Raising Dough for The Hospice of St Francis

Raising Dough for The Hospice of St Francis

The Great LAW Charity ‘Bake Off’ raised an incredible £1,000 for an extremely worthy cause, The Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted.

The Hospice cares for patients with a wide range of life threatening illnesses.

As a registered charity The Hospice receives around 20% of it’s funding from the NHS, and the remaining 80% from the generosity of the local community. Having had very close personal experience with the Hospice, I can’t think of a more deserving local cause, it really is a very special place.

Says Joanna Dew, Director of Fundraising and Communications, The Hospice of St Francis, “We are delighted that LAW Creative is supporting The Hospice of St Francis. We care for over 1,000 people per year with life-limiting illnesses and provide support to their families and friends when they need us most. All our care is free but we need to raise £4.6m per year to keep our services running. 25% of our inpatients come from Harpenden and St Albans and it is wonderful that we can depend on the generosity of local businesses such as LAW Creative to help us really make a difference to the quality of the lives of many and support to those whose lives continue.”

The Bake Off showcased many a hidden talent, from fresh bread to chocolate dipped Florentines – the boardroom table was heaving with baked treats of every kind. Once we were all past the stress test of a flour dusted Sunday of baking (collective blood pressure has been lower during company pitches) the hardest part was tasting more than 20 bakes, and of course deciding a winner.

Third place was granted to Senior Account Manager Caroline Smith, with her delicious cream cheese frosted Carrot Cake, which also was the first cake to completely sell out.

Second place went to a man fresh off the plane from two weeks abroad, Studio Artworker Stephen Farrow, with an adventurous and holiday inspired Chocolate Orange Cake with a ‘Caribbean Twist’. The twist being fresh chilli and rum.

Finally, we had a clear winner with double the votes, first place went to a man who chose bread over cake, Hollywood over Berry, our Star Baker Financial Controller Richard Ensum. His perfect loaves of Cheese and Onion Bread served with butter proved (pun intended) a welcome relief from all the icing sugar.


Here is Richard’s winning recipe:

Cheese and Onion Bread


  • 500g strong flour
  • 15g salt
  • 55ml olive oil
  • 20g fresh yeast  OR 1 ½ teaspoons of quick yeast
  • 275ml luke-warm water
  • Cheddar – a handful of small cubes (most will go into the dough plus a few for putting on the top)
  • A small onion – fried in olive oil and slightly caramelised


  1. Mix the first five ingredients in a large bowl (use your hands).  Take care not to put the yeast in direct contact with the salt when they are first added to the bowl.
  2. When the dough has formed a rough sticky ball, lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough until it is elastic, smooth and shiny.  Cover with a piece of cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or so until roughly doubled in size.
  3. Divide the dough into two.  Stretch and flatten the dough and press in most of the cubes of cheese and all of the onion.  Knead the dough a few times while continuing to incorporate the cheese and onion.
  4. Mould both the doughs into rough round shapes and place them on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper.  Sprinkle white flour over the top and cut a cross in the top.  Place the remaining cubes of cheddar in the cross (so they melt over the loaf).  Leave to prove for an hour in a warm place.
  5. Bake at 210C in a fan oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.  Remove and cool on a wire rack.

NB – instead of the cheddar and onion, you could use black olives and sun-dried tomatoes or anything else you fancy.