Want to learn more about bread? And how to bake with traditional leavens? And visit a working watermill?
I will be part of a two-day workshop at Coleg Trefeca in the gorgeous Brecon Beacons in Wales on 23–24 June.
I’ll be working alongside Colin Tudge, one of the most thoughtful writers on farming and agriculture, and Ruth West, who organised the first Rise of Real Bread conference in Oxford and is a force in farmers markets and agroecology.
We’ll be talking about bread itself and as an example of how most food is produced today, with narrowly conceived financial profit as the goal and little regard for the health of people or the planet. Bread offers a chance to look at how we arrived at the wonder of a 36p supermarket loaf and what it would take to put that right.
During the course we will explore the history of bread and milling, modern bread production and who is leading the drive for change, and how a new localised bread culture could change the face of agriculture.
On the second day, at Talgarth Mill, we will see wheat turned into flour and together transform the flour into tasty sourdough loaves.
Details of the course are on the Coleg Trefeca website, which has a handy-dandy link to book the course.
Save the Date: 9 June 2019
Join me in a dream come true. Finally, I have access to a beautiful space and an oven large enough for me to be able to say, “Sure” to everyone who has ever asked me to teach them to bake bread.
While I have been able to offer private courses here in Rome and elsewhere, this is the first time I can make my courses public.
The first order of business is to make your dough. Step by step, I will guide you through the process, along the way explaining why we do what we do. If you have never made a loaf before you will be amazed at how a little effort transforms four simple ingredients into a living dough. And even if you are an experienced baker, there are bound to be new insights.
The secret of great bread
We’ll talk about that, and while your bread quietly does its thing we’ll also talk about wheat, and flour and sourdough leavens. I’ll demonstrate some other techniques and make the bread we will eat for lunch.
I’ve been baking bread on and off for the past 50 years. Some time before 1989 I made my first sourdough starter, and it has been with me ever since, travelling from Somerset in England to Italy. I’m also a biologist and so I have a good understanding of what is going on in the starter and in the bread.
You will leave with your own delicious loaf of handmade bread, plus:
- a “Tuscan” sourdough starter that may or may not be more than 110 years old;
- instructions on how to feed and care for your starter and how to use it to bake more bread;
- an understanding of why I put “Tuscan” in scare quotes;
- a few other recipes;
- maybe some other treats.
And you will have a great day, with good food, in good company.
The day costs 120€, which includes lunch. All you need to do is turn up. Tickets are 60 € in advance, balance to be paid on the day. Cancel up to 72 hours before for a full refund. There will be gluten.
Next course, 23–24 June 2019
Two days in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, baking in a working watermill. Details