A tale of loaves and fishes

03:34, Nov 19 2012
Bread maker
Good cause: Paul Wilson will use his bread-making skills to raise money for fishing students in Papua New Guinea.

Fishing students in Papua New Guinea will soon be benefiting from breadmaking classes in Roseneath.

Paul Wilson, a mechanical engineer, IT consultant and avid piano player will hold the classes to raise money for his Volunteer Services Abroad trip to Kavieng in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea, next February.

He started breadmaking with pita breads about five years ago, and has since moved to making sourdough with wild yeast, making a loaf every couple of days.

He wanted to raise money for the VSA trip through breadmaking because it was a passion of his, he said.

"I could do something like teach piano or do some IT, but then I thought people like my bread and often ask me how I make it, so I thought ‘I'll do that'."

From his home kitchen, he would show participants how to make artisan bread using wild yeast, as well as commercial yeast, Mr Wilson said.


He said bakers would get to take home a jar of wild yeast, which they could keep feeding and use to make their own bread.

Wild yeast usually takes about 10 days to prepare. It is created when wild yeast spores in the air land on something, like some fruits, which supply them with moisture and sugar. Feeding on this in a warm temperature, the yeast is created.

Participants would also get a loaf of bread with good "crust and crumb" to take home, recipes for pizza dough to fougasse, and information about how to make a seed culture that could eventually be used to make sourdough, he said.

"It will be nothing too academic. It should be a fun evening. We'll make some bread, have a glass of wine, and have a chit chat…and it all goes to a good cause."

During his three-month trip he will assist the national fisheries college get its student tracking database up to speed.

The college runs fishing and seafood handling courses for about 1300 students from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands each year.

Mr Wilson said upgrading the database would mean the college could keep track of where students had come from and where they ended up once they graduated.

Mr Wilson worked in Port Moresby as an IT manager for two years in the 1980s, and said he had had always wanted to return.

Two-hour classes with Mr Wilson will be on November 24, November 28, December 1 and December 5, or at other times by arrangement.

Classes will be limited to five people and will cost $30. Email wilsonnz@xtra.co.nz or phone 3844054 for details.

The Wellingtonian