This post was originally published over on Tree in Forest. It’s much more suitable for here, though, so I’ve moved it, with a few modifications. Apologies anyone who’s seen it before. To sweeten it for those who’ve seen it before, I’ve added in some new pictures. I’m also going to try and make a batch of the cherry unpronouncables from the class, so if any Feedbaggers  feel really hard-done-by, comment and I’ll try and save you one.

Fresh cherry schiaciatta

Fresh cherry unpronounceables (I'm told they're actually schiaciatta, but I prefer my version) - fellow Feedbaggers, comment if you're appalled by the double post and need to be bribed with one

At the end of last year, a (now ex-) workmate and I were given some gift vouchers. We found an interesting looking artisan breadmaking day course at Brasserie Bread, and since  at that time I’d just started dabbling around making sourdough (or really, getting a lot of flour all over the kitchen, and occasionally coming out with some rather dense loaves), we enrolled in the first vacant day we could find, and dragged a bunch of workmates with us.

So at the end of January, we got down & doughy, and it was such fun.

We were lucky enough to have Michael Klausen, one of the directors, as our tutor, and he was friendly, knowledgeable, and obviously passionate about his bread. He gave us the 10 steps of breadmaking, which I think we all forgot immediately, then we started kneading. Soon enough, the room was filled with the sounds of dough slapping the table, and the occasional friend showing off by trying to knead two rolls at once.

Dough sculptures

Some of us did show off a bit.

An amazing procession of different bread doughs came past, and we were shown how to mix them, how to shape them, how to knead them and how to tell when they were ready. In the middle we paused for some bread sampling, cheeses and white wine – very civilised after all our hard bready work.

Lisa and dough

Things did get a little messy at times.

And finally, we slid some cherry olive oil breads with an unpronouncable name into the oven – and out into our mouths.

The Brasserie Bread kindly set up a little table for me, since there was no earthly way I’d be able to stand up with everyone else, but even with that, and taking it as carefully as I could, I ended up pretty damned sore afterwards. Still, my bread went into the oven the next night, and came out looking respectable, if not fabulous, and tasting delicious. And I learnt a hell of a lot, and we each left carrying several bundles of freshly baked bread, and our own sourdough dough to take home and proof before baking.

Jenny and the large loaf

Jenny and her large loaf

All in all, such a fabulous day – and most of us are planning on going back. If nothing else, we still can’t remember the ten steps of baking! Me, I want to do their wholegrain baking course. I also want to go down there soon just to sit in the cafe, drink the coffee, and munch on as much tasty bread as I can fit into my tum. Anyone feel like an outing?