WHILE many tried to perfect a new skill over the lockdown periods faced by all over the past year, many attempts left a lot to be desired.

One popular pastime was baking. Banana loaves, fruit loaves, sour bread were all the rage...although with varied success.

Thankfully, as we begin to look back on the havoc of the past 16 months, the worst of the pandemic won’t be the only thing left in the past.

The historic Mistley-based firm EDME is now set to provide a remedy for amateur home baking, having been producing nutritious ingredients for bakeries and food manufacturers for nearly 140 years.

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It is literally a case of history in the baking as the company has decided to share some of its trade secrets with home bakers in its new venture The Baker’s Cousin, a new range of bread mixes for people to use themselves.

The move has been in high demand with people from across Mistley, Manningtree and further afield asking for years whether they could get their hands on the fabled bread mixes.

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And, up until now, they have been met by a “sorry, no”.

Now, however, their hopes are rising as the tables have turned.

The Baker’s Cousin bread mixes will be launched later this month ready for anyone who enjoys baking, regardless of skill level.

Mark Hodson, the company’s kneader-in-chief, points to the fact that in the baking mixes on the shelves there is a lot of sweetness but very little that is fun or savoury.

He said after nearly half of UK adults surveyed in a YouGov poll said they would like to make bread in the future, the time seemed right for the firm to make its move.

“We have just made that aspiration easy and a whole lot more appealing,” said Mr Hodson.

“You can have fun with dough and then experience fresh, nutritious bread straight from the oven.

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“With one of our bread mixes in your hands and the help of the easy instructions, you will be creating impressive loaves right from the get-go.

“You don’t have to do much to rise to the challenge, just give it a ‘dough’.

“Puns aside, the fact your home will be filled with fabulous aromas once your loaves are in the oven is an additional benefit to the goodness of fresh, home-baked bread.”

The six mixes will enable baking novices and experts to create breads ranging from seed-packed cobs and dark rye boules to flat focaccia and ancient grain tin loaves.

They are packed with the same special ingredients which EDME has been producing and supplying to professional bakers since the company started in 1884.

“The research showed more than half the people intending to bake after lockdown found baking to be a relaxing activity,” Mr Hodson added.

“I am really proud of the team.

“ It’s been a tough time for everyone in the food supply chain, with having to adapt super-fast to the changes in lifestyle and eating as a result of the pandemic and the lockdowns.

“Alongside all the challenges this presented, the folk here have managed to get us into completely new territory as a business.

“We now have a great offer for consumers - an outstanding range of bread mixes that will go down equally well with seasoned home bakers and those who have never touched a bread tin in their lives.

“It’s time to be ready and get the oven on - dough, dough, dough!”

You can find the range available online via www.thebakerscousin.com.