‘A DORSET lass through and through’, full of character and baking the best buns in the county – meet Lizzie Crow, the mind and mayhem behind Lizzie Baking Bird.

It’s time to shine a light on another homegrown foodie – and this seasonal baker has taken to social media to share her love for supporting local bakers and produce makers with her thousands of followers, and now she’s sharing all her best baked secrets with us.

Visiting her Stable Cottage in Upwey, I catch Lizzie with hands covered in flour and dough prepping pastry for her next bake. Wafts of baking smells linger in the air as there’s already some Victoria sandwiches in the oven rising – and it’s only 10am.

Lizzie says she’s immune to the smell now. But two others that aren’t immune are her two rescue dogs who pine to be allowed into the kitchen – but it’s out of bounds, the Lizzie Baking Bird operation is in full swing.

Lizzie is baking the most delicious goods; homemade quiches, tempting tarts, drizzled cakes and puff pastries – just don’t go on her twitter account if you’re on the ‘big D’.

Her kitchen is fabulous. Little trinkets, pots and pans, herbs and flavourings line the walls and every nook and cranny possible.

It’s full of Dorset chocolate box cottage charm.

So what does a typical week in the kitchen look like for an independent baker in Dorset?

Lizzie said: “It depends really. The beginning of the week is all about prepping pastry and fillings such as making puff pastry and roasting veggies. Towards the end of the week I think about croissant dough and construction! Sausage rolls and pasties, making tarts and cakes – and then market day I’m up early and cooking Danish and bread.”

When there is so much competition from supermarkets and national bakeries, it’s brave for someone to throw caution to the wind and go it alone. But Lizzie loves the personal touch that supermarkets just can’t compete with.

She said: “I think it’s the joy on people’s faces as they bite in to something home made. It reminds them of being a nipper, or of a time, a person or the pleasure of eating something new and untried. I love it!

“I have been cooking and baking since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I used to plague my mother’s baking days by ‘helping’ and I use that term loosely.

“My best ever memory of true baking success was when I was about three or four years old and I made fairy cakes with my long suffering mum. My dad came home from work and I was so excited. Dad took a bite and rolled on his back with his arms and legs in the air to play dead – I just knew he loved them.”

So how does she choose from her back log of scrumptious recipes what to bake each day?

“I’m a real seasonal baker so if it’s in season there’s a good chance it’ll end up on the menu. So there’ll be Seville orange curd soon and wild garlic in spring and so on. Sometimes I make something cos I fancy it and plum Eccles are my favourite, they’re addictive!

“I’m a sucker for Portuguese custard tarts and I’m rather partial to the savoury tarts too, and croissants straight out of the oven!”

If she wasn’t baking to be a bread winner, Lizzie, who used to work in the health service, said she’d be a dog walker as she has dogs of her own.

It’s her love for local produce that has seen her become one of the most active voices on social media promoting local farmer markets, her bun runs and where to source local ingredients.

Lizzie said: “I love the farmer’s markets. I’m at one every weekend and it’s really fab to see the same people. They are hugely supportive and they often come week in week out, they really are amazing.

“We’re out in the rain and wind and cold and you are guaranteed that they’ll turn up too. And the people I work with some of the hardest working people I ever met.

“Some people think we’re a bit expensive but when you consider the quality of ingredients and the fact it’s all hand picked and made I think we’re just value for money.”

She added: “I tend to get my ingredients locally. I buy pork and braising steak from Howells. I get crab from Dorset Shellfish, black pudding and eggs from Pete Mayo from Maydownfarm and so on. I mean the quality is great so why wouldn’t I?”

N Try this recipe for fig and orange biscotti by Lizzie:

Ingredients: 250g strong white flour (I use bread flour but plain flour is fine) 1 teaspoon baking powder 175g caster sugar Pinch of salt 2 medium free range eggs Zest of 3 oranges & 1 tablespoon of juice 150g dried figs (chopped)

Method: Preheat oven to Gas 4/ 180 C Form dough by bunging all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well to make sure that the fruit is well distributed.

Shape the dough in to a sausage shape and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

Pop this in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The ‘sausage’ needs to be firm enough to slice but will not be cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes.

The individual biscotti are made by using a sharp knife to cut 2.5cm/1 inch thick slices from the dough ‘sausage’, on the diagonal. Pop the slices back on the baking tray (on their side) and return them to the oven for a further 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely & they will keep well in airtight container.

For where to find Lizzie’s bakes, visit lizziebakingbird.co.uk