Sourdough Course Review
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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I simply wanted to thank you for a wonderful day last Saturday. It was utterly inspirational, and hugely enjoyable. Your enthusiasm, coupled with your lively teaching method, are infectious. My wife said I didn’t stop talking about it for hours! As I write this I am refreshing the starter I brought from the School, as well as the rather sad “mother” of the one you tasted on Saturday. I think it will return to life - I did apologise to it as you suggested!
Thank you, once again, for a memorable day. I am desperate to get baking again. I hope you are having a wonderful time in Italy and gaining as much inspiration as we all did from you.
What a fantastic week we have had - 7 days of knowledge sharing, laughter and friendship, becoming a real sourdough family and of course with lots of sourdough making. I feel so privileged to have been shown not just how to make fantastic bread but the principles behind it and with a journey into understanding so much more about digestion and healthy eating. Vanessa is a great teacher - she is passionate, affectionate and demands your attention. As students we were nurtured as well as the sourdough starter - given sustenance, space, exercise and energy. I have come away energised at a time when I step onto a new pathway that will involve taking this knowledge far and wide. Thank you Vanessa for your friendship and your effort.
I went to the Sourdough School in October of 2018. I traveled to Northampton from Alaska. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to meet Vanessa and to learn from her in her beautiful school and garden. I am happily baking back at home today and the website is a fantastic tool as well. My son, Iver, loves watching her video tutorials and is also baking bread using Vanessa's methods. Beautiful food, location, students, and learning environment. Thank you for all the hard work! Her assistant Lucy was also so very helpful in answering questions and helping me plan the trip. Lucy helped me arrange a tour of the local vineyard. That was so much fun and I learned so much! With Vanessa's help I was able to get the starter home healthy as well. Hope to see you all again one day. Much love. Lacy
My brother bought me the book for my birthday but I was keen to see sourdough breadmaking in practice - so it was natural to choose this course. Sadly, Vanessa told us that she won't run the one day course in future. I fully understand why so feel especially lucky to have attended the last one. The loaves I've made since then are extremely edible, thanks to Vanessa. I'm sure there is lots of room for improvement but am now feeling more confident about sourdough baking.
Faced with having to give up bread because of a gluten intolerance, little did I know when I went searching for a book on sourdough, that the book I chose would lead me down such an exciting path of exploration. ‘The Sourdough School’ is unlike any cookery book I had read before and I realised I was going to have to really sit down and study this one, rather than choose a recipe and start cooking. My husband was so entranced by my enthusiasm that he offered the 2 day Sourdough for Health to me as my 60th birthday present. I can only say that this was like no other cookery course I had been on. Right from the word go, Vanessa entranced us with her infectious enthusiasm for the world of sourdough and fermentation and how it could improve our health but also how enjoyable it could be. Our group gelled really quickly and I felt I had joined a community of like-minded passionate people. We ate the most beautiful food for lunch and Vanessa’s generosity with her recipes and experience knows no bounds and the two days sped past. The course did not end on Sunday evening as we also have access to a detailed website with background research, detailed ‘how to’ pages and recipes. I cannot thank Vanessa enough for starting me on my sourdough journey and for her passion to share sourdough with everyone.
Vanessa is a generous, inspiring and passionate woman, her enthusiasm is contagious and her knowledge is immense! Her warmth and kindness radiates out of her and her cookery studio! It’s impossible not to catch the sourdough bug! Come prepared to be challenged and encouraged to build your skills and leave loving having learnt how to create fantastically simple, yet complex delicious dishes! I will definitely be putting these skills into action! Thank you Vanessa and your team
I would recommend the school to anyone who is serious about making a good loaf. The venue is great, as is the food, and Vanessa is inspirational. I left feeling exhausted but resolute and 11 days later ( after many mishaps) I produced two respectable loaves. Happiness is a decent sourdough loaf!
Vanessa is truely passionate about sourdough baking and passing on her indepth knowledge. Thanks to her generousity she invited people to apply for the Sourdough Sisters course. I know we all felt very privledged to have this special opportunity to gather as a group to learn about making sourdough and the nutritional and digestability benefits of the bread. We came from different backgrouds but our objectives were the same. We all wanted to share our knowledge in our community with people we work with. I volunteer in a cafe that provides training for young people with additional support needs This cafe was set up as there was no training for these young people. Therefore no chance of gaining skills to gain life skills and or employment. We don't have a bakery in our town that makes sourdough bread. Everyone is excited at the prospect of learning how to make sourdough. This would not have been possible without the generousity of Vanessa. We are planning on starting with pizzas. However on the course Vanessa discussed starter / leavain management, impact of different flour, water temperature importance of dough temperature developing the dough,shaping, baking and then we all gathered around the table and had a delish lunch. We learnt how many different things we could do with the basic recipe from her book loaf of bread, pizza, bread sticks, crumpets and flat breads. Moreover Vanessa shared her knowledge on the digestibility and nutrional aspect of sourdough bread. As we are going to share our knowledge within our community she discussed how we can best impart the knowledge we have learnt on the course Furthermore we have been supported by very generous flour millers Gilchesters, Marriages, Doves, Rude Health and Craggs&Co Thank you so much Vanessa I am really looking forward to moving forward We are in the planning stages at the moment. A really fantastic opportunity I felt we had a really special group of people all with infectous enthusiasm and we have made baking friends for life. I know the young people and their mentors will enjoy learning to make sourdough and get a real sense of satisfaction, self worth and achievement. Vanessa is a passionate,generous, extemely knowledgeable and energetic teacher. The Usual Place Cafe and I are so very grateful for this opportunity. Thank you so much Liz
Inspirational and encouraging, made sense having read the book beforehand but wonderful to go away and reread the book and try and emulate Vanessa’s skill ....or not in my case! Practice will be needed but totally inspired. Thank you for a great day with wonderful fellow participants.
I attended the one-day Sourdough class on the weekendand thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The hands-on step by step process as instructed by Vanessa was ideal as I got to familiarise myself with how it should look, feel, smell and taste along the way. Recommend the Sourdough School to anyone who is wanting to master the world of Sourdough.
The weekend I spent at the Sourdough School learning from Vanessa as part of the Sourdough Sisters course was unforgettable. The school is beautiful and inspiring, but relatable to a home environment where many of us would be taking our skills to practice on our own. Vanessa is extremely knowledgeable and passionate. She is an excellent teacher! The way she uses metaphors, hands-on instruction, visuals, etc. has helped me remember more complex concepts of sourdough baking. The course demystified many parts of sourdough while taking my understanding deeper at the same time. I am so grateful. Thank you, Vanessa!!
Vanessa's diploma course teaches you not only how to make great sourdough bread but it also teaches you about the nutrition and digestibility of bread and how it's important for our health. She brings health, life, and bread into a full circle and you realize how such a basic element in our life has the capacity to have such a big impact, both nutritionally and socially. It's not only healthy for us, but it has the ability to bring people together from all walks of life.
Vanessa's not only excudes baking knowledge but also passion and her passion is contagious. I left her humble home with so much gratitude and admiration. Thank you!
The course was a Christmas present from my partner and I couldn't wait to go. It was a really inspirational weekend and I learned so much that I can't wait to go and continue practicing this weekend. The difference a tiny detail makes to the overall result is staggering. Thank you Vanessa and I will be coming to a 6-day course next year to learn more.
Brilliant, really informative and definitely worth attending. I have baked since completing the course and there is a vast improvement in the quality of my loaves.
Worth every penny and more. I learned so much more than merely what was going wrong with my bread. Vanessa is very generous both with her knowledge - which is broad and in depth - and her hospitality. She is absolutely lovely and quite humble for someone with such expertise and has a tremendous amount of patience and good humour which helps to make the day feel like a bunch of mates hanging out. Her kitchen is to die for!!! and everything she does is with consideration for the earth and for local producers. Truly and inspiration and gorgeous bread to boot!
What a great learning week end. The work shop over two days was absolutely brilliant. We all met at the gate and made our way up the drive admiring the beautiful garden. Vanessa gave us all a great welcome. Gorgeous bread was baking in the oven ready for our lunch and inspire us to achieve delish bread. Moreover there was a really delish strawberry pan de mie for our coffee. It was an eye opener on the broader aspect of sourdough.
We all brought our own flour Vaneesa had prepared so well for each student as an indivdual having identified all our hopes and objectives. Vanessa guided us through all the nitty gritties of making sourdough bread starting with our flour choice then discussing starter and levain management, water temperature, mixing the dough, autolysing, adding levain and developing the dough through to bulk fermentation and stretch and folding the dough The fun started when we were shaping the dough ... Into the bannetons for an overnight sleep Meantime there was lots of discussion and chat about the benefits of sourdough on our health gut and digestibility Also how we can incorporate sourdough into the rest of our baking and cooking Day 2 we baked our bread and then we tasted, assessed and analysed our bread. When my husband booked the course for me to celebrate retirement he told me to enjoy "the jolly" He said I made really good yeast bread and he didnt appear interested in sourdough. Amazing a few months passed I left information and Vanessa's new book for him to peruse He is now really interested in the health benefits of sourdough I am just back from the course He says he is going to e mail Vanessa to see why there is no sourdough for lunch as yet It been a busy week All my pals are wanting a catch up about the course I have been busy today "Vanessita" has been refreshed the dough is in the bannetons three loaves all ready for the oven tomorrow
Vanessa is such a terrific teacher funny, relaxed, patient, generous and has a fantastic knowledge of all things sourdough She treats everyone as an individual and everyones objectives were achieved We had a great group of enthusiastic people We bonded well and had good chats about our baking adventures The highlight of the weekend for everyone was seeing Neil as he cut his first loaf of bread he had baked Priceless.The great benefit about the course is the continuing support when you return home and start baking and start having even more questions buzzing around. In addition you can go on to the sourdough club pages and revise what has been taught. Now we have the luxury of the Sourdough School book too. I wait in anticipation to see how the bread bakes tomorrow. I shall refresh the starter again tonight and I shall be baking again tomorrow My friends are in for a treat Furthermore I am giving people some starter to get going on the sourdough journey I have very fond memories of my week end. I learnt so so much I will continue to learn as I keep making bread Thank you Vanessa and all the team
A Fantastic course, very relaxed but interesting all day. Vanessa is welcoming, funny and incredibly knowledgeable not just about bread but about the science behind the making and eating of it. I was very interested in what she had to say about gut health and digestibility of sourdough as one of the reasons I was given the present was to bake bread for my wife who has a lot of food intolerances. A great day out and a great experience; lunch was fabulous and I took home 3 loaves of proper sourdough! I made my first loaf at home last week and I have now bought all the kit and ordered more flour etc to keep me going. plus Vanessa's new book "The Sourdough School" is arriving today, I cant wait !!
St. Patrick’s Weekend Workshop - As birthday presents go, this year will be hard to beat. I had no idea what my wife had bought for me but the ‘cat that got the cream’ smile told me a great deal. When all was revealed on the twelfth day, I could not quite believe my luck. The prospect of a sourdough workshop (an entire weekend!) working with Vanessa at her Instagramly familiar studio was an exciting prospect indeed. With my expectations already high, the workshop knocked them for six! Vanessa was clearly born in flour. Her passion for sourdough, food and life is both palpable AND infectious. As a chef, journalist, food activist and fine teacher, you could not ask for a better companion on your journey into the world of sourdough and beyond. Despite being in rural Northamptonshire, the studio has a welcoming, French atmosphere. A place where you could relax on the sofa with a cup of good coffee , whip up a feast on the stove and bake until the cows come home. With Vanessa’s generous teaching style and a programme that allowed time for the six students to learn, question and test ourselves, we measured, mixed, prodded, proved, baked and ate to our hearts' content. Now, with my new starter freshly fed, I am still fermenting upon all that I have learned. When my next loaf emerges from the oven with the same, lofty spring and burnished crust, I will know who to thank - Vanessa AND Caroline, my wife!
I went on the first ever 'Bring Your Own Flour' workshop, I took Einkorn.
The weekend was brilliant! Vanessa was very interesting and so enthusiastic about sourdough and fermenting foods in general. The information she passed on about sourdough and the chemical level at which it reacted within our gut was so detailed and helped me to understand why many of our current diseases (cancer, diabetes, dementia etc) are in such an epidemic state. We learned about biomes and the way we have managed to eradicate most of them with our modern diet and food processing.
I would definitely recommend a course at The Sourdough School to anyone and everyone.
I have attended two courses now, one for basic sourdough bread making and one studying the digestibility of the sourdough bread. Vanessa is a wealth of wisdom and this is equalled only by her passion and willingness to share her knowledge with everybody. She genuinely wants people to create this lovely bread themselves and is passionately keen for real bread and good food to be on everybody's tables, everywhere. She is an inspiration and a great guide. The lunches provided on the study days were just the most amazing cultured and fermented foods and they are staying in my memory like 'that meal' you need to find again. They were both a "King's banquet of Peasant foods" and they were the best meal ever.