Helen Underwood is an award-winning artisan baker specialising in sourdough.
Helen founded White Cottage Bakery in 2013 to put into practice her belief that delicious and wholesome bread should be accessible to all. She believes passionately that absolutely everybody can make great bread—and now spends her time running workshops that aim to help bread-lovers to do just that.
Whether you're a complete beginner or a real bread buff, Helen's expertise and enthusiasm will help you along the way on your very own bread journey. Each student will leave their workshop with the skills they need to produce their own beautiful bread to share at home.
Helen has worked as a professional baker since 2013 and, over the years, she has taught thousands of students from around the world. She trains chefs and bakers and shares her knowledge with bread enthusiasts in a range of classes in the UK and Europe. She runs popular baking retreats in Tuscany each year and, as a renowned bread-making and sourdough specialist, makes regular appearances on BBC radio. She is a recipe developer, food-writer and a recent judge for the World Bread Awards.
Clare trained at the Leiths School of Food and Wine, going on to further her knowledge in bread and viennoiserie at Le Cordon Bleu and The School of Artisan Food. She has since worked as a freelance chef at the Cambridge Cookery School, and, having apprenticed at White Cottage back in 2014, has been working alongside Helen as a teacher at The Baking School since 2021.
Did you know that the word 'companion' comes from the Latin 'cum panis': literally 'with bread.' A companion is somebody you break bread with!
Bread is not just about sustenance, it's food for the soul. The people you break bread with are your friends, your family, your community. Bread, then, has always been about sharing—an ethos that's at the heart of everything we do here at White Cottage.
Our workshops are held in a listed 17th century cottage and former bakery which stands opposite the churchyard in the picturesque village of Kingston, about 8 miles outside Cambridge. Classes are held in the old farmhouse kitchen, with its beams and ancient Aga, adjacent to the bakery where the bread is baked. The cottage garden provides for the school all year round - from the plentiful herbs and salads to the orchard fruits and edible flowers used in the classes.