October 10, 2017
Like all of the City of London Livery Companies, the Worshipful Company of Bakers evolved from a guild of tradesmen who made their living in the City, and came together to ensure the standards of their trade were upheld. Where possible, all Liveries maintain strong links with their trade, and the Bakers are no exception. Although we tend to take our food for granted, baking is as relevant in modern Britain as it was in 1155, when the earliest surviving record of the Company’s existence was written.
The Bakers’ Company supports the baking trade by investing in new generations of professional bakers, funding apprenticeships, scholarships and training programmes. Most recently, the Company sent bakery students from across the country to a three-day masterclass with the world-renowned Breton chef and baker, Richard Bertinet, at the Bertinet Kitchen Bakery School.
The students were drawn from colleges of further education from all over the country, and all were studying for vocational baking qualifications, studying everything from recipes and techniques to supply chain and business aspects. The course offered them a chance to take a fresh look at a foundational skill in their repertoire – bread-making – and enhance it with traditional, small batch techniques, taught by an acknowledged master in the field. The students made Fougasse, Pain de Campagne and classic baguettes, by hand and without any mechanical assistance, and were shown new methods of mixing, raising and proofing the dough.
Said one student on the course; “I found my passion for artisan bread-making once again.” All of the students will return to their courses with a fresh perspective on bread-making, and some high-end skills which will be of great interest to employers, and of real benefit to their businesses. The Worshipful Company of Bakers wishes them the very best of luck for the future!