Yorkshire schoolchildren offered free cooking courses

Bettys Cookery School is offering free bread making courses to Yorkshire schoolchildren in celebration of its ten year anniversary.

The cookery school was founded in 2001 by Lesley Wild; the chairman of the Yorkshire based family business Bettys & Taylors. Lesley’s was to share the company’s passion for great food with its customers and members of the local community, especially schoolchildren.

The free bread making courses are being financed using an allocation from the profits of Bettys & Taylors. It is all part of the school’s commitment to the importance of healthy food, community based education and promoting the life skill of cookery.

During the last decade the cookery school has also taught almost one hundred and fifty ‘Young Chef’ courses designed to give young people aged between eight and sixteen, a basic introduction to cookery.

The manager of the cookery school, Richard Jones, explained that the community schools schemes were established ten years ago as a means of working in partnership with schools to inspire children to get enthusiastic about food. He explained that bread has always featured in these schemes and is an excellent way of capturing the children’s imagination.

During the cooking courses the children are taught the ancient technique of kneading. They are shown how to shape the bread into ‘scrolls’ or ‘plaits’ and also how to decorate the bread with poppy or sunflower seeds.

Whilst the rolls are ‘proving’ in the oven the children are taken on a tour of the cookery school. This is followed by a tasting workshop where shop bought bread is compared, usually unfavourably to their hand made rolls.

Mr Jones believes that the cookery school has a social responsibility to be involved in the local community as well as helping to identify the bakers of tomorrow.

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