Five day bread making course with
Our 5 day breadmaking course is our flagship or Rolls Royce class. It is the one that entices you from all corners of the globe and, though we say it ourselves, it really is a fantastic week. With thanks to chrisdaviesphotography.com (for most of the shots taken while he was with us on the class), here is a look at the full five days and what some of you have had to say about it…..
Day 1 – An Introduction to Breadmaking (the Bertinet way!)
Day 1 is a vital part of the course where Richard makes sure that you have got the basic techniques on board. Whether you are new to bread making, new to his techniques or even if you have been working from the books for some time there is plenty to learn. Lots of individual attention but all of it good fun!
By the end of the day you will have created fougasse (and flashed your first fougasse grin!) bread sticks, foccaccia, tin loaves and prepared a flamiche for lunch.
Day 2 – French Breads
Day 2 has a distinctly French feel. You will learn how to make a classic baguette, epis and pain de campagne. But more importantly you will start to learn about some of the key themes that run through the week.
The first is working with ferments as we look at how using a poolish can develop the flavour of your bread. Then there is dividing and the key skill of moulding which takes practice, practice and more practice and is something Richard regularly reinforces with our own team of bakers. You will also start to learn how to use a lame correctly and how to bake with steam.
Day 3 – Italian Breads
Day 3 develops both the idea of working with a ferment (though as today has an Italian theme, it is a biga, for the ciabatta) and the moulding work.
We also cover filled breads and look a little closer at working with inclusions.
By the end of the day you will have created piles of beautiful authentic ciabatta, roasted tomato and pesto bread, bread swirls with parma ham and pine nuts, grissini and more.
Day 4 – Starting your sourdough
Dark doughs and Sweet doughs
On day 4 we start the work we will complete on day 5 and take the first steps towards our sourdough. But we also spend day 4 looking at the differences in working with darker flours and the process of enriching doughs with butter, sugar and milk to create sweet doughs.
You will learn how to handle wholemeal and spelt doughs, how to make brioche, baguette viennoise, fruited tea loaves and even doughnuts.
Day 5 – Sourdoughs and other slow doughs
Day 5 is all about sourdough. There is a bit of theory but also a lot of practical work covering white sourdough, rye sourdough and wholemeal sourdough.
You will be perfecting moulding techniques, turning out beautiful loaves from your proving baskets and practising loading them into an oven to bake with steam and produce a fantastic crust.
At the end of each day, the class gathers to make lunch. Something different everyday but always something to complement the bread you have been working on….
…flamiche with some left over white doughs, hanger steak to stuff in a freshly baked baguette, pizza of course on the Italian breads day plus some smoked salmon, rocket and roasted cherry tomato pasta, tartiflette or perhaps some soups for dunking.
It’s time for a well earned glass of wine and a chance to digest what you have learned that day with your fellow bakers. Richard is on hand to answer any queries you might have and to chat about bread and baking in all its aspects.
What you think about it…
This is an example of the lovely unsolicited feedback we have for the 5 day bread course…..
“I just wanted to write to you to say how much I enjoyed the bread making course last week. It really was a most relaxing, inspiring and rewarding experience, and it has certainly changed my view of bread. I will never buy or eat sliced bread again, and I very much hope that I will not be tempted to spend money on other people’s speciality bread either! I have made a few baguettes over the last few days, and rather surprised everyone with the results. Everything you said to us last week makes perfect sense – and the results are very rewarding.
I am so glad that I stayed for the whole course. Everything seemed to make much more sense by Friday, as you wisely predicted, and I found the chat at the end of the course really useful….
Finally, I thought that the course was extremely well designed and put together, and it would be difficult for me to suggest any changes or improvements. Breakfast, coffee & prunes, and a delicious lunch were a real treat, and I can only guess how much work you and your team had put in behind the scenes. The logic and content of the programme was perfect in my view. Jess gave me a piece of your ferment on Friday, and it has already been pressed into service, and refreshed!
Many thanks to both you and your team for a really delightful and enjoyable five days in Bath. I know that there are other bread making courses around, but for me there can only be one – as I will happily tell my friends.”
and the nitty gritty…