Breadsong is the story of Kitty and Al Tait and how baking changed their lives. I can’t urge you enough to read this book. Their story taught me how a passion can save you. It’s a reciprocal exchange: while we actively fight for our dreams, our dreams will protect us in return. Their story is also about an actual, brilliant bakery, the Orange Bakery, to visit at your earliest convenience!
I’ve read this book three times by now and their story means so much to me. Kitty and Al’s story inspired me to further pursue The Kitchen Sofa, my passion project, but also helped me to wind down and cope with my busy head exploding with thoughts from time to time.
I couldn’t recommend this book more, even if you are not into baking.
The book has two sections, part one is the story of how Kitty and Al set up their Orange Bakery, and part two is a delicious selection of incredible recipes.
The story of the Orange Bakery is very special, it’s a brave journey from home to professional bakers, all centred around family and, of course, the love for bread.
The book talks about mental health, kindness, sheer determination, and continuous learning. It encapsulates how we can be saved by the people and things we love. It’s a testament to what you can achieve if you put your heart and soul into it.
Kitty and Al are a daughter & father duo that started making bread in their kitchen as Kitty absolutely loved making bread, and bread making helped her to cope with depression and anxiety.
They didn’t stop there though, Kitty and Al made so much bread that they started using their neighbour’s ovens too and quickly set up a subscription business. Six months later, they opened their pop-up shop with the most wholesome promotion all focused on orange pom-poms around town. The Orange Bakery was born – orange as the dungaree that makes Kitty feel safe (a coincidence that I also love to wear orange?).
Kitty and Al tour and learn from other bakeries, launch a shop with Kickstarter, and set and reset three bakery labs…but I’ll stop here as you really, really need to read their book. If I haven’t convinced you yet, I’ll say that the story also involves three dogs – Sparky, Sibby, and Scout.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to pay a visit to their shop. We planned this for so long, rented a car, and we finally did it! My husband (if you are reading this blog, you’ll know by now that he’s the kindest person on earth) helped me on the mission and I must admit I was very star-struck when I met the two of them.
I went a bit overboard and bought their miso & sesame sourdough bread, Guinness sourdough bread, Marmite & cheese swirl, Nutella and pistachio bun, and cinnamon roll. We devoured everything after a hike on Watlington Hill, looking up at the red kite flying in the blue sky. It was one of our happiest days.
I will now daydream of their bread and pastries hoping to come back and learn how to make them myself!
The Breadsong book taught me so much: to have faith in life even when it doesn’t make sense, to ask and accept help as we can go so much further when we join forces, to keep trying and keep learning with enthusiasm, passion, and resilience…and of course, it gave me a tone of innovative recipes and techniques to experiment with.
Thank you, Kitty and Al, thank you so much for sharing your story!