My name is Alexandra Vaughan and I love baking. And cooking. And eating.
You get the gist.
The first time I tried to make a cake I must have been around 4 years old. A neighbour had been left to look after me but needed to nip out for a short while. Finding myself alone for some 10 min, I dragged a stool to the cooker and placed a plastic box (!) over the electric plate, filled it with some flour, sugar and eggs. I was going to bake my mother a cake. Thankfully the neighbour came down just as the plastic box was starting to melt…
Over the next few years, I must have started paying more attention to what people were doing around me, or had my baking endeavours supervised, as there were no more plastic boxs’ casualties.
The following 20 odd years I kept baking biscuits, cakes, quiche – basically anything that took my fancy. One of the greatest pleasures in baking for me resides in experimenting and trying new things, seldom will I repeat a cake if I can find another variation for it. However, it wasn’t until I moved to the UK that I first attempted to make my own bread.
Hailing from Portugal I always took good bread for granted – there will always be a bakery just around the corner and you buy fresh bread whenever you want it. When I arrived to London in 2006 I was surprised to find factory mass-produced bread as the staple and I was never able to get my head (or stomach) around the texture and flavour of this product. It wasn’t long before I started to make my own. I even got a bread making machine involved in the action at some point, but I found the whole thing boring in regards to process and result. I read a lot about bread, flour and yeast. And I kept trying out recipes.
In 2014 I did a Basic Bread course with the Bread Angels; we covered the basics of bread making and this course was vital to boost my confidence. Since then I have not stopped baking and learning. I can now make a wide variety of bread and am always happy to try out new recipes or make up my own. I have volunteered at a few bakeries and am always looking to learn and grow as a baker.
My goal is to be able to pass on this joy of baking your own bread and pleasure of eating to all that cross my path!