Baking without Baker's Yeast
Come and Learn to Bake with Natural Yeasts.
Although this course is mainly aimed at people who have had some experience baking at home with yeast and want to make the transition to Naturally Fermented ( Sourdough) bread baking ,it is also suitable for people with no experience of baking
Your Baking Day
When you arrive a warm drink will be available. We will begin with a short chat together to help us get to know a bit about you and particularly your experiences so far on your bread making journey.
During the morning we'll make up your sourdough starter , discuss how to use it and maintain it.
Making up some dough by hand will come early in our day as we will need to allow the dough enough time for rising before we bake it
While we make our doughs we'll look at some different flours and discuss how each is best used.
Rather than using the traditional method of a long kneading to help prepare our dough for shaping we will demonstrate a gentle method which most people refer to now as 'stretch and fold .'
We then leave the doughs to rest for a few hours . During this time Maggie will demonstrate how to use a sourdough starter to make brioche based savoury and sweet pastries.
Rick will then lead you through how to make one of the easiest loaves on the planet the 100% Rye Loaf. You'll be provided with a Rye Starter ( to keep your Wheat Starter company !! ) and notes about the process so you will be able to make this great , low in gluten , loaf at home .
Then it's time to practice some bakery bench skills. We will show you and help you to mould dough into Boule ( round ) shapes , Batard/ Baton ( long ) shapes and finish with rolling out a sourdough baguette.
By now the doughs you made earlier will also be ready for shaping . Once done we'll break for lunch.
Lunch will be homemade from seasonal produce .The meal will be suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Please let us know if you have any other dietary requirements. After lunch there will be a chance for a short walk and if there is interest a tour of the renewable energy and wood processing side of our sustainable bakery set-up.
On return to the bakery there will be a chance to ask any question you like about bread making ( including about Yeasted bread if it will be helpful to you ) , and we will do our best to answer . If there is interest , Rick can explain a method known as baker's percentage which will help you calculate how much of the various ingredient's you need. to make your bread , when you are descended upon at home by all your friends who have got word that you make beautiful bread .
We will then prepare to put your doughs into the oven .Loading doughs into our oven is done the old fashioned way with a 9 foot long 'peel' or 'paddle' . ( the fun part of using a wood fired oven ! )
As we load the doughs we'll explore different ways of slashing the dough, explaining the reasons why the bread is slashed .
Our oven is very different to what most of you will bake in , so we will at this point take some time to discuss how best to use your own ovens to achieve the kind of breads you would like. ( Operating temperatures, use of steam, oven stone, cooking pots etc. )
By the time we have done all that hopefully your breads will be baked and ready to come out of the oven.
Please bring some boxes or bags to take your vast amount of bread away with you !!
You'll also take home with you a rye starter and a wheat starter along with some notes to follow on from your day and help you make bread at home.