School offers chance to recreate Brontë dishes

A TOP chef has come up with the idea of teaching people how to recreate food produced by the Brontë sisters in Yorkshire in the 19th century.

The Cooking School at Dean Clough in Halifax is staging the “Bake Like a Brontë” event in conjunction with the Parsonage Museum in Haworth.

Museum collections manager Ann Dinsdale will lead an afternoon session by showing some of the kitchen items used by the Brontë sisters in their historic home. These will include a loaf tin in which Emily baked bread and a jam pan that was recently rediscovered.

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Executive chef Matthew Benson-Smith has designed the course to feature food and recipes that the Brontës would have eaten or which featured in their novels including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The menu may feature 2012 versions of Lowood Schoolhouse Oatcakes based on Jane Eyre’s diet at the strict educational establishment of her childhood.

Mr Benson-Smith will also create a delicious version of benevolent schoolmistress’s Miss Templeton’s life-saving Seedcake, which Jane and her sickly friend Helen secretly feast on in their favourite teacher’s study.

Ms Dinsdale said: “Food and the kitchen were incredibly important to the Brontës both in their everyday lives and as an important source of inspiration for their writing.

“Emily loved to bake so we are definitely following in their footsteps and celebrating their love of food too.

“Haworth was also famous for its coffin–shaped funeral biscuits but we are not sure if there will be the same appetite for those in 2012.”

The “Bake Like a Brontë” course on Sunday June 10 is expected to sell out quickly and may, the organisers hope, also attract overseas visitors.

“It coincides with the annual general meeting of the Brontë Society in Haworth when experts and fans of the literary sisters flock to Yorkshire from as far afield as Japan and USA,” said Mr Benson-Smith.

“We look forward to welcoming Brontë fans to the Cooking School from all over the world.”

Tickets are available from