Last week we started our brand new blog series – Monday Makers, where we start each week with a bit of a Q+A feature with someone whose work we love. We are going to be use the term ‘maker’ in the widest possible sense, and this week we are venturing into the delicious realm with Elle Johnston, of Two Hands Bakery…
Hello there! please tell us a little bit about yourselves…
Two Hands is a bakery based in East London, it was founded by me in the early months of 2016 (early days yet!) I’ve always been a voracious home baker and have spent majority of my career working in the hospitality industry – shaking cocktails, being a (pretty terrible) waitress and most recently transitioning into professional baking. I was lucky enough to work at E5 Bakehouse and Violet Bakery, amongst others, they taught me a lot about baking on a large scale. Eventually my entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and I decided to build something of my own.
We make a wide range of sweet baked goods, from spiced morning buns to rich chocolate tartlets to towering wedding cakes. The whole spectrum of sweets! All made with seasonal and local ingredients, predominantly organic too – the negative effect of the food industry on the environment is hugely important to the business and we do whatever we can to reduce our impact.
What is your favourite thing you create, and why?
My favourite thing that we make changes on an almost daily basis! I’m particularly partial to a slice of buttery almond cake at the moment and I’m also excited about perfecting my vanilla slice recipe. Outside of my greedy personal preferences, my favourite projects to work on are always the ones where I get to collaborate with people, whether it’s working with Celeste from The Girl in the Cafe pairing cakes with different coffees or co-ordinating with a couple to make a wedding cake that makes their day super special.
What inspires you?
It’s a fairly standard foodie answer but – flavours and ingredients. Adapting to the ebb and flow of different produce available throughout the year is exciting and challenging. Figuring out how to bring out the best from an ingredient or using non-traditional techniques (vegan baking for example) is very inspiring.
What is your favourite place?
Anywhere that I can see the ocean! I’m Australian and grew up a complete water baby so find me somewhere to stare at the waves, breathe in the salty air and I’m happy.
Ok – you are rulers of the world for the day. What one law do you bring in?
Ohhh…something well thought out regarding food education. I might delegate my legislative powers to Alice Waters! (an awesome chef, writer and pioneering advocate of the local/seasonal/fresh cookery movement)
What is your personal motto?
“I believe in the radical possibilities of pleasure, babe” – it’s a line from my favourite Bikini Kill song…
Where can we see you next?
We’re searching for a market stall at the moment so hopefully Two Hands Bakery will be appearing on the streets of London sometime soon. Until then, however, we’re open for private orders and commissions – get in touch, we’d love to work with you.
Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat – @twohandsbakery
Amazing – thank you Elle! (and do seek Elle out – we can vouch for the awesomeness of her beautiful cakes and biscuits. Truly delicious treats!)
(all images courtesy of Two Hands Bakery)