the start date of our next round of Just Bread training for refugees. We are expecting the new course to start on 17th March 2015.  The course will be running every Tuesday from E5 Bakehouse in East London for around 14 weeks.  During this time trainees will visit also receive a session from Bread Ahead bakery and…

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New home for Just Bread

We have been fairly quiet with updates on here recently but behind the scenes all here at Just Bread have certainly been peddling madly.  We have been doing the rounds introducing ourselves to bakeries and looking for potential venues. Last year we delivered our training at the amazing and lovely Myatt’s Field Park in South London but the Refugee…

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Just Bread goes outdoors

It has been hectic as ever here over the last few weeks and only now are we getting around to updating you on how things have been progressing at Just Bread. Firstly, what a fantastic day we had at the Celebrating Sanctuary event down on London’s Southbank the other week. Thanks to everyone who came…

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Graduation: It’s not the end, but the beginning…

Last week, all trainees who embarked up their journey with Just Bread graduated. Our final training session was marked as a celebratory event, with a communal lunch featuring a veritable smorgasbord of delicious dishes from our trainees’ countries of birth.  We had a special visitor from the Refugee Council, Caroline Olshewsky.  She is will be…

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Bonus Baking Session

Once again, you’d barely know it was a spring term holiday from the turnout at our bonus baking session. Much to our surprise, 6 of our 8 trainees attended. We’d only expected 4 of them, but a few extras were able to get some childminding help from friends and come along. Seeing this level of…

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“We do that!”

You’d have never known it was a school term holiday at our latest session (a bonus), given the fact a number of our trainees have school-aged children. We expected just four of our eight trainees to be able to attend because of childminding issues, but seven turned up. It was a wonderful surprise. And we had an extra: the perfectly behaved, lovely eight-year-old daughter of one of our trainees. Such a delight! After working up a batch of pizza dough and leaving it to prove, we set off for a tour of a proper artisan bakery just five minutes down the road. That bakery was The Old Post Office Bakery,…

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The sweet smell of fresh sourdough starter and…

The sweet smell of fresh sourdough starter and…the starkly contrasting, surprisingly unpleasant smell of an unsuccessful starter made for howls of laughter at our latest session. Almost all our trainees arrived with successful live cultures ready for baking their first attempt at sourdough. The sound of popping kilner jars lids as they were opened was…

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They came, they baked, they bantered

Our latest baking session was a bit of the old and the new. Our trainees revisited making loaves, both tin and banneton, with any combination of flours of their choosing. It was nice to see many of them opted for wholemeal and spelt. They also made more of their beloved focaccia with toppings of their…

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Beautiful buns and blossoming women

As our latest baking day was going to fall on the Persian New Year (Nowruz), we made a plan the previous week that we would experiment with savoury buns inspired by the flavours of the classic Persian omelette, Kuku Sabzi. This intensely herbed spinach omelette flecked with walnuts and barberries is served as a part…

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Sweet Aromatic Buns and Rye Pigs

Last week’s lesson was full of shaping sweetness, excitement and frivolity into golden Bath Buns, savoury Turkish Kahvalti buns, and Dark Rye Raisin Loaves. With spring in full bloom outside, and the heaters cranked up to full heat inside, we all set to work kneading, shaping, rising and baking these beauties.        …

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Nothing left but crumbs!

Just Bread’s public debut at the Women on the Move Awards Thursday, March 6 could not have been better.  Three of our eight trainees were able to attend the inspiring event and proudly present their work to the 300 attendees under the watchful gaze of the London Eye.  For one of our attending trainees, it…

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You’ve come a long way, baby!

That is what came to mind after we finished up our seventh baking session this week.  Our first cohort of trainees is comprised of fast learners, each with good competency in English. These essential qualities both facilitate their progress and bonding. With each session they grow further in confidence: so much so, that they are beyond simply feeling ready for their public debut at the Women on the Move Awards next Thursday.  They are excited and can’t wait to share their baked goods with the 300 distinguished women who will be attending the event at The Southbank Centre.  So proud, so very, very proud!            …

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From Mexico City to Myatt’s Field Park…

Jane Mason, found of Virtuous Bread, author of All You Knead Is Bread and The Book of Buns:  Over 50 brilliant bakes from around the world, honoured us with her presence at this week’s session.  Deb worked up a brilliant lesson plan focused on developing shaping and working further with pre dough, and Jane ran…

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Meet Ayan

Ayan fled war-torn Somalia and ended up in the UK.  She’s a single mother of 6, also responsible for looking after her elderly mother.  She is an intelligent woman with a strong determination. In her desire to start re-building her life she considers employment as the most significant step forward. However, she has faced the…

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What do you do when there’s a Tube strike?

Stay in and bake.  And that’s precisely what we did at Just Bread this Thursday.  It was clear that once our trainees shepherded their kids to school, getting to Myatt’s Field Park anywhere near on time for our fifth session was just not going to happen.   So we were forced to make the decision to cancel the day before.   Yes, a bummer for all of us, but when you get lemons, you make lemonade:  In lieu of attending, our trainees have been revisiting what they have already learned to consolidate their knowledge and skills. On the bright side, our employability skills workshop was thankfully unaffected by the strike.  Fahira Mulamehic,…

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It’s a beautiful thing when….

You see a shy woman come out of her shell.  That is precisely what happened this week.  One of our trainees surprised us all when she brought in ingredients to make buns which she holds dear from childhood memories.  She did a demo for us all, front and centre.  She was beaming throughout.  And that,…

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Poetry in motion…

Yes, that’s what it was like watching one of our trainees knead today! Our ladies are all improving and feeling more confident, however it is safe to say a few of them demonstrate an intuitive feel for working the dough.  It is a joy to watch them all at work both as individuals and as part of the team.  So pleased!   We worked further on shaping this week, this time with grissini.  It was great fun observing all the different ways our trainees eagerly set about seasoning, twisting, and gently placing their grissini onto the trays before baking. Everyone had a go at making ambasha, which was introduced last…

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A magical space…

A magical space and time for refugee women. The second day of our pilot training course ran like it had been happening for months, thanks to the detailed organisation behind the scenes. Throughout the day a quiet lyrical hum of the women’s conversation mingled with the warmth and aroma of rising and baking bread. The art of…

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We are on our way!

It’s a special day. After all the planning, fundraising, begging and borrowing, today it all came together. Here at Just Bread we proudly delivered the first day of our bread baking training to refugee women. This morning we welcomed the first group of 8 trainees taking part in the course. We will be working closely with them over…

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We won the dough!

We are delighted to have won £300 at the first ever London Soup micro-fundraising event. This is a brilliant concept that has become increasingly popular in the U.S. and Canada but this is the first time an event like this has been arranged in the UK. Up to 4 social projects are encouraged to come along and pitch their ideas to the public. The public pay £10 at the door to hear the pitches, have some delicious lunch and then vote for their favorite project.  The project that receives the most votes gets all the money that was taken at the door.  It really is a fabulously simple, fun and effective way for people to…

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London SOUP! – Come and support us

We need your support! We are pitching our Just Bread project at the first London SOUP meeting this Sunday 8th Dec from 2pm – 5.00pm, at the Rotary Bar & Diner near Old Street, London. Basically we are there to raise money so that we can …get the project off the ground. Here’s the ask…… we need friendly supporters to come along and vote for us. Please come along!! Tickets are £10 but you get free food and the fun of voting for the best project idea (i.e. Ours). Details: Join us for the inaugural London SOUP – a community dining and micro-funding project, bringing us together to share a…

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