A workmate and I were given some redballoon gift vouchers a while back. We found an interesting looking artisan breadmaking day course at Brasserie Bread, and since I'd just started dabbling around making sourdough (or really, getting a lot of flour all over the kitchen, and occasionally coming out with some rather dense loaves), we enrolled in the first vacant day we could find, and dragged a bunch of workmates with us.
So last Saturday we got down & doughy, and it was such fun.
Michael's 10 steps of bread making
We were lucky enough to have Michael Klausen as our tutor, and he was friendly, knowledgeable, and obviously passionate about his bread. He gave us the 10 steps of breadmaking, which I think we all forgot immediately, then we started kneading.
An amazing procession of different bread doughs come past, and we were shown how to mix them, how to shape them, how to knead them and how to tell when they were ready. In the middle we paused for some bread sampling, cheeses and white wine - very civilised after all our hard bready work.
And finally, we slid some cherry olive oil breads with an unpronouncable name into the oven - and out into our mouths.
Unpronounceable cherry breads - very tasty!
I learnt a hell of a lot, and we each left carrying several bundles of freshly baked bread, and our own sourdough dough to take home and proof before baking.
Some people's loaves were bigger than others. Of course, it's not the size that matters.
My sourdough went into the oven on Sunday night, and came out nice and light and (mostly) round - delicious.
My sourdough, fresh from the oven. Look at that fabulous oven spring!
The Brasserie Bread kindly set up a little table for me, since there was no earthly way I'd be able to stand up with everyone else, but even with that, and taking it as carefully as I could, I ended up pretty damned sore afterwards. Between the weather changes and the heat and the workshop strain, I've had a difficult few days, and next to no sleep last night. So as you can imagine, I'm feeling pretty crappy.
I'll be posting some pictures of the Chocolatier's new chocolates in the next few days, as he kindly brought them over to me to photograph on Monday night, but other than that, I suspect it's going to be a quiet week for me. (And if you can't wait for me, you can see a couple of the pictures over at his Aardvarque blog)
PS - fellow breadmakers, click on the images to go to the gallery with more photos from the day, or click here to go straight there.