|At Christmas I was completely spoilt by my brother and his wife as they paid for me to go on a bread making workshop.|
They know I love making bread, but it was after I came home from the two hour bread demonstration by Peter Cook a few months ago and I was really impressed by what he did that they decided to get it for me.
I was glad they did!
|The selection of bread we came home with|
From left to right, clockwise, rye loaf topped with sesame seeds, half a ledbury loaf, basic white loaf, local ale and walnut loaf, a local ale and walnut roll, stoneground wholemeal loaf, soda bread and a few slices of ciabatta
The course ran from 10 until about 4.30, it was really well structured and although Peter himself didn't run it Carl, the baker who took the course, really knew his stuff with over 40 years in the trade. He was also assisted by Ruth who was also very knowledgeable on the subject and she also kept everything running smoothly and provided us with drinks and snacks throughout the day.
There was six of us on the course and it seemed a good number, we could (and did) ask questions at any time. during the day we made five different types of bread, with proving times and mixing times working well to keep us doing something the whole time.
|100% rye bread which was very sticky to mix!|
The loaves we made were a basic white loaf (although it didn't seem very basic compared to mine!), 100% rye bread, Stoneground wholemeal, local ale & walnut and a oaty soda bread.
|Soda bread read to go in the oven|
What I really enjoyed was the hands on demonstrations then getting to try yourself, I think my kneading technique has improved no end, the way I'll roll my rolls from now on has changed forever! This is the kind of thing you won't get from a book. Also I ask many (many) questions through the day so hopefully my own bread will improve loads now as well!
|Folding in walnuts in a walnut and local ale loaf|
|Ruth feeding their sour dough starters ready for the week ahead|
They put on an amazing lunch for us, the best I've ever had on a course. It's not very often that I'll fill up before the food runs out but by the end we were all stuffed and there was still more to go at! I think there was six or seven loaves for us to try, three massive chunks of cheese, a tray of cured meats and a salad, far more than we could eat and it was all delicious!
|Simply an amazing lunch!|
It was also really interesting being in a traditional commercial bakery and seeing some of the equipment they use and how they were set up, with charts on the wall to record times of when things were started and when the next stage was going to happen.
I came away from the day with a huge box of bread that I had made (see the top picture) and a recipe book containing the recipes for those loaves, I'm really looking forward to making some of them again.
A brilliant day and one I'd 100% recommend to anyone interested in making bread, his courses can be found here if anyone is interested.
(and I'm in no way affiliated but I am a big fan of his bread and what they're doing)