Baking bread is an incredibly rewarding activity, for both the person doing the baking and anyone they will be gracing with the fruits of their labour.
Making our own food allow us to engage with nature at a deeper level, creating a greater awareness of where food comes from and how it becomes something that will nourish our body. It opens the doors to discuss how what we eat impacts our health and why we should be more conscious of what is in our food.
Together with the above, studies show that baking bread is incredibly therapeutic for people with either mind or body ailments, as pioneered by projects like the Better Health Bakery, Bread Houses Network and the Together We Rise by the Real Bread Campaign, to name but a few.
Further to this, baking is a productive form of self-expression and communication and fits a type of therapy known as behavioral activation. Baking for others creates a greater sense of community and learning how to bake for our family and friends is an amazing way to express our love for them. At the heart of baking for others is the very act of giving. While the process of baking can contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing, giving heightens that feeling (quotes from Psychologists Explain The Benefits Of Baking For Other People).
Baking also plays a role in bringing communities together. Several projects of community supported baking show the great impact that this type of projects can have in a community. Breadshare in Edinburgh, Forest Bakehouse in Longhope, Loaf in Birmingham or the Leeds Bread Co-op are good examples of these.
But baking is also being used across the country in helping refugees to gain new skills and a greater sense of belonging to a new community – nothing like sharing bread to make someone feel at home! The Luminary bakery or the E5 Bakehouse have been working with refugees for some time now and already count some of their alumni as having gone to set up their own businesses.
Food education, a greater sense of belonging, giving back to the community, therapy – there is a impressive number of benefits to bringing baking into your community and I am very keen in rolling my sleeves up and working with institutions and not-for-profit companies in introducing people to the joys & benefits of baking.
In the past I worked with Brewbird, a cafe run by the St Giles trust, to teach bread baking to young offenders and I have run workshops at the Platform, a community cafe run by the Loughborough Farm, where locals were given the chance to attend the workshops for free.
Get in touch and let’s get baking together!