About Rachael – The Abergavenny Baker
“It’s like jumping off a cliff!” exclaimed one of my colleagues when I tried to explain why I was resigning from my stable, sensible job in general practice to work as a locum and open the Abergavenny Baker school of Artisan Breads.
Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy working in General Practice. But I wanted more warmth, more joy and more creativity in my life. Running these classes – sharing the knowledge, skills and pleasure of baking – has more than fulfilled my hopes and expectations.
Why bread? Well, my sister lit a tiny fire in my heart when I was six ; she was at catering college and showed me how to knead dough and shape pretty little dinner rolls. Years later in New Zealand, someone lent us a bread maker and the smell of those freshly baked loaves wafting through the flat brought those glowing embers back to life.
We moved back to Wales in 2000 and I baked a bit more, taking the occasional loaf into work or to dinner parties. I went to a couple of classes to improve my baking skills, bought a few more recipe books, built a pizza oven in the garden…
Then in February 2015 we drove 831 long miles home from a holiday in France. Given time and head space to ponder life, I started to imagine opening my own bakery school. When we got home we did some sums, I resigned from my job and held my first baking class 5 months later.