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.
Submit your review
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!
April WorkshopWhat 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 tomorrowVanessa 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.
Such a good day. So much to learn, but all well documented to take home with us to practise. Vanessa's enthusiasm was infectious, and I am sure all attending have become converts to the benefits and taste of sourdough.
I was on the beginners course which not only was very informative but was very enjoyable! The informal atmosphere of the course is truly unique and Vanessa really seems to engage with all the people. Her passion for sourdough is obvious and she does not take any shortcuts in her method of teaching. She has made the course long enough so that you understand and experience the whole process from start to finish of baking sourdough bread. Thanks Vanessa for a truly great course.
Thoroughly enjoyable weekend, met a great group of likeminded people, I think we were all left open mouthed by the passion and knowledge that Vanessa has, she is truely inspiring.If sourdough is a Journey, Vanessa is the best Sat Nav in the business ??
An utterly outstanding course that I cannot recommend highly enough! Vanessa’s Sourdough School has such a welcoming, warm and nurturing atmosphere that fuels passion, learning and enjoyment. Vanessa exudes so much energy, knowledge and a desire to teach that I did not want to leave at the end of the course, I just wanted to carry on baking and learning!! The content of the beginners course was inspiring and relevant to people like me who had only baked one sourdough loaf ever before, to the more experienced 'self-taught' sourdough bakers who wanted some advice. This allowed for great knowledge sharing and discussions. The entire weekend was such an enjoyable and social one on top of the skills I gained. I thoroughly enjoyed the company of the small group of people who attended alongside me. One of the things that hugely impressed me about Vanessa was her drive for evidence-based baking. Being a science-oriented person, I always seek the evidence behind things, and Vanessa's library of journal articles is testament to her breadth of knowledge that she can't wait to share with anyone willing to listen! This was a weekend I will never forget 🙂
Whether you're an experienced sourdough baker or just getting started, this is the class to take! From the moment that I stepped into the gorgeous Sourdough School I felt at home! Such a warm and inviting atmosphere, and Vanessa couldn't be more amazing as an individual, a total natural when it comes to teaching with so much passion and love! She has a wealth of knowledge and such a beautiful way of expressing all things Sourdough related! This past weekend was truly one that will go down in the books as a being a very special highlight in my life!!! I look forward to now using the skills I feel that I have learned and to continue this passion that is Sourdough! Thank you so much Vanessa for such a gorgeous experience!!!! =)
An outstanding weekend course! Vanessa’s Sourdough School is a real place of learning, but also a place of fun and creativity. She is a dynamic and vivacious teacher with a vast knowledge of all aspects of baking, but of course with a special passion for sourdough.The content of the course was inspiring and hugely interesting. Not only did we make some delicious sourdough bread, but we were also able to share experience and to discuss some of the more unusual uses of sourdough and fermentation.Although this was a beginners’ course, almost everyone had made sourdough bread to a greater or lesser degree - there was even a professional baker on the course using the opportunity to perfect skills - which meant there was a huge amount of experience being shared, and for a beginner like me, with very inconsistent success in my sourdough baking, this shared experience combined with Vanessa’s incredible knowledge, was invaluable.I would urge anyone with an interest in sourdough baking to sign up to one of Vanessa’s courses; you won’t regret it!
Vanessa's sourdough course is fantastic - she is an engaging, informative and enthusiastic teacher - who has a lot of time for her students and makes you feel warm and welcome. The course itself is brilliant - so much detail, so much rigour but all done with great oratory and performance. If you have digestive issues, it's also a really good course to learn about the benefits of sourdough for IBS etc. It's definitely the best cookery course I've ever been on.
First of all I am a good baker when it comes to yeast/flour and water bread, so how hard could it be to make sourdough bread? Very hard. I made some large flat pancakes that my wife tried to be complimentary about but in the end gave up and told me to either stop or learn properly. I chose to do the latter.The 2 day beginners course is way more than the description. It was a revelation, when the loaves came out of the oven at the end of the second day I had tears in my eyes ( I am saying that knowing that no one who knows me will read this!).I have (seriously) lost sleep with worry about how well I would get on with my first attempt at sourdough after the course. I had every intention of photographing the loaf and sending it to Vanessa saying "SEE!!! I can do it!" but we ate the thing instead. Oh dear, I now just have to do it twice........... more sleepless nights are forecast.If you have any doubts about doing this course, will you learn anything, is it worth it? etc then lose them, yes you will learn, even if you have made sourdough before you will learn new skills, is it worth it? Oh yes, very much so.On a technical front, the room you learn is great, very good lighting, very large table with enough space for everyone to sit comfortably at, lots of tea or coffee and the lunches are fantastic. You get plenty of hands on, you feel and smell the dough's etc at various stages, no-one gets left out, there is no such thing as a daft question. Vanessa is a a very good instructor who really engages with the students.I would recommend this course to anyone interested in learning how to make sourdough or who wants to improve their skill levels.I will be practising for the next few months and then look to book another course with Vanessa.
I've said five stars but Vanessa is a one woman constellation. She is a charismatic and engaging teacher, hugely knowledgeable, and her reputation as the doyenne of sourdough bakers/tutors is well deserved. I've only just completed the intermediate course and have yet to put what I learned into practice but I have no doubt it will revolutionise my bread making. So many crucial tips and techniques. It's intensive (I'm absolutely cream crackered) but still carried out at a pace that allows you to properly absorb the information. If you want to take your sourdough skills to a new level, this is the course to choose.
Thank-you so much to Vanessa for my September Intermediate Course itwas a truly inspiring and such an enjoyable experience, I came awaywith my head crammed full of knowledge, and even more enthusiasm (which would be hard!)I was asked by a fellow student why I came from Scotland with a renowned breadschool close to home. I said that I came to learn from Vanessa as I loved thewebsite.Having completed the course, I would add that not only the course content,but the whole weekend, working alongside like minded people which was lovely,being welcomed into Vanessa's home was a real priviledge, we all felt part ofthe family,and a great team! I really hope to be able to do another course oneday in the future.Sourdough is of course central to Vanessa's course but, I came away with somuch more! Above all my bread is better already due to starter care. Mindyou, I am back to working through the 50 recipes on the website but, withmy new found knowledge, much more success.I have made so much bread since my course two weeks ago that I am giving toall my friends and neighbours!
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and feel that I have learnt a lot. Vanessa knows her stuff but more than that she has a passion for sourdough/good food and a passion for teaching. She is truly inspirational. As a complete beginner, what I really liked was that she took time and effort to explain the basics (starting the culture, what a successful leaven and dough look and taste like etc). She really hit home for me when she explained that making sourdough (which is a long process) is about getting into a rhythm which suits your individual circumstances. At the end of the weekend, we were all raring to have a go in our own homes and what makes that easier is being a member of the Sourdough Club. This is a wonderful addition because we can continue to get advice, try new recipes etc. The whole experience has been a positive one.
This may have all been said before, but I had the most inspiring, pleasureable, tiring, exhilarating sourdough experience. I felt honoured be welcomed in as a member of the 'family', the weekend Sourdough intermediate/advanced course was about mucking in, helping to prep and tidy as well as to absorb the information and teachings from Vanessa. It created great teamwork from our group, I think it all helped to enable me to absorb maximum benefit from the course. But it doesn't stop there! The huge benefits of being a member of the sourdough club will become apparent as time goes on and I start building my baking experiences. This club I feel is worth the course fee on its own. A huge thank you to Vanessa and her team for the most unforgettable experience!! Oh and the food.....what can I say?? !!