Level: For Any level
Tutor: Vanessa Kimbell
£1495 - Monday 13 May 2019
Time: various Monday - Sunday
Availability: Last few spaces available
This is my favourite month – May, it is probably the prettiest time in the garden. The apple and quince trees are in full blossom, the earth is warming up, and the birds are singing their hearts out. There’s fresh growth in the herb garden, so we are able to gather handfuls of flavour-filled leaves for making pesto, and the first salad leaves of the season are ready for picking. It’s wild garlic season too, with lots of the fragrant leaves and delicate white, star-shaped flowers available to use in our cooking. We will forage for some wild garlic to bring spring flavour to our bread. And we’ll also be using pickled lemons, made earlier in the year, combined with olives to create a loaf with a taste of the Mediterranean.
The courses are taught in conjunction with Vanessa’s book The Sourdough School. The aim is to challenge you to think about bread differently – it 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, it is a combination of passion, patience, dedication and craftsmanship. It is about connection, using hands, touch, smell, taste, sight, heat and mind. These are the elements we connect with here at the school.
The one week sourdough diploma is not simply to give sourdough bakers an in-depth understanding of the principles of baking sourdough bread, but understanding the specifics of fermentation itself. Our focus at The Sourdough School is on making the most nutritious and delicious bread part of a healthy lifestyle. We combine hands on baking with evidence based learning and relevant research papers, and apply the science as we bake.
- The workshop will be run by The Sourdough School founder and sourdough specialist Vanessa Kimbell.
- There will be a Nutrition discussion with our resident Clinical Nutritionist Jackie Lynch on how to achieve optimal health through good food, wider health issues and how these relate to fermentation.
- During the week you will have the option to visit Vanessa’s family vineyard, just a five minutes drive from the school.
- And we usually have a guest visit from Gary Bradshaw of Hamm Tun fine foods a local cheese-maker, whose cheese we serve on the course.
We will make:
- Classic Sourdough
- Olive & Pickled Lemon bread
- Wild Garlic bread
- Cultured butter
- French style compote from garden fruit
- Pain De Mie
- Russian Rye
- Sourdough Pizza
Please note: We reserve the right to make changes to this recipe schedule should we need to.
ALL THE PRINCIPLES OF BAKING SOURDOUGH ARE INCLUDED IN THIS COURSE.
- Learn how to get a beautiful open crumb sourdough loaf.
- How to refresh a starter
- Starter maintenance
- Learn about 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 and probiotics
- You will be tested in a written paper in ENGLISH at the end of 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.
- 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, cheese mongers and bakery.
- 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.
- Two weeks before the course a full schedule will be sent to you.
Monday 13th May to Sunday 19th May – 7 days
Timings: on the first day, the Monday, please arrive at 9.50am ready for a 10am start. All other days please arrive ten minutes before each start time. Each day normally ends around 6pm but some can differ. On the last day, the Sunday, the course ends at 4pm.
What is included:
All food and drinks whilst at the school are provided. We will be eating sourdough, local cheeses and simple, delicious homemade food for lunch, and enjoying a glass of award-winning wine from the local vineyard or our own sourdough beer.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
- PLEASE BOOK your accommodation as soon as you have booked your place on the course, as there are often events in the area.
- We advise that students to stay at Sedgebrook Hall. The Hall is set in beautiful grounds and is walking distance in good weather, and in good light (about a 20 minute walk and about a mile away from the school) and has a restaurant and bar, and a small gym and swimming pool: We have a 10% discount code for students which will be included in your booking confirmation email.
- We do have other accommodation options here if needed however please always make sure you arrange your transportation to and from other venues: https://www.sourdough.co.uk/about/bed-and-breakfast/
- Details of the nearest train stations and airports can be found here.
- A page and document containing a map and directions will be available to you when you book the course.
- Students, on attending the course, are invited to enroll and become a member of The Sourdough School so they can share their sourdough bread success with other club members and continue discussions.
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.