SCOTT HAYWARD, 38, is head baker at the Clervaux Artisan bakery and cafe, in Darlington.

Q HOW did you become a baker?

AI was working as a chef when I became fascinated by artisan bread-making. I am an experienced chef, but as a bread maker I am pretty much self-taught. I have a friend in Cumbria who has been an artisan baker for 25 years and he passed on some very useful tips, but other than that I pore over books for new ideas.

With artisan baking it’s all about getting back to doing things the old-fashioned way.

We make it by hand, there are no artificial or refined ingredients and we use organic produce wherever possible.

About 98 per cent of the bread that we eat in this country is processed. I’m not knocking anyone for buying it because it’s a case of each to their own and supermarket bread is significantly cheaper than ours. What I would say to people is try my bread as a treat every now and again. I’m sure you will be able to taste the difference.

Q What does a typical day involve?

AI get up just after 3am and by 4am I’m making bread.

We produce between 150 to 200 items, such as bread, rolls and scones, every day. We make double that amount at weekends.

(He works alongside assistant baker Mike Quille, 28, and apprentice Ricky Felstead, 22). The three of us make everything from traditional breads such as good old English tin loaves to cheese and onion bread and ciabattas.

We are always making things that are just a little bit different to tempt the tastebuds.

At the moment we’ve got a black pudding bread that’s gone down well.

Q What’s the best bit about the job?

AI’m finished work by midday, so when everyone else is stuck in their offices and factories I’m free to do what I like. I’ve a six-year-oldson and a four year-old daughter, so working these hours means I get to spend quality time with them. I can pick them up from school and cook their dinner, which is great for us as a family. It’s one of those jobs you either love or hate. I come into work with a smile on my face and most days it’s still there at the end of the day. I love trying new recipes. Knowing that there is only good stuff going into everything we make is pleasing.

Q Is there anything you don’t like?

AThe worst part are cold winter mornings. Getting up at 3am when it’s pitch black and freezing is no fun at all. It’s nice and warm in here though, which is one good thing. Most of the time I don’t mind getting up so early. If I’m honest it was hard to adjust at first. After doing it for two years I’m used to it, but on my day off I struggle to have a lie in. My body clock wakes me up early. But having two young kids means that’s not really a problem.

I try to get to bed about 7.30pm. The kids say goodnight to me and are often still up and about when I’m trying to sleep.

Q What next?

AI am now head of food production at the Clervaux Trust. In the next few years I’d love to see us open more cafes like the one in Darlington, with me overseeing the whole thing. Maybe then I wouldn’t have to get up so early.