Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch Bread Expert Jack Sturgess, AKA Bake with Jack, is a professional Chef turned bread maker, demonstrator, and educator. He regularly appears making bread on food festival stages and his entertaining demonstrations earned him the title of ‘Surrey’s Food Hero’. The Bake with Jack YouTube channel continues to grow with a weekly bread-making tip video designed to really give viewers an understanding of the bread-making process in Jack’s “no-nonsense” way. We grabbed Ten Minutes with the rising Youtube star to discuss his career highlights so far.
Baking bread for a living is a pretty cool job! But that’s not all that you do…
I host bread-making courses, and we ALWAYS cook up something delicious to have with our bread too. Bread really is the star of the show but I love to share a few tasty dishes to give people new Ideas of what to do with it all! I have a YouTube channel where I post a new video bread-making tip every Thursday and a blog full of tips, recipes, and stories of my chef career and my journey.
You recently appeared on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch. How was the live TV experience for you?! Highlights?
It was SO nerve-racking the first time, but I loved it. There is so much work in a show like that on and off set, and it was really amazing to see it all come together. It sounds corny I know but they really are one big family there and it’s been such a pleasure to be invited.
You go to a lot of Food Festivals and provide demos/ workshops, what’s your favourite part about doing this?
Live demonstrations are the best, it’s so much fun being up on stage in front of an audience. When the audience is really engaged, and learning and firing questions left right and centre it’s a real buzz and I never want it to end!
What’s on the cards this year for your brand?
I never think of myself as a brand, or as a business, just an individual. And so, what is on the cards is continuing to inspire people to make bread, to show them that they can, whether that’s in class, at a show or on the TV. To continue making my living doing the things that I love, but not making myself too busy. To spend time with my kids and prove to them that you really can do anything you want with your life.
Was having a Youtube channel always the plan?
Not really, the first few were SO BAD! I started it for a couple of reasons. One was to give people something to refer them to after our class was over. I wanted to build a resource they could use moving forward with there bread, all the little tips and tricks we shared in class that are so important and often forgotten. There can be just one thing that happens that can make your bread fail, one thing you didn’t know that wasn’t written into the recipe, that’s a real shame and it’s those things that I touch on every week.
What do you think is the most common misconception about making bread at home?
That you need to keep the dough warm in an airing cupboard or a proving drawer. TOTAL nonsense and in fact, doing that might just stitch you up!
All-time favourite bread-making tip for an aspiring home cook?
DO NOT knead your dough on a floured surface. EVERY book tells you to dust it, to dust the table to stop your dough from sticking, but more often than not this single thing is the cause of so many dense, heavy loaves that don’t rise. Welcome the stickiness, it’s only for a while, and your bread will thank you for it, guaranteed. Game changer.
If it wasn’t bread, what would it be?
Wood. I like making things out of wood, like furniture, and when I left school that was the other option. It was food or wood.
To find out more about attending one of Jack’s courses then you can visit the website here.