In both Dough & Crust I recommend putting a baking stone in your oven before pre-heating and baking directly on the stone. I use granite and often suggest that people use a granite chopping board (examples are available very reasonably from Morrisons and Asda and it is a convenient size and thickness). We have never had any issues with any of the pieces of stone we have used but one customer contacted us recently to say that they had used a granite slab from Asda and it had shattered in the oven during use. As I said I have never had any problems so in order to make the use of granite boards as safe as possible here are my recommendations for using a board in this way…
Place the granite slab onto the bottom shelf where you have any exposed electric elements or onto the base of the oven where this is safe (for example in an Aga although in an Aga you can also bake directly on the floor of the oven);
If you use one of the granite chopping boards, place them into your oven the wrong way up – i.e. bake on the rough side;
When creating steam only use a misting spray. Some people recommend throwing water into the oven or placing trays of water or ice cubes into the bottom of the oven but I have to say I don’t agree. Where you use larger quantities of water you are much less likely to get the steam you want and if you are using an electric oven it seems to me you can only be creating a safety hazard. Misting sprays are easy to buy from garden centers and kitchen shops and we will be introducing them to our online shop soon;
Don’t worry if your slab simply cracks – this often happens – indeed many of the pieces of stone I have in my ovens have cracks in them. It will not make any difference to your bread.
If you have had any problems with baking stones do let us know.
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 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…
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.
https://www.thebertinetkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web.png00Jo Bertinethttps://www.thebertinetkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web.pngJo Bertinet2017-05-24 10:51:522018-11-06 13:34:09Five day Bread Making class with Richard Bertinet
The Bertinet Kitchen is very proud to be a founding member of the Independent Cookery Schools Association (ICSA). In the autumn of 2014 some of the most outstanding cookery schools in the Uk, including the Bertinet Kitchen, came together to form the ICSA. The ICSA is the only independent, non-profit, regulatory body for cookery schools in the UK. The mission of the ICSA is to assess, promote and advise cookery schools of excellence and help and encourage students in choosing quality schools in the ICSA group. Our members are assessed and accredited to the highest standard so you can be confident that you are receiving the best teaching in a professional environment. An ICSA school is a GREAT school.
https://www.thebertinetkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web.png00Jo Bertinethttps://www.thebertinetkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web.pngJo Bertinet2016-05-24 10:48:152018-05-24 10:49:03Founding Member of the I.C.S.A.
We are absolutely thrilled to be able to tell you that yesterday Richard was names as the 2010 BBC Food Champion of the Year.
Richard was nominated by listeners of Radio 4’s Food Programme who were asked to pick an individual who had inspired them to think differently about food and who had used their work in the past twelve months to give fresh insights into the food we eat, bringing about a wider passion for good food, demystifying great cooking or the food world in general.
The BBC Radio Food & Farming Awards 2010, now in their eleventh year, are chosen by a panel of 12 experts (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/ffa/2010/judges/) consisting of high-profile chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and nutritionists, including Angela Hartnett (Chair of Judges), Mark Hix, Charles Campion, Sheila Dillon, Rose Prince, Simon Parkes and Kath Dalmeny. As Food Champion of the Year, Richard was presented with his award at the BBC Radio Food & Farming Awards 2010 at the BBC Good Food show on Wednesday 24th November in Birmingham. The awards ceremony was hosted by Sheila Dillon of Radio 4’s The Food Programme.
https://www.thebertinetkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web.png00Jo Bertinethttps://www.thebertinetkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web.pngJo Bertinet2015-05-24 10:53:222018-05-24 10:55:18Richard Bertinet named BBC Food Champion of the Year