Bread in Common

Stoke-on-Trent's real bread bakery

Shelton

Interview with: Miriam - OCIS cafe

Chris Twigg

Date: 17/04/14

Location: Shelton

Interviewer: Hilary Hughes

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

Well we did it at school in them days we did, then I used to watch me mother, then I helped. We used to make dough, then kneading and then putting it in the bread tin, it's all flat when you put it in the bread tin in the oven, and when you pull it out of the oven, it rises. Years ago when we used to have a piece of that bread we used to call them noggins 'cos they were very thick, in them days we put jam on because other things were expensive. That was in 1952, when we made bread in school, something like that, cookery lessons, baking, cakes and that. I can remember making bread. But mainly watching me Mum and doing some meself, doing the flour and everything, kneading it. No we didn't have a recipe, all I remember is the flour and butter, yeast and warm water or warm milk. The dough, you knead it like that, keep doing it.

'Cos in them days then years ago when we used to make it there was no slice bread out, in other words we used to call it a noggin when it was  cut. No slice bread at all in them days. Cut them with a big knife, a carving knife. We used to tear it off for lobby.

The best of it, you talk about bread, was bread pudding. You can't beat your mothers bread pudding, soak it overnight, instead of throwing the bread away. Raisins, line a dish with it and use the bread for the walls. We used to have a piece of bread pudding and go out in the street eating it, lovely. I wasn't much for dripping, lard. Lard on toast me other brothers and sisters had it. I wouldn't have margarine, I had to have this butter. I eat mainly Flora now, years ago it had to be the best butter. Embreys, Champions, Mothers Pride, Hovis, Warburtons, Chatwins, Harrisons as well, Burgess's. Really years ago it was just, it was all the loaves what you cut up.

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Interview with: Man in OCIS cafe

Chris Twigg

Date:17/04/14

Location: Shelton

Interviewer: Hilary Hughes

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

This shop in Longton just over on the market, they make it (bread) and sometimes there's a crowd waiting outside to get a piece. They make their own bread and cakes, everything. I'm a potter, I don't know anything about bread.

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Interview with: Ethel - OCIS cafe

Chris Twigg

Date: 17/04/14

Location: Shelton

Interviewer: Hilary Hughes

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

Oh I've made bread, when we had the strike, it was called Soda Bread, there's no yeast in that. At the time we just did it because there was no other way. Put all the ingredients ready for when I got home from work and soon after my husband would come, he would see to the tea and I'd be making the bread ready for tea. It was awful in the 70's when we had these power cuts because we never knew when it was going to go off, until some bright spark decided to do a timetable for us and then we did know. Where I was living at the time, in the flats up Tollgate at Blurton, high rise. They were owned by the company my husband worked for which was Seddons. Me mother told me the recipe, because she had a Mrs Beatons cookery book, where you take half a dozen eggs, even in the bad times, every recipe started take half a dozen or a dozen, I mean we couldn't afford anything it was all scratch, scratch, scratch. I never done it since, it wasn't white bleached flour and I do know that we soaked the ingredients, that's why I got the ingredients ready. It tasted brilliant, it did rise and if you got it just straight from the oven and you could put your butter on, it used to melt into it and the smell was fantastic. People in the flats used to say what a gorgeous smell in this flat, I ended up making it for residents as well. It was a community those flats, everybody did everything for everybody.

I was brought up on a farm, the table laden with bread. The smell absolutely fabulous, it was warm, doughy and welcoming. You can smell it when you walk past the factories today, Allied Bakeries on the way to 'Castle. We used to get the butter from the dairy, Uncle Alf would be churning it.

Windmills and Worsten Mill I used to take my children, round Norton Bridge and still the wheel is there, it works, by the canal. There must be other mills, anything with mill in the name, Millford, either a water mill or windmill.

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Interview with: Derek Wallace

Chris Twigg

Date: 17/04/14

Location: Shelton

Interviewer: Hilary Hughes

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

My fathers Jamaican and he was a baker, a Jamaican baker, so that might be interesting how different cultures have a different spin on how they make their bread. So we used to see Jamaican Buns being made in our house in the 70's and obviously it was as a child I had a fond memory of the way the dishcloth was rising, obviously it was the yeast. So yes,  I've seen a lot of breads and stuff being baked. I can go forward, I was actually privileged when I went to Goldsmiths University in the 80's to actually work for an Italian bakery. They were high end bakers, they used to do the bread for the Houses of Parliament. So those, Dorchester, Houses of Parliament, I remember driving the van, the security pass to get in, that was ........(sounds like T'chinos) bakery, in Bermondsey, they were Italian. I went to study at Goldsmiths and my uncle got me a part time job, 4.30 in the morning, horrendous, lugging two tons of flour upstairs, one of the jobs you do in the formative years. The bread was amazing, superb.

Hard dough, a dough with stronger texture. Like now it's Easter, so bread, now the famous bread from the Caribbean bakeries at this particular time would be known as a 'duck bread'. Very creative, there's a little duck on the end of the bread, not the full thing, a little head. That bread flies off the shelves. And twist breads, the bread is plaited, just gorgeous those are the breads consumed in quantities round about now. Main ports of call for this bread in the UK, Birmingham, London obviously, Wolverhampton, maybe Bristol, where the stronger communities are.

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Interview with: David

Chris Twigg

Date:17/04/14

Location: Shelton (OCIS Café)

Interviewer: Hilary Hughes

Permission given to use interview for website, exhibition and Staffordshire archive: YES

 

Question asked “What do you remember about bread or bread baking”.

 

I live in Trentham, come here on the bus, on my own. Bread, well yes, me Mum used to make bread and she started me off. I used to make it by hand at one time, but I can't 'cos I've got arthritis in my right hand, but I have got a breadmaker. I need someone to help me with it, I did have a support worker but she's gone over to Revival, so I've got no one to help me, it's just the measurements I get stuck with. I've got a pasta machine as well, haven't tried to use it yet. I used to make coriander bread. You mix with fresh seeds of coriander, they have a lovely aroma like oranges and I've done with buckwheat. I have to be careful now, I have a wheat alergy, celiac, so I have to have special bread mix, if I had somebody to help me with the measurements I could make me own.

Me Mum made it with fresh yeast, we used to get the yeast from the supermarket or the local shop. We used to make bread in loaf tins and round ones like a bun loaf. I liked the crust, those were the days, in the 1960's when me Mum made bread. I started making me own bread pretty soon after me Mum died, she died in 1999, in March. My friend makes bread as well, she's got a bread machine. First in the bread machine I made buns, they were successful, second time I had more success I made it with coriander. It's just the measurements I get stuck with.

It's easy to make chapatis, you want 8oz of flour, a pinch of salt sometimes I'd add curry powder, or mixed herbs. You put them on the frying pan. Use a rolling pin, make little round balls then roll 'em out. I watched  a cookery programme and got the idea off them. There's two types actually, one you use olive oil and deep fry it. Eat them with stir frys.

Making bread you have to knead it with your hands, knead it three or four times, otherwise it won't rise. It takes a  long time to make it rise. Me Mum cooked the bread in loaf tins and round ones for bun loaves, sometimes we made rolls as well, bread rolls, put them on a baking sheet like scones. I think we had a Mrs Beatons, a big thick book, I've still got it. All this talk of bread it's making me hungry.

We used to have, Wrights bakery down at Trentham, at the bottom of Hanford roundabout. There used to be a bakery but they've gone now, closed down. We've got another little bakery now, The Bread Basket that's the nearest one now.

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