Aidan baked his first bread at home with his mum against the peaceful backdrop of 1970’s Glastonbury. A Master Baker of breads, savouries, cakes and pastries, he is famous for his sourdough bread and his rants against the sliced white. Here is what he has to say:
‘I am a passionate Artisan Baker who thrives off sharing my knowledge.
After leaving school, armed only with a passion for food and a capacity for sleepless nights, I began my five year baker’s apprenticeship with Master Baker Steve Cooper at the Granary Bakery in Surrey. I then set off on a journey of discovery that all truly great bakers must complete, working in bakeries all over the country and learning new methods, ideas and secrets from the many bakers I met along the way.
It was only after this and my stint as Head Baker at the celebrated Celtic Bakers in London that I began to garner praise for my work.
Whilst in London I was heavily influenced by the organic movement and worked at farmers’ markets regularly. This gave me the chance to showcase my artisan breads to a very appreciative audience, and after these experiences I vowed to treat every shop window like a market stall – full of vibrant, seasonal and local hand made products. The aim was to wow every customer.
After relocating to Dorset in 2005 I was instrumental in setting up both Leaker’s Bakery in Bridport and The Town Mill Bakery in Lyme Regis. Both bakeries were an instant hit and this encouraged me to move on and set up my own bakery with my wife and partner Lisa.
The Phoenix Bakery shared bread and passion for five years and from this little Artisan bakery and cafe in Weymouth great things have come. After twenty-nine years of baking (and counting!) my passion for sharing my knowledge and passing on the real bread message has grown. I now consider myself an ambassador and teacher of all things bread-related, whether it’s supporting The Real Bread Campaign, teaching people how to bake, consultancy work, or demoing and ranting at the many shows around our country.
This led me to my current position teaching real bread classes at Bread Ahead in Borough Market, London as well as continuing with my River Cottage courses. Recently I have taken the title Dough Anarchist which sums up nicely what I am about. I invite everyone who is passionate about real bread to join me on my crusade to bring back one of the oldest trades known to man and to put bread back in its rightful place on the table.’