We’ve been enjoying fresh bread at home for the past few weeks courtesy of my husband – and it all started with a notonthehighstreet.com Dad Academy session. Here’s more.
Arts and crafts, DIY, cooking… I’ll chance my arm at most things to varying degrees of success. I have never been blessed, as my mum often tells me, with naturally practical genes but I like to think what I lack in God-given ability I make up through endeavour and determination.
So when I was asked by my wife to attend a session of Dad Academy from notonthehighstreet.com, my naturally competitive streak kicked in and I started to psyche myself up for what I imagined would be the urban equivalent of zip wiring through mangrove swamps with fellow chest beating males.
I did, however, have the opportunity one reasonably balmy August evening to roll up my man sleeves and get mixing, kneading and baking through Ma Baker’s bread making course.
So off I went telling myself I’d be competing in The Great British Bake Off – albeit at Sunday League football level. A glass of bubbly down the hatch, I and fellow dads were welcomed to our pristine work surfaces with all our ingredients laid out to make our first bread – a lovely sourdough.
Nervous laughter aside at the thought of losing face in front of each other, Liz from Ma Baker cut through all our barely concealed bravado and took us back to the classroom with a fun and easy to follow session. Balls of dough at the ready we set about kneading our dough with the delicacy of heavyweight boxers.
I was jokingly reprimanded for some over-vociferous dough banging on the table but I knew, you see, that it’d give my mix the competitive advantage it would need. Off to the oven they went and off to the bar we went for discussion about the merits of dough scrapers and the quickest ways to remove congealed flour from our hands.
Back we came for round 2 and growing in confidence we set about delivering our second batch, this time a traditional white farmhouse loaf – the process once again expertly curated by Ma Baker herself.
It was a lovely evening and very good fun. Ma Baker was also very open to even the most basic of questions about baking and we were all happy another string had been added to our bows.
Whether my home creations have the same sparkle as those made on the day I’ll leave others to judge. I, on the other hand, look forward to the next instalment of Dad Academy: no doubt zip wiring through those swamps.