Aidan Chapman of the Phoenix Bakery in Weymouth likes to do things properly and his annual two-week stint making 1000s of hot-cross buns is no exception. We chatted about them recently and he mentioned his frustration at not being able to get a really good non-chemical clove oil, the flavour that turns a fruit bun into a hot-cross bun (that, and the cross!). So, we decided to have some specially made containing nothing but clove essence suspended in sunflower oil. It is good stuff - and you don't need to use a lot. In return, Aidan generously parted with his special hot-cross bun recipe.
Recently, Aidan Chapman, master baker and joint owner with his wife, Lisa, of the Phoenix Bakery in Weymouth invited me to come along and spend a Saturday on his Apprentice Course to experience his one-man artisan bakery at first hand. It's a compact bakery with the shop-front split between sales and baking, all on full display to passing trade. Above the shop and bakery, Aidan has a café through which there is a steady stream of customers munching on the pick of the day's quiche, bruschetta and cake with a fresh coffee. Read More