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Our very own Great British Bakers: Douglas Kidston

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As news breaks that The Great British Bake Off is moving to Channel 4, take comfort that our very own Great British Bakers are going nowhere. We’re continuing our spotlight on the baking experts here at Macphie and this week we’re speaking to Douglas Kidston to hear more about how he came to be at Macphie.

 Can you tell us more about your current role here at Macphie?

I am currently the Research & Development Baker at Macphie of Glenbervie. My role involves the bake testing of goods to be evaluated by our team of technologists. This helps with the analysis, development and evolution of Macphie products. I also prepare baked goods for our sales team to present to customers and despatch samples to our Technical Representatives.

What’s your favourite thing to bake and why?

I would say that bread is my favourite thing to make as I personally prefer savoury food over cakes or muffins. It’s quite rewarding when making it from scratch and seeing all the ingredients coming together to form a really good, crusty loaf full of flavour.

I think it’s important to always be able to make really good, basic food like breads and rolls. They’re often overlooked but are a staple item for many people and can make all the difference to a meal.

What inspired you to become a baker?

Like most people, I believe that both my grans were brilliant cooks and bakers. I can always remember going to see them and there always being an amazing amount of cakes, scones, pancakes and pies being made for our arrival. You always knew that even if you said you were just popping in for 5 minutes that there would be something made for you and it would be delicious. This has always stuck with me and is a quality I strive to meet myself.

 What steps did you take to first become a baker?

After leaving school, I was informed of an apprenticeship opportunity at Macphie. It was the second day here that I was introduced to all the other bakers and just set to work alongside them.

I spent a lot of time just practicing how to make up the products, making the most of this opportunity and learning from the rest of the team. After a few months, I spent some time in the Research & Development bakery and in Quality Control where we would test any products being manufactured on site. This variety of experience really helped me to learn how products could be made up into different applications as well as teach me more about the different areas of the business.

To anyone thinking of becoming a baker, what advice would you give them?

I would say just take your time and get to know the basics very well. Once you have a good knowledge of the basics, you can develop the finishing skills with greater ease to create cakes and baked goods that look and taste great.

But most of all, make sure you enjoy what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to experiment and try different techniques and ways of baking.