Lifelong bakers Dragan Matijevic and his partner, Penny Williams, set up their first microbakery in Oxford, 2008, selling artisan bread to locals from "The smallest bakery in the world" - a tiny, converted garden store. It was originally intended as a side-project, something to complement their freelance incomes as a magician (Dragan) and a copywriter/ translator (Penny). But the bread had other ideas! It proved such a success that they were soon baking six days a week, and being asked to give classes.
In 2012, Dragan and Penny moved to Devon, establishing The Artisan Bakery School in a rambling Devonshire cottage with a good kitchen and a slightly bigger bakery. They now offer a wide range of one-day classes or baking mini-breaks, from Beginners through Artisan Sourdough & Rye, Woodfired Pizza, Viennoiserie, Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free and Heirloom Grains, Heritage Techniques.
The Artisan Bakery School focuses on teaching people how to bake bread with integrity. That means authentic techniques, and ethical ingredients: no chemicals, no preservatives, no cheating and no cutting corners. We also show people who are time-poor how to fit real, slow-rise bread into their hectic lifestyles with minimal effort. We think baking should be fun and there’s no reason why you have to be a slave to your dough!
Teaching the craft of artisan bread making is our main trade. This is because we believe that such skills need to be passed on to future generations – for their pleasure, for their health and for the health of the planet.