You Knead This : A breadmaking class for the curious and hungry 

Breadmaking is an art that takes time, patience, and lots of fun. How is one Cardiff breadmaker working to spread the news about this activity?

Carr specializes in making different types of loaves including focaccia bread, ciabatta bread, and more (credit: Highs & Loaves)

Cardiff breadmaker Warren Carr has one mission only and it’s to get people to enjoy the idea of making ‘real bread’ again. 

Carr’s Highs & Loaves is a set of artisan breadmaking classes that he started as an opportunity to teach people in South Wales how to bake any type of loaf in a normal home kitchen.

While he was a young student in the early 70s and 80s, Carr got the opportunity​​ to travel to different European countries such as  Germany, Austria, and Italy where he discovered the ‘wonderful’ types of loaves they had there.

“At that time in the UK, we had nothing compared to their types of bread. It was horrible, just supermarket bread. I found myself easting these amazing breads in every city I went to and finally realised what bread actually was supposed to taste like,” says Carr. 

Attendees can make any type of loaf ranging from white breads, rye breads, and more depending on their choice of herbs and spices (credit: Highs & Loaves)

Working on making his own bread at home was something he enjoyed for fifteen years before he started hosting classes for the public. Carr has not even looked back at buying store-bought bread since. Hasta-la vista, Warburton’s Toastie bread! 

Carr spent most of his time in the journalism and pr/communications field for his main job and still does as he runs his own communications agency with a colleague. However, he still happily made bread on the weekends in his free time. 

“One piece of advice I’d give younger myself is to have started bread making earlier and not wait. I’m fulfilling my dream now. When we eased back on the communication business it made me think ‘Hey if I’m not doing so much communication agency work, I can start to focus more on my bread’. Many friends and family would say my bread was really nice,” says Carr.

At first the idea of opening a bakery came to mind, but with time and much needed investments, he decided it was suitable to spread the word about bread making through classes. Carr essentially wanted people to convert to the idea that making bread is actually quite easy and simple.

Classes have a maximum of four attendees but are a great way to meet new people and make friends (credit : Highs & Loaves)

Carr decided that it would be best to host classes on breadmaking for people in South Wales and the South West in his own kitchen because he believes people can do this in their own house without any special equipment or ingredients.

And alas, the birth of Highs & Loaves! Carr began to run six sessions a month in his own kitchen, classes limited to four people maximum. Attendees are able to take classes which can run from beginner levels. Ingredients and equipment are provided in each session along with a complimentary light lunch, all being suitable for any type of diet, including vegans.

“I’m trying to spread the word that it’s a very do-able thing to do.  It’s very easy once you’ve got your basic steps. You don’t need complicated ingredients even if you might think they are,” says Carr. 

Each week, themed classes will take course. For instance, on Tuesdays you have the option to enroll in a class that focuses on making European breads such as French brioche or making summer themed loaves like olive and coriander on Thursdays.

One of Carr’s favourite loaf he likes to make is a goat cheese and mint loaf, which is nice to pair with a soup (credit: Highs & Loaves).

Breads can offer many different flavors and textures depending on how you make them. Within almost a matter of 6-7 minutes after mixing together all the dry and wet ingredients, you can let your mixture sit while you go away, shape it into the way you want, put it into the oven, and then it is done.

“The actual work that you are doing to make a loaf of bread is less than ten minutes. Obviously, you know you won’t have bread in ten minutes but the actual time you are working to make it is less than that. It’s also about nature doing its time when the bread is rising, or baking in the oven,” says Carr.

However, baking bread isn’t just the only goal you are trying to achieve in a class. Attendees can make many other recipes ranging grissini sticks, pizza bases or pasta.

Carr works out of his kitchen for his classes and hosts them four to six times a month for people in the South Wales and South West region (credit: Highs & Loaves)

Using a range of ingredients such as herbs, spices, nuts, cheeses and even beer, Highs & Loaves will allow you to create the most perfect loaf pair with a soup or sandwich. 

“What I preach is that you can get your own simple flour and very simple ingredients like herbs or spices or nuts or soltanas, all kinds of different flavorings that you can do very amazing things with, and then you end up with bread that you don’t ever see in the shops” says Carr.

When baking bread, it can create the type of clean, sweet aroma that makes you feel warm, like you are snuggling up in a blanket on a cold rainy day. 

The taste when you bite into it, the crunchy texture of the crust, the way you can match different breads to what you’re eating… it’s simply an experience, and its one that Carr is seeking to share with the public through his classes. 

To learn more about Highs & Loaves, check out their website here to enroll in a class.