How we help mums (and learn to bake!)

Every month, M&Y puts aside 1% of its revenue to help other mums. We support mums in a variety of ways, but one of the ways we do this is to help nurture the talents you have to develop your skills into a business that supports your family.

Luminary is a social enterprise supporting disadvantaged women to reach their potential, including those who have experienced poverty, homelessness & abuse. The organisation trains women in baking skills, supporting them to build a career in the industry.

When Luminary bakery owner, Alice, invited the M&Y team over to test their baking skills, we jumped at the chance!

Amongst clouds of flour and an extra cupful or two of chocolate chips, Alice expertly taught us how to make an Irish soda bread loaf (see recipe below if you’d like a go!), and told us all about Luminary’s training programme and its graduates so far. One of these graduates has since launched their own cakes and catering company to support herself and her three children, and we were taken with the incredible wealth of talent and potential she has. M&Y is now offering consultancy support for her solo venture and will be supporting her as she develops her business.

The majority of women that make up the Luminary team are single mums, and accessing the support and opportunities offered by the bakery’s training programme can provide a real turning point in their lives. The chance to work with mums like this is one of the core reasons M&Y exists and we’re looking forward to the next steps we take.

Until then, we’ve got plenty of baking practice to get in!

Have you ever tried your hand at baking bread? We’re not suggesting it’s easy, but mixing ingredients and kneading dough is a great way to spend an afternoon if you have a curious toddler to entertain. Have a go with this recipe next time there’s a rainy day, and send us your pictures of the results!

Recipe (courtesy of BBC Food)

Ingredients

Method

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6.
  • 2. Tip the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir.
  • 3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff but it should not be too wet or sticky.)
  • 4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
  • 5. Form into a round and flatten the dough slightly before placing on a lightly floured baking sheet.
  • 6. Cut a cross on the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

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