Welcome to Severn Bites. I’m Danielle Ellis. I trained as a professional bread baker in France in 2014. I run a variety of courses including bread baking, sweet doughs, pastry and pizza making classes for beginners and those with some knowledge. The emphasis is on providing skills that can be replicated at home. For those wishing to progress to professional level, I run one day tailored courses and short courses online.
I judge for the World Bread Awards, Great Taste Awards and dabble in making sloe gin. I am one of the Real Bread Campaign’s Ambassadors
It’s important to me to continue to gain new skills. In 2019, I took in the Kneading Conference 2019 in Skowhegan, Maine as a work study participant. Read my article that appears on the Real Bread Campaign website to find out more. Perhaps you’ll go there next year?
From marketing to bread making
I blame it on Richard Bertinet who runs the Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School. About 5 years ago I took a croissant making class with him thinking I knew plenty about bread. It turned out I didn’t. After saving up and taking his 5-day bread class I was inspired – but what should I do next?
After many years in marketing, I needed a change. To cut a long story short, I decided to train professionally. First of all I went to France under the WWOOF scheme (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) and had a fascinating time working in a bakery in Normandy that eschewed any machinery. If I could manipulate 25 kilos of dough, I could do anything!
Not finding anywhere in the UK suitable at the time, in 2014 I went to Briare in France to learn to be a professional baker with Banette. More than 300 Banette branded bakeries exist all over France. The course I followed usually leads to participants opening their own bakery. Unusually, the class was opened to foreign participants. Over 4 months, I learnt not only bread making techniques but how to run a bakery. You can read my diary on the Edinburgh Foody blog.
I founded the Edinburgh Foody blog in 2010. I worked with many well known brands and PR companies and grew the blog to the highest ranking in Edinburgh with a writing panel of 4. Whilst still living in Edinburgh, I ran bread classes too as Edinburgh Foody. I taught adults and children and chefs who wanted to add bread skills to their portfolios. It was such fun getting everyone enthusiastic about bread.
I moved to Gloucestershire in 2016 and now teach classes from my home. My passion is viennoiserie – I just love creating sweet and savoury breads, croissants, pain au chocolat and more.