News

Bread Bike delivery route plan

Welcome back to a world of Zoom and Bread Bike deliveries

Hello from Planet Leicester Bakers! It’s been some months since the website became impossible to edit. A moment coinciding with the change of the world as we knew it with COVID-19 ravaging across the planet.

Although the website has been suspended there has been plenty of action on social media (do follow via the buttons below this post). I have been beavering away, learning as I go, and we now have this new website to showcase the business. Hopefully it will reflect the new ways we will be working as the months pass.

Before the first national lockdown the Bread Bike was starting to wake up from its winter slumber. Unfortunately circumstances made continuing with the arrangement in St Martin’s Square impossible from a safety aspect. After a bit of a break though the bike was back, trialling a delivery route from Thurmaston through town to the south of the city. The first trial customers have since been joined by others and bakes are weekly on Friday – supplying lovely fresh bread and buns for the local residents’ weekends. Do check out the micro-bakery page for more information and drop me a line if you are interested in signing up.

The pandemic has also brought a break in face to face work – training, public speaking and community activities. I am now offering on-line sessions, from half hour chats to answer questions on bread making to full, longer sessions where we can bake together. These are very reasonably priced – get in touch to find out more.

Most importantly though, keep well and safe. And I’d love to hear from you about your lockdown bakes – or just hear from you x

The Bread Bike with bread on board
The Bread Bike is now a Bread Delivery Bike!
The Bread Bike with bread on board

News of changes in the business!

Time for news of changes in the business! Various technical changes have happened with the website recently but ongoing site problems mean editing is currently suspended.

So, what will you see when we have the solution and can edit again? A number of changes have taken place over the past few months. Plans for the year have been set aside as COVID-19 has had a serious impact on training and community project opportunities. Also, even before the ‘lock-down’ was introduced in England, the Bread Bike service in St Martin’s Square was suspended by Planet Leicester Bakers because of safety concerns. All public speaking engagements have been cancelled for the rest of the year. No training or community projects are in the diary.

Images from the WI talk at Hinckley Canalside
The last WI talk and demonstration before COVID-19 ‘lock-down’ was a great success at Hinckley Canalside

Moving forward…

Beat the Brick! Skype Bread Baking Together sessions now on offer

PLEASE NOTE: OFFER ENDED 13 MAY 2020. PLEASE LOOK OUT FOR NEWS OF CURRENT ONLINE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Over the past few years many people have shared memories of themselves or their mums trying to bake bread during the national crisis that was the 1970’s Bread Strikes.

Karen's mum Betty remembered the Bread Strikes and baking a brick. Karen learnt to bake through the Sharing Bread project in 2015 and shared her skills with Betty, who was delighted with the success!
Karen’s mum Betty remembered the Bread Strikes and baking a brick. Karen learnt to bake through the Sharing Bread project in 2015 and shared her skills with Betty, who was delighted with the success!

Turning out a ‘bread brick’ has been the common refrain. Well, with many having bought bread flour of late, maybe for the first time, Planet Leicester Bakers is determined to not see a repeat of this history. Instead, wouldn’t it be great if, after this disaster has passed, we were inspired by our efforts to continue baking our bread for life, shunning the rubbish bread we’ve been eating for years?

So, how can you make sure you Beat the Brick?

If you have a device with Skype on you could get in touch and book a Bread Baking Together session with me in your (and my) kitchen. We can work out what to bake from what is in your cupboard and give it a go. This is ideal for people who are stuck at home because of the pandemic and perhaps would also welcome a bit of company while they bake. So you can be a beginner or more experienced. Either way, let’s get baking together. It’s great for relaxation and reducing anxiety, which in turn will strengthen your immune system. In the meantime, read on for a simple recipe if you want to give it a go now. You can hear me on Ben Jackson’s BBC Radio Leicester show at 10.20am this morning (24th March) talking about the recipe, the Bread Baking Together and the loveliness of making bread at a time of crisis…

 

contact about bread

Real Bread Week 2020 – News featuring Planet Leicester Bakers

We are delighted to be celebrating Real Bread Week 2020. This week Planet Leicester Bakers is featured on the Real Bread Campaign website. The focus this year is the many real bread bakers around the country who are using good bread to do good things. And I’m delighted that Planet Leicester Bakers has been asked to share the work being done here!

This isn’t the only news for this year’s celebration though.

Planet Leicester Bakers featuring on the Real Bread Campaign website
Planet Leicester Bakers and Baking a Difference featuring on the Sustain/Real Bread Week page

Bread Bike: Great Hit in Bakery’s 5th Anniversary Year

As we free-wheel towards Christmas, the Bread Bike initiative has proven a great hit in this momentous anniversary year for Planet Leicester Bakers.

Launched in the summer to mark the business’s fifth year of trading and community activity, the Bread Bike success represents all that is great about this community micro-business. Every fortnight new special bread treats and Surprise Bike Buns are baked in the micro-bakery in Thurmaston. They are then pedaled into Leicester City Centre to St Martin’s Square.

Bread Bike in action
The Bread Bike’s first week in action, offering Amalfi Lemon and Poppy Seed loaves

St Martin’s Square is the location for a number of reasons. This includes the ethos of many of the small businesses based there. Fair Trade, environmentally friendly no plastic wares and a fellow Slow Food supporter are natural bedfellows for Planet Leicester Bakers. (Read about the business’s core values here). The support of  business staff and owners has made it a wise and heart-warming choice as well. It is great to begin to feel a physical part of Leicester’s wonderful small and micro business community. …

Challenging Stigma and Judgement with Bread: ‘Sharing Bread+’ Launches in Leicester

Sharing Bread+ is an exciting new community project from charity group Reaching People in partnership with Planet Leicester Bakers. Using bread to create safe space for debate, the project seeks to challenge stigma and judgement. It will encourage people to come together to find ways to strengthen relations and build togetherness within communities and also between each other.

Read more to see the full media release!

Baking a Difference: A Grand Finale. And a Bread Bike!

Delivery of the year long Baking a Difference project drew to a wonderful close at Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College. Three young women and a staff member were invited to take part in bread making in the school kitchen. They absolutely loved it!

Project partners Learning for the Fourth Age are always keen to bring in new volunteers to the charity’s work. Giving the young women a taste of bread making was a good way to introduce them to the innovative approaches the charity adopts. Bread making with Planet Leicester Bakers also has the benefit of building confidence and encouraging enjoyment in real food. Comments from the young women certainly attested to that!

unbaked Easter bunnies

Bunnies have been Baking a Difference

Bunnies have been the order of the day for Care Home residents in the run up to Easter. Using a lovely French sweet dough from Bath-based baker Richard Bertinet, the residents have shaped balls of dough and dough ropes for outlines. The shape’s structure offers a lovely ‘sharing bread’ for all residents in the homes to enjoy.

bread shaped as a bunny
Care home residents have loved shaping and decorating bread for Easter

Sharing Bread at the Patient Information Forum, London

Attendees at the Patient Information Forum event last week warmly welcomed the concept of using bread to engage people around health.  The event, ‘Reaching and Engaging Hard to Reach Groups in the Provision of Health Information’, was a fascinating day of presentations from health communications professionals. The focus was particularly people and communities that are perhaps easier to ignore and I was delighted to be asked to attend and present with Jenny Hand, CEO of Reaching People.

Michelle presenting at the PIF health event
Presenting at the Patient Information Forum event, The Royal College of Anaesthetists, London. Photo credit: PIF