Meet the Tutor with Alison Haigh



Ali Haigh, tutor of our Easter Baking and Bread Making courses tells more about her passion for food and cookery.

From where did your passion for baking grow?
I was born into a baking family in West Yorkshire and before going to school I would go down to the bakery every morning at 6am where I would stand on a box and ice sticky buns. I would then take warm sausage rolls on the bus to school. The smell of bread baking still inspires me every day to bake and from a young age, I was given the confidence to know that I could bake.

What do you enjoy most about teaching cookery courses?
Allowing students to realise that they can all bake and sharing the knowledge as well as the pleasure of seeing the sheer delight in their faces when their bakes are complete.

We’re looking forward to the Easter Baking course that you will be leading at Frogmary Green Farm shortly. What can those attending expect from the course? A very calm, light-hearted approach, knowing that they are not being judged or tested and - what a gift - that they are allowing themselves the time to just focus on baking. We will be making a sweet dough into some delicious Spiced Buns for Easter, some Lemon Polenta tarts (GF), a Chocolate & Almond Easter flake cake and a Sausage and Egg pie made with a homemade, rough puff pastry.

Do you have a favourite Easter recipe - and why?
Chocolate & Almond Flake cake - this is my Grandmas recipe - it keeps for ages, is simple to make and it reminds me of racing back to her house for tea on a Wednesday after school.

You will also be leading our Artisan Bread Making course later in the year. Do you have a favourite loaf that you enjoy baking most and can you share a bread recipe that our readers can practice at home?
I have many bread recipes so it is hard to select one. Carrot and Caraway Soda Bread, which is a recipe I developed for Le Creuset, is a fun and easy recipe as it uses up those excess carrots, is quick to make and is delicious with a bowl of soup or chunk of cheese. As for my favourite recipe, I think it would be a wholemeal, raisin and walnut cob as it is wonderful with cheese and also amazing toasted with a cup of tea.

TUTOR TOP TIP: do you have a top baking tip to share with our readers? Make sure when making a dough, that you are using fresh yeast or dried yeast that has not been open too long as it deteriorates. Also, use cold water as the yeast will grow more slowly and develop more flavour. If you use warm water and it is over 37C you can kill the yeast before you start, so much better to use cold water.

To learn more about Alison, visit her webiste here>