TV cook Stacie Stewart opens Beamish Museum's new bakery

The TV cook from Sunderland was guest of honour at the opening of Beamish Museum’s new bakery where she was taught the secret behind the stotty

Stacie Stewart opens the new Herrons the Bakers at Beamish Museum
Stacie Stewart opens the new Herrons the Bakers at Beamish Museum

Macaroons may be her nemesis but baker and Masterchef star Stacie Stewart has won the battle of the Edwardian kitchen.

The TV cook from Sunderland was guest of honour at the opening of Beamish Museum’s new bakery where she was taught the secret behind the stotty.

In return she treated visitors to a cup-cake demonstration to show how things are done in 2013.

She said: “I love Beamish and I’ve been coming here since I was a kid. I think it’s so important to learn how things were done in the past and the heritage of baking in the North East.

“Family recipes I use might just have one line of description on how to do it so it just shows the level of skill people had.

 

“For me, macaroons are the hardest things to make these days - you need to make friends with your oven.”

Visitors snaked through the attraction’s cobbled streets, lining up to taste the first batch of bread from the new Herron’s Bakery in the Edwardian town.

The building’s fittings came from Annfield Plain in County Durham and the shop was originally part of a parade which included the pit village’s old Co-operative.

A directory found by Beamish staff showed in 1906 there was a Joseph Herron’s bakers listed in the village and that’s where the name was born.

Richard Evans, Museum Director at Beamish, said: “Bakeries back then had a much wider range of goods than we were expecting as bread was made at home. There would be Empire biscuits, ginger breads and cakes - the things that were a bit more difficult to make.

The opening of the new Herrons the Bakers at Beamish Museum
The opening of the new Herrons the Bakers at Beamish Museum
 

“However there were only 100 bakeries listed in Durham at the time and that’s because in the region there was a lot more communal baking going on.

“There would be a shared bread oven for an entire row of houses so the bakery was actually more of an aspirational place.”

Seven full time jobs have been created at the shop and special training taking place on old-fashioned baking machinery for staff including the ‘super-human bread kneeder’.

Richard added: “It has a name and looks like something straight from a Wallace and Gromit film.”

The museum’s period food team Rachel Lythe and Denise Hodge were also involved in the bakery project.Miss Stewart reached the finals of Masterchef series 6 and appears on ITV’s This Morning.

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