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The Latest Review
The Sourdough ClinicI had been thinking about going along to one of Vanessa's courses for over a year and am so glad that I finally signed up and went along. Set in a beautiful Northamptonshire village, Vanessa's new purpose-built teaching area looks out over a walled garden with chickens running through it. Although new, it feels as if you have been transported to an old French kitchen as it is full of wonderful china, bakery items and bits and pieces. Right from the start, myself and the other 9 bakers attending were all welcomed by Vanessa and her assistant Ian. This course isn't about sitting and listening it's also and more importantly about feeling and smelling to get you to understand the evolving process of making a sourdough loaf and the small tutor groups make this possible. Vanessa is truly generous with her knowledge and I learnt so much on the day. You are shown how to create your starter which you take it away with you in a lovely ceramic Kilner jar at the end of the day. Vanessa also explains how to shape your loaf correctly and the reasoning behind this when you come to bake then you all have a piece of dough and are individually tutored through the shaping process - this is then left to prove before being baked and taken home with you. One piece of advice - don't worry about having a big breakfast before you arrive. We were very well looked after with lovely fresh bread on arrival, delicious white chocolate and raspberry muffins which used up excess sourdough starter mid-morning and then a fabulous table of bread, cheese, grapes, walnuts, honey-baked figs and a chopped salad for lunch with local wine. It was a bit unnerving to have to take along your own sourdough loaf and starter for inspection but it was really good to learn from one another and to see what we all needed to do to improve our loaves - done at the end of the day, most of us had had light-bulb moments during the course and could understand where we needed to change. A truly inspirational day, I would highly recommend this course - it is worth every penny. I came away with a lovely bag of baking goodies and purchased a cloche which made such a difference to the first loaf I baked afterwards. Loved it so much I have signed up for the Christmas bread day!
Most recent article
Sourdough recipes – the top 50 It is #sourdoughseptember and time to celebrate the harvest and baking for the year to come. One of the joys of baking sourdough bread is discovering other peoples recipes, the other is to bake them and share them. This is my top 50 collection of recipes from other sourdough bakers to inspire your sourdough baking. Some of them are favourites that I bake time and again, and are from bakers who I am connected to, others are on my baking ‘to do’ list.