A couple of weekends ago I gave my first public sourdough class in Rome. We were in the beautiful space of Alice Adams’ Latteria Studio, just off the Viale Trastevere, on what turned out to be almost too beautiful a day. After a cool, damp and long spring, summer had arrived with a bit of a bang, and to be honest I hadn’t made allowances. As a result there were some last-minute adjustments to the timetable, and the bread we made didn’t turn out quite as I expected. But one of the students assured me that it tasted really good, and one can’t argue with that.

We made my standard 50% wholemeal loaf with a leaven, and while the dough did its bulk ferment (far too quickly) talked about the magic that turns flour, water, salt and leaven into bread. I demonstrated sourdough ciabatta, using the double-hydration method. They turned out pretty well, and made a good accompaniment to the super lunch that Alice laid on.

Four students enjoying lunch at Latteria Studio

Sitting down to the super lunch Alice provided; ciabatta, bottom left.

Stepping back from my disappointment that the dough over-proofed, I reckon the day was pretty much a success. Alice’s new oven worked out very well and everyone seemed to have a good time, as proof of which I offer an almost total lack of photographs.

Everyone took home their own copy of “my” starter, having dutifully recited The Pledge, and a copy of the booklet I’ve prepared. I haven’t yet had any complaints.

No firm date yet for the next Rome course; possibly some time in September. Drop me a line if you want to be informed when a date has been fixed. I’m also available to show you how to make sourdough breads in your own kitchen. And next spring, with luck, I’ll be offering a one-week course, complete with several excursions, at an astonishingly beautiful castle between Perugia and Gubbio.

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