Baking bread is partly the reason why I love to cook. After having Eva, due to having a bad birth, pretending that I could cope and being completely unprepared for parenthood, I developed severe postnatal depression, OCD and anxiety. I suffered in silence for nearly a year. I gave up my job, refused to go outside and I felt like a terrible mother. I finally plucked up the courage to talk to the doctor, just telling one person felt like an enormous weight had been lifted off my shoulders and my world became a little less darker. I told Stephen by text message because I was too ashamed to tell him to his face but with his and other family members support, I began to feel like my normal self again. However, I still felt a bit empty and still not 100%.
I’m one of those people that google’s everything! That’s why I came across an article about baking being good for your mental health. It was around the same time The Great British Bake Off was on television and Paul Hollywood was every where. Being a keen day time tv watcher, I by chance watched his program on bread. All tv chefs make it look easy I know, but I decided to give it ago any way. It actually turned out perfect first go! Baking bread became a regular thing and I actually realised that I finally felt better. The combination of doing some thing for myself, the therapeutic kneading and having an amazing result at the end of it was better than any medication or support group! I started going out again and enjoyed being a mum. After a while I started experimenting with other recipes. Jump to today, I have recipes all of my own and I’m sharing them with people. Who would of thought!
The bread recipe by Paul Hollywood is one of the very few recipes that I haven’t changed in any way just because it always turns out perfect. I’ve tried different ones but I always go back to Paul Hollywood.
You can find his recipe here:
This is one of the first loaves that I baked, they have improved a lot since then but it reminds me of how far I have come and what I have achieved.