Five day Bread Making class with Richard Bertinet

Five day bread making course with 
Richard Bertinet

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 (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!

Working 2           Working hands

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.

 End of day

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.

Prepping ciabatta         Ciabatta

We also cover filled breads and look a little closer at working with inclusions.

                    italian      Italian 2

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.

Brioche     Working1

You will learn how to handle wholemeal and spelt doughs, how to make brioche, baguette viennoise, fruited tea loaves and even doughnuts.

Baguette viennoise      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.

Sourdough 2

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.


Bertinet Bread Day 5 Sourdough

The Trimmings

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….

Preparing lunch

…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.

Preparing lunch 2

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.

Lunch 1

What you think about it…

This is an example of just some of the lovely 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…

Our 5 day bread course runs 5 or 6 times a year.  The price includes lunch with wine every day, all materials and ingredients, a recipe pack and folder, a signed copy of Richard Bertinet’s CRUST, a dough scraper, and a lame and blades.

Team shot

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HM Queen Elizabeth II

All of the team at The Bertinet Kitchen are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Her Majesty the Queen on Thursday afternoon.  Our thoughts are with The King, the Queen Consort and their family at this difficult time.

After careful consideration, our courses next week (13-16th September) will run as planned.

We understand that the funeral has now been set for Monday 19th September on the first scheduled day of our Crumb course.  We are considering options with the team and will be in touch with all customers booked to attend the course on Monday 12th.   In the meantime,  customers with bookings for this course are welcome to contact us by email to [email protected] with any particular issues.

Thank you.

Christmas Closure

The office is now closed for the Christmas Holidays however our website is available over the break and confirmations for bookings and gift vouchers will be sent automatically to the email address entered.  Additionally, up until 10am on 24th December we will also email a printable gift voucher to anyone purchasing vouchers or classes as a gift.  Please do not select the gift pack option unless you would like a gift pack posted in the new year.

The office will re-open on Wednesday 5th January at 9.30am.  If you need to contact us urgently before then, please send an email to [email protected].  We will check emails periodically and get back to you as soon as we can.

Wishing a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all of our customers.

The Bertinet Kitchen team

Our Late Availability Scheme

As noted in our Terms & Conditions, to make a change to a class booking we require 28 days notice.  Where customers are unable to give us 28 days notice then we will firstly try to pass the place on to someone else.  If we are able to do this then the customer is welcome to move to a new date of their choosing.  If we are unable do this they can of course send someone else in their place, but if this is not possible then the place is technically lost (just as a theatre ticket would be).  However, in order to ensure that customers in this position do not lose out entirely, we offer a Late Availability scheme.  Under this scheme, customers are contacted where any places remain on classes at one or two weeks notice and offered a place.  There is no guarantee that the courses offered will be the same class or even on the same day of the week, but we try very hard to ensure that we offer everyone on the scheme something they will enjoy and benefit from.  You do not have to take the class you are offered.  We will continue to offer up to 6 places or over 6 months whichever is the longer.

COVID Update // 21 July 2021

With the implementation of stage 4 of unlocking this week, we wanted to set out for all our customers how we intend to manage the COVID19 risks for both our customers and our staff (some of whom are as yet unvaccinated or partially vaccinated due to their age).

We will be returning to our usual capacity of 12 people on each adult class and we also propose to remove the plastic screens in the kitchen to improve your experience however, we will be maintaining masks for all our staff and will be asking our customers to do the same, unless they have a medical exemption.

In addition, we will be trialing the use of the NHS Covid pass app or overseas equivalent for all adult classes from August 2021.  As such, we will ask all customers attending classes to do ONE of the following three things:

  1.  Confirm that they are double vaccinated and either have their app ready (or NHS Covid Pass letter) to confirm this on arrival at the cookery school at the start of their class / course.  We can accept either the NHS app or, for overseas customers, their national equivalent if it is in English or French and the vaccine is on the WHO (World Health Organisation) list of approved vaccinations*.  If it is an alternative language, we will ask you to use method 3 below;
  2. If method 1. is not possible, take an NHS lateral flow test the day before the class and log it with the NHS app and have the app ready to confirm this on arrival; or
  3. If neither methods 1. or 2. are possible let us know in advance and arrive for the class at 9.30am to do a lateral flow test on site.  We will provide the test.

Any customers testing positive will be asked to defer to a later date.

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience but we believe that this is the best way to protect everyone and to ensure that we are able to remain open and operating during what we think is likely to be a very difficult few months.   We ask customers with any concerns to get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity.  We will be keeping this policy continuously under review and will remove these requirements as soon as we believe it is safe to do so.  Thank you for your co-operation.

*Link to list of WHO approved vaccines