Sunrise, 7am and 4th generation artisan baker Steven Oxford has already been working through the night to prepare Oxford's traditional English breads.
Established in 1911 by Frank Oxford, the Sherborne based bakery recently celebrated its 100th year anniversary. Despite the introduction of modern plant bakeries over the years, Oxford Bakery still prides itself in producing 'real bread', handmade using locally sourced ingredients.
I wanted to ask Steven to star in the "I Am..." Series as I grew up in the local area, eating their freshly baked goods and because I feel they have a great story worth sharing. Little did I know how passionate Steven was, and before long he had taken the time out to show us the in's and out's of baking. Truly gripped by his enthusiasm for the subject, it really hammered home why I want to do this project.
Testimony to their skill and dedication for the industry, Oxfords haven't changed their methods or recipes for over four generations and is what I believe is key to their success.
Ingredients are still combined using the original 1911 dough mixer, before being moulded by skilled hands using techniques that have been passed down between generations. Finally, it is left to "prove" before being cooked in the original Edwardian oven.
With Steven now at the helm of Oxfords Bakery, he's keen to teach and spread the word about 'real bread', running workshops from their bakery near Sherborne. Head on over to their website to find out more.
The original image in this post is my favourite of the shoot and will be featured on the "I Am..." Series website shortly. Shot on a 17-40 F4 L Wide Angle Lens with a Canon 580EXII Speedlite and 1/4 CTO Gel Camera Left in a 38" Softbox. The "rising sun" was courtesy of a Canon 430EX Speedlite with Full CTO Gel outside the window, triggered via PocketWizard Flex's.
A huge thanks to Steven for letting us in their charismatic bakery, a great insight into the history of baking!