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Children learn to cook at the Great Blofield Bake Off

08:46 17 October 2012

Blofield Primary School pupils hold the Great Blofield Bake Off at the school under the watchful eye of local chef Richard Hughes.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Blofield Primary School pupils hold the Great Blofield Bake Off at the school under the watchful eye of local chef Richard Hughes. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Archant Norfolk

When the school bell rings at 3.30pm most children grab their rucksacks and race home.

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When the school bell rings at 3.30pm most children grab their rucksacks and race home.

But 19 year six pupils at Blofield Primary School are different.

Instead they scurry to the school’s kitchen, tie-up their aprons and get cooking for their weekly Great Blofield Bake Off.

The school’s after-school club, which has been running for more than three years every October, has seen record numbers of 10 and 11-year-olds sign up to learn how to make meals for themselves and their families.

Blofield’s fruit scone recipe:

200g self-raising flour

50g butter

50g caster sugar

50g sultanas

100ml milk

Salt

One teaspoon of baking powder

Method:

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into your mixing bowl

Cut the butter into small cubes and rub the flour with your finger-tips

Add the sugar and sultanas

Add the milk and stir into a small ball of dough

Roll it out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured table, it should be 1cm thick

Use a round cutter to make the scones and place them on a baking tin

Brush the tops with a little milk

Bake at 200C for 15 minutes

And it seems that across the country, people are going bonkers for baking, with the BBC2 television show The Great British Bake Off drawing in millions of viewers every week.

Shops have also seen sales in their baking departments rise, with John Lewis reporting nationally that their sales of food mixers up by 62pc, and sales children’s baking kits increase by 22pc.

Jarrold, in Norwich city centre, have also seen their baking department sales increase.

Louise Guymer, teaching assistant at Blofield Primary, has been showing the boys and girls how to bake since some of them were small.

From sausage plaits, special loaded jacket potatoes, beefburgers and pizzas, to apple crumble and fruit scones, Mrs Guymer has taught them all.

And she says she wants the keen children to learn to cook food that is affordable and easy to make at home.

She said: “When children have so many things, like video and computer games, I think they long to do a bit of cooking.

“And it’s not just girls – we have almost an even number of boys and girls which is brilliant.”

One pupil who can take the kitchen heat is Mollie Wheeler, 10, from Brundall, who says she did not know how to cook before but says she finds the after-school club “very helpful” – and so do her parents.

She said: “It’s really important to know how to cook, because if you don’t learn, then you won’t know what to do when you are older. My mum thinks it’s really great when we have cookery night too.”

And 11-year-old Michael Brown, from Loddon, added: “Most people think cooking is always for girls, but I think it’s better if every one tries it out.”

Aspiring chef Conner Peters, 10, from Little Plumstead, said the class was “a good opportunity to learn to cook”.

He said: “I look forward to each Tuesday, and I want to be a chef.”

Local chef Richard Hughes, from The Lavender House in Brundall, was on hand to help the children make scones yesterday, and he praised the work the school were doing.

He visited the school in 2006 to give some baking guidance, and has returned to help some of the same children learn to cook.

Do you have a story about your school? Call reporter Victoria Leggett on 01603 772468 or email victoria.leggett@archant.co.uk

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