A rising star! Yorkshire baking expert is really using her loaf

Jacqui Jackson.
Jacqui Jackson.

She’s the Yorkshire baker with a CV guaranteed to set the tastebuds tingling.

And now Jacqui Jackson is passing on the secrets of her success with her newly-opened business, the Yorkshire Baking Club.

Based at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield, it is a baking school offering courses in everything from beginner’s bread-making to more complicated tarts and pastries.

Jacqui has worked for some of the country’s biggest bakeries, developing products such as the Jaffa mini roll, Mars branded cake bars and caramel shortcakes for Thorntons.

But she is relishing the chance to get “back to basics” with a venture that combines industry leading knowledge and a warm, at-home feel.

Jacqui, 55, said: “Consulting for big manufacturers can take you anywhere in the country or even Europe and you get to a certain age where you think you’re done with travelling about.

“This is traditional baking, we are using hands, we are not using mixers. It’s kitchen cupboard ingredients, we are stripping it right back to basics and doing things in a fun way.

“If you get the basics there then people can do anything and that’s what I want to drive home, that you can extend it quite easily.

“I’ve got some courses for beginners but I will be talking about how you can move onto quite special products as well, like artisan bread using sourdoughs.”

Jacqui, from Barnsley, was speaking as impressive audience figures for a new series of the celebrity version of The Great British Bake Off showed the nation’s love affair with baking remains as strong as ever.

Produced in support of Channel 4 charity drive Stand Up To Cancer, the latest edition of The Great Celebrity Bake Off goes out tomorrow and will feature Ricky Wilson, from Leeds indie rockers Kaiser Chiefs.

Other famous faces appearing in the series include Leeds-born Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox.

Asked what advice she would give Ricky, Kadeena and their fellow bakers, Jacqui said: “It sounds simple, but they have got to remember to read the instructions. It’s one of those things we all forget, I have done it in the past, read them to the letter and then start.

“If they are doing [one of the programme’s showstoppers], they need to practise, practise, practise. If you go into a kitchen there’s always something different that will put you off kilter but if you know your recipe inside out then you can deal with that.”

Nancy Birtwhistle, a former winner of The Great British Bake Off, will be doing the honours at the official opening of the Yorkshire Baking Club on Saturday, March 24.

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