I can’t tell you everything you will learn …
As my newest book is being released in September 2020, I am under embargo from my publishers and cannot give you the full details of the extraordinary new way that the new diploma course is being approached. However, what I can tell you, is that I can’t wait to teach the fascinating techniques that I have been developing.
For nearly ten years now, I have been teaching the same recipes to a room full of 10 students and although it has been a huge task to switch up the diplomas, after a decade it is certainly time for a change. So I have reworked the diplomas to run with fewer students, more often and teach a different sourdough each time!
I am seriously delighted to announce our 2020 beginners Sourdough Diploma and excitingly, some of the content I’ll teach during this course is not yet widely known in the baking community. To put it simply, the methods and knowledge I will share with you are going to change the way we think about baking. This is an application of knowledge that until now, has never been applied to sourdough or indeed bread.
The few expert bakers that I have told about my new approach had such a reaction to it that they confirmed in my mind, this will be a game-changer…
So what I can tell you is this:
- You have the opportunity to be the first to learn about a new approach to sourdough that will rock the sourdough community when the book comes out.
- There is a level of understanding and knowledge, even for beginners, about health & wellbeing that goes beyond anything taught before, as we apply cutting edge knowledge to the way approach sourdough.
- The classes are just for 4 people each time. My team will be here, and we will bake something different on each diploma according to the season.
- The classes are based around my book The Sourdough school and with just 4 people in the class, it’s a beautiful, personal approach which gives me plenty of time with each person and their individual needs.
- There are only 35 places left on the diploma in 2020. We usually have a waiting list, but it has taken me a long time to get the courses up, so please be aware that we are expecting the beginners’ diplomas to book up fast.
ALL THE PRINCIPLES OF BAKING SOURDOUGH ARE INCLUDED IN THE DIPLOMA
This is more than about learning to make sourdough; this is about you and your bread. You will learn to make beautiful sourdough, whilst learning about yourself and the composition of your gut microbiome, and how your diet affects both your physical and mental well being.
- Learn how to get a beautiful open crumb sourdough loaf.
- How to refresh a starter
- Starter maintenance
- Learn about the versatility and purpose of different leavens
- Understand each step of the process
- You will find a rhythm – and plan your baking schedule
- Flavour – we demystify how to control the sourness of your sourdough
- Milling our own flour
- Learn about mixing and kneading techniques
- Look at the role of salt and how this affects the rise
- Understand how water and various hydration levels affect your bread
- We will look at the role flour has on the finished bread in detail
- Make sure that you really understand the point at which the bread is proved
- Please note that the teaching involves a combination of both hands-on baking and some demonstrations for certain recipes, however, you will be involved in every aspect of mixing, shaping and proving sourdough, through to the bake. We slow things down and will look at the details that really make the difference.
- Discover why sourdough is particularly nutritious and digestible
- Learn about prebiotics, probiotics and fermentation techniques
- You will be tested in a written paper in ENGLISH at the end of the week. This is not aimed to fail, but it is essential to be awarded a diploma to certain that you have understood all the principles of sourdough. It will be marked as a group exercise as a means of re-enforcing the key principles of making great sourdough.
Whilst the teaching will centre on every aspect of sourdough bread there will still be time to savour your bread, to relax, to breathe deeply and just lose yourself in long, slow fermentation and in the beauty of our rural Northamptonshire setting. We will try to incorporate a walk into each day’s schedule, weather permitting.
What is included?
- The Sourdough Diploma takes your knowledge and understanding of sourdough to another level.
- A 12 months Learning support program with a Gold The Sourdough Club Membership (RRP £199)
- Our starter in an exclusive ceramic jar & some of our starter & a set of sourdough record cards ( RRP 39.99)
- A personalised signed The Sourdough Schoolbook worth £19.99
- All the teaching materials & supporting documentation
- A personalised embossed certificate
- A Sourdough School Workbook ( NO RRP – it is priceless!)
- The Sourdough Diploma takes your knowledge and understanding of sourdough to another level. Although we accept beginners on the Diploma, you will get much more out of the week if you have at least baked sourdough a few times to have a basic idea of the principles. This is more than about learning to make sourdough; this is about you and your bread. You will learn to make beautiful sourdough, whilst learning about yourself and the composition of your gut microbiome, and how your diet affects both your physical and mental well beingAll food and drinks whilst at the school are provided. We will be eating sourdough, local cheeses and simple, delicious homemade food and ferments for lunch, and enjoying a glass of award-winning wine from the local vineyard or our own sourdough beer.Please note that we are also mindful that some people want to avoid alcohol, and we have a separate table available, that is still very sociable to eat at.
1 week + A 12 Month Learning program that supports your week a the school
With over 10 hours of video tutorials and countless articles and tutoring, your week is actually a year-long course.
- Continuing to learn and develop sourdough and applying the techniques & recipes you learnt with dozens of in-depth articles and studies – the course doesn’t end when you leave the school. The program is supported with a free 12-month subscription of The Sourdough Club worth £199, with all supporting video’s and articles, class notes, step-by-step guides and video masterclasses for each module.
– PROGRAM DETAILS –
- You will attend a 5-day Diploma course here at The School.
- This is followed by a 12-month home-development program, with a class forum, formula’s & step by step guides.
- The workshop will be run by The Sourdough School founder and sourdough specialist Vanessa Kimbell.
- There will be a focus on how to achieve optimal health through good food, wider health issues and how these relate to fermentation.
The bread and guts week is about understanding every aspect of bread. It is both practical and theory, from culturing a starter, to baking sourdough, to digesting bread, how to optimise the nutritional value of your bread.
The syllabus allows you time to explore the local area, visit local bakeries in the nearby market town, and there is time to see some of the beautiful local countryside. Whilst the syllabus is taught in conjunction with Vanessa’s book The Sourdough School this week goes beyond the teachings in this best-selling book.
The aim is to challenge you to think about bread differently sourdough is the oldest way of making bread and uses naturally occurring wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria. The process of baking sourdough is sensuous and nurtures both mind and body, and requires a thoughtful and spiritual approach. Artistic and scientific, what Vanessa teaches is a combination of passion, patience, dedication and craftsmanship. It is about connection, using hands, touch, smell, taste, sight, heat and mind. It is about wellness but it is also making sourdough work for you in real life, so you continue to bake at home.
- Depending on the weather you will have some free time, and there is the opportunity to walk, cycle, visit the local pubs, or pop to the local farmers market, cheesemongers and bakery.
- During the week you will have the option to visit Vanessa’s family vineyard, just a five minutes drive from the school.
- The course aim is to give you the confidence and know-how to bake your own homemade, artisan, sourdough loaves.
- It will be a fun week, full of information, demonstrations and baking.
- All participants will receive a certificate of attendance.
- Before the course, a timetable will be sent to you
What is not included:
Students are responsible for:
- Your accommodation
- Transport to and from the classes (there is local accommodation listed below that is 1 mile away)
- You will need to arrange for your own breakfast and evening meals
You will only need to bring a few essentials, your favourite apron, and a large basket to take your bread, your bakes and several other bits and pieces home with you, 3 x 200g Tupperware containers/glass jars with lids to take jam, cultured butter and pickles home (please ensure they are sterile and odourless) and a small plastic bottle (an empty water bottle is good) to take syrups home. International students, please allow space in your luggage to take many items back with you. You might like to bring indoor shoes for the school, and please also bring a pair of trainers or shoes to walk in, something warm to wear and a flask – we will fill it with hot tea. If you want to cycle then please bring something appropriate to wear – the route is some tarmac and a well-used track, but it can be muddy in places.
Gut Microbiome Testing
If you would like to test your own gut microbiome at any point before or after the course you can do so here
What happens next?
Once payment is made, you are destined to make some awesome bread as your place is booked. An email will be sent to you confirming your place on the course. If Vanessa has any concerns she will be in touch. Hurrah!
We have tried to answer all your course-related questions here.
- Although we love beginners on the diploma, we advise that you will get much more out of the week if you have at least baked sourdough a few times to have a basic idea of the principles before you attend.Any Questions? Just send us an email and we’ll get back to you firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any advice before you book Please see full terms and conditions here – Students must be over 18 years old to attend. – We look forward to welcoming you to the course