As a small business we don’t have a budget to advertise and a large percentage of booked come via personal recommendation, so please do take a moment to read what others have said about their visit ……. and thank you very much to everyone who has taken the time to write a review – every one really does make a difference.
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Busy Saturday in Vanessa's kitchen.Good fun , practical and comprehensive.. All my mistakes cleared up and am now producing reliable sourdough loaves – most of the time anyway
Here we have a Guru of sour dough that has character and the ability to make you feel relaxed and digest (sorry!) all the info thrown at you and at the same time help you to feel confident that you will eventually get to producing a decent well balanced loaf.Vanessa has HUGE knowledge and understands why things can go wrong as well as right and imparts you with names l cannot remember but gets you to the finishing post. A enjoyable day, funny and witty not only by her and her considerate assistant but with the other 10 women who surrounded my self and Antony with constant laughter and fun.Would l return again, yes l would drive the 4.5 hours up and 3 hours down from Kent but next time l would want to spend 2 days getting my techniques right and getting deeper into the subject.
With Vanessa leading and us following what a great day I had! I have for ages wanted to move on from traditioal bread making to soughdough but books, websights, utube just didnt do it! I gave up! But now thanks to your enthusiastic and explanitary teaching, I have had ago! After refreshing my starter! Which initself was me taking control I managed the French one day. Even my husband was impressed! I still have a great deal to learn but am readyto have a go at the San Francisco at the weekend . I am facinated with the technics and the science and feel I am learning a whole new skill. Thanktyou and to Kurt for a great day. If you still want a willing student for your photo shoot do let me know.
What Vanessa offered that no book or website could ever teach was a real understanding of the importance of using your senses when making sourdough, you simply CAN'T make the perfect loaf by just following instructions. My sourdough baking since finishing the course just a few days ago has become much more intuitive and instinctive, which also makes the whole process far more interesting and enjoyable. I simply can't imagine other sourdough courses would have got this across quite so well as Vanessa can, on top of teaching all the basics and demystifying the role of the sourdough starter.The day itself was so much fun, Vanessa was a brilliant tutor in a very relaxing space. I didn't want to leave! Thank you.
I attended the one day course last weekend and what a great introduction to baking sourdough. To be honest I have never had much luck with baking bread but I love eating sourdough so thought I would give the course a try. I am so glad I did. Vanessa is an energetic teacher and was able to make the complicated process of making sourdough sound simple, so that someone like me who has never made any before left feeling inspired and fairly confident that I could give it a try at home. I made my first loaf at home the following day and was amazed at how it turned out. Attending the course means you can pick up all the little tips it is almost impossible to gain from reading a book. Thank you for a great day Vanessa and looking forward to continuing my sourdough journey!
I did the one-day course last weekend having been given this as a present from my husband. I've been baking bread the traditional way for years but wanted to be able to make the authentic sourdough you can buy easily abroad but which is so hard to find here. I can only echo what everyone else has said here: Vanessa is a force of nature and her teaching style is inspirational. Never a dull moment! Above all she gave us not only the basic skills but also the tips which inspire confidence in beginners. I've just taken my first batch out of the oven and the bread is delicious so although I have a lot of finessing to do it's a big thank-you to Vanessa and Carl
The weekend experience at the sourdough school was superb from start to finish. Although I had been making sourdough bread for nearly a year the school and especially Vanessa gave me so much confidence to try out new ideas, to master loaf-shaping and to experiment with other uses of sourdough starter. Vanessa herself put everyone at ease and enabled everyone to take part, her enthusiasm is infectious! The group number of 10 worked well. Saving up for my next course.
2 Day course in October 2016My partner Rosie and I are hoping to open a bakery one day and came to Vanessa's 2 day clinic to get our fundamentals straight, we got far more than we imagined.Not only was Vanessa knowledgable, relatable and a clever sourdough teacher, she was an inspirational to change and transform the way we see all food, not only bread. We thought we could have gotten by without a course or formal training, but we learned many priceless methods and tips. She was prepared and dedicated, she made a concerted effort to make sure everyone got out what the came for.Impressively she answered all questions Rosie, who has a food science background, had about bread baking processes and (importantly) how sourdough affects gluten and your health.Our bread baking hero!!
My wife purchased this 2 day weekend course as a Christmas present. I just had a fabulous time from start to finish - learning, which for the first time since leaving school in 1980 was quite amazing for me.I have to say that I was nervous about the thought of being at school, it sounded scary and what about the people on the course with me what would they be like? I asked myself... Vanessa greeted me with the biggest smile and welcome as she did all the students and from that moment on it was just fun, laughter, chat and learning, Vanessa uses her own great teaching skills by imparting knowledge in a fun way that just make you remember what is being taught.The bread of course was amazing (even mine was pretty good too, I have to say). Dough balls, cake and Pizza just a total food heaven. Lunch was prepared in front of us as we were in class all sat around the large wooden farmhouse table, we ate an Italian themed lunch of roasted vegetables – Pizza – Garlic Dough Balls – Artichokes – Cured meats – Wine (from one of the UK's best wine producers) Fleur Fields VineyardSpecial thanks to Ian, and an enormous thank you to Vanessa – Your enthusiasm and passion shines through, everything you do is from the heart and that is what makes your work very special, for you to share this is amazing.Thank youPaul
I attended Vanessa's sourdough clinic making bricks and came home with a light fluffy sourdough loaf! I learnt so much during the day and met some fantastic people. I would recommend a visit to The Sourdough School to anyone.
I attended the one day Introduction to Sourdough course in mid-October. It has taken me this long to write a review because I think I needed at least six weeks for the information and teaching to sink in. The day is full-on, particularly if you care about your baking and really want to learn. We heard about the history of wheat, sourdough and digestion, the science and chemistry of gluten and sourdough and so much more. On top of that was the bread making, shaping, creating and learning how to make a sourdough loaf from a passionate and knowledgeable teacher. The day inspired me to bake sourdough and look after my starter (which I had tried to do from books before without any success). I've baked eight loaves in the last six weeks and each loaf gets a bit better than tbe last one. And that is where the rest of the course kicks in - you get the Sourdough club and a facebook group full of supportive people and inspiring ideas and you get continued access to Vanessa's advice and support (which is priceless). If you love to bake and want to understand sourdough and learn about it, this is the best course you can do. I am already saving up for the intermediate course!
Thank you Vanessa for being so welcoming and positively inspirational,and Graham too for a lovely lunch.You put across so vividly the importance of mictobial activity and fermentation in maintaining digestivehealth,and accordingly using grains grown and milled with integrity. I've been busy since...paying proper attention to prepping levains and shaping...and tog. with steam, steam,steam : result...three loaves gratifyingly elevated! Would definitely love to come again to explore more sourdoughness.
It was an amazing day with an amazing teacher who is so inspiring .The company and surroundings were wonderful and I hope one day that my sourdough bread will be as fantastic as Vanessa's I hope one day to do another course so thank you so much for sharing your knowledge Pauline.
I spent last Saturday with Vanessa and a group of sourdough enthusiasts and I came away from the class feeling exubriant, encouraged and full of bravery to try new and wonderful tastes and textures for my sourdoughs! I must admit that when I woke up that Saturday morning and got on that train, I wondered if I would learn anything useful from the clinic or if Vanessa could help me improve on my basic sourdough. Vanessa did just that and so much more!! What a wonderful teacher she is and what a great method of teaching! Vanessa seemlessly fixed each of our sourdough concerns throughout the day while adding wonderful stories, teachings and "light-bulb-moment" tips along the way amidst giggles and laughter (you simply can't have good bread without a good dose of laughter!). It really was a wonderful feeling being in a bread class within what is otherwise a home. It certainly felt like we were amongst family and friends. When it came time to bringing out our pre-baked loaves and home-nurtured starters, the nerves started running. However I was very encouraged by Vanessa's praise and feedback and thrilled to hear that I got my crumb and texture right. I just needed to work on the taste...and I have been doing just that since! I now can't wait to sign up for the Higher Hydration course. Thank you so much, Vanessa, for being the inspiration that you are!! Till next time.
What an amazing weekend! I've been baking my own sourdough for nearly 2 years, but Vanessa has help me to take my baking to a new level. She is the most generous teacher and baker I've come across. She will go above and beyond to ensure that each of the students feel confident to bake wonderful bread at home. I cannot wait for my next weekend @ the sourdough school.
I have just spent the weekend with Vanessa and a fascinating group of people at The Sourdough School. I bake bread regularly, but sourdough has always eluded me. Vanessa has put me on a journey to understanding this fascinating ingredient and I have a renewed confidence in starting to learn again. But, for me, the weekend wasn't just about the bread. It helped me understand how our choices about food can affect so many things from health to the environment. I feel inspired to make changes to my own life and I thank Vanessa for the nurturing kindness she showed me. Baking bread is great therapy and now I have my very own sourdough starter to care for there is no turning back. I hope I'll return to the school and show Vanessa just how far I've come.
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!
Great course....fun and entertaining and very informative. I felt I could ask lots of questions and learnt a lot.
Vanessa is an inspiring baker and a generous teacher. I am a complete beginner when it comes to bread making. I found that I was out of my depth when it came to the bread making techniques like shaping. It is my fault that I thought that it was a beginners bread making course, using sourdough, when in fact it is a course for bread makers who were beginning to use sourdough. A slight but crucial difference. However, I have been inspired by seeing what delicious and nutritious breads and cakes can be created using sourdough. I shall persevere!
Thoroughly enjoyed the one-day workshop format. 10 intermediate bakers most with a couple of year's experience and wanting further guidance. We all brought our own starters and a recent bake to sample and compare - and what a huge contrast in styles and tastes. Predominantly a talking, tasting, watching and sharing format but there was a superb hands on session for shaping the dough - it has changed the way I handle all my bread. The discussion on managing your starter cleared up all my questions and concerns and has completely changed my routine. The concept of using discarded starter in other bakes was new to me and I will definitely be trying the muffin recipe. I also love the pot of starter we all had as a take away (both the pot and the contents!). The 'classroom' is a beautiful location and Vanessa's gardens (and chickens) are a delight, constantly visible as a great backdrop through the glass wall of the classroom. I have finally succumbed and purchased a cloche and will be baking with it for the first time this weekend - very excited about the outcome!