Since my visit to the village Bethesda in North Wales last year, I have been imploring my friend Mick Hartley to talk about the home-based micro-bakery he started almost a year ago. Mick is the brain child of the now infamous Bethesdabakin. He's also an inspired innovator, turning vision into reality. In this case the vision was to invite like minded bakers to converge on a Welsh village rugby club where they could then bake bread.
Amongst the eager bakers was our mutual friend, British baker Dan Lepard,who shared advice and worked under challenging conditions, including rolling croissant dough with a red wine bottle, for lack of a proper rolling pin. Bakers from as far as Denmark, Australia and the USA shared ideas,and recipes. We even got a seminar on naked barley. The less formal surroundings and plain enthusiasm has initiated other meetings, sort of like sourdough starters spreading, only here they're moving across national boundaries rather than just within baking pans. The latest incarnation took place earlier this summer in France with Brad Preznant presiding. Next summer there is another bake "happening" with the famous Rick "Moonbake" on his sustainable living homestead in South Wales. Stay tuned!
For some years now I have corresponded with Mick through Dan Lepard's forum where we first bumped heads. Mick's famous photos of trips to France, including many portraits of breads, as well as his overall friendly advice make him a welcome addition to Stir the Pots. He is about one of the nicest people I know and a baker extraordinaire!