Tag Archives: baking

Baking at River Cottage HQ

One of my 30th Birthday gifts (from my lovely sister) was a baking day at the River Cottage. We stayed in Axminster for the weekend, had a wonderful meal at the River Cottage Canteen, and made the most of being by the seaside by including a fossil hunting expedition. The baking day was full on, with a great mix of learning, watching, making, socialising and lots of eating!

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Filed under Celebrity Chefs, Cookery Schools, Eating Out, Foodstuffs, Producers, Sweet Things, TV

Jenny Wren’s Happy Hens

It seems that every time I go back to Suffolk to visit my mum (Jane Wren), that she has a new addition to her little chicken family. She started a couple of years ago in order to make the very best cakes she could to win the cookery class in the local flower show*, and now she gets up to 8 eggs a day! She supplies her neighbours for a small fee and customises the egg box with a hand written note to say ‘From Jenny Wrens Happy Hens’.

She has a lovely selection of chickens, and they really are like her little children. For those that are interested I have included her inventory (or should I say brood?!) below, otherwise you can just skip to the pictures!

4 Smooth and 1 Frizzled Polish Bantams (2 were sent all the way from Wales as eggs!)

3 Golden Black Polish Bantams

3 Light Sussex Bantams

3 Barred Wyandots

1 Buff Pekin Bantam





I can understand why my mum was so keen to get her own eggs for her cakes, the chickens deliver the most golden, yellow yolks I’ve ever seen! The eggs add a ‘midas touch’ to everything that they are added and you really can taste the difference both on their own and as an ingredient.

A light, fatless sponge…

Cheese scones ready to be baked…


Pancakes too, which I made using Doves Farm wheat free flour (which worked surprisingly well) and Crush Foods rapeseed oil…

Unfortunately eggs from ‘Jenny Wrens Happy Hens’ aren’t available to most, but it is definitely worth trying to find someone in your local area that rears their own chickens – or even consider getting your own if you have enough space. I certainly would if I had more than just a little patio!

*Preparation for this baking competition is stressful business, but mum continues to win year after year!

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Filed under Foodstuffs, Grow your own, Producers, Sweet Things