13 May 2013

GUEST BLOG: Rising stars

By guest blogger SIOBHAN KELLY

There was another full house this Saturday (11 May) for the four-hour breadmaking session at Chorlton High School. The warm kitchens were a welcome contrast to the cold overcast weather outside. On the menu today was a loaf of bread, garlic naan bread and focaccia. 

First off, we made the dough for our loaves of bread with a choice of flours and yeast. While the dough was rising (the temperature in the kitchen was quite tropical this morning - perfect conditions for the dough to rise in), the dough for the naan and focaccia was prepared.

The focaccia dough was stretched, rolled and sprinkled with sunblushed tomatoes and olives, folded into three, then rolled out again and left to rise, before it was sprinkled with sliced red onions, rock salt and fresh rosemary, ready to bake. These look so spectacular when cooked!

The garlic naan breads were then ready to roll into shape and cook in a frying pan - a lovely sight with smell enveloping the kitchen space. As soon as they were ready, we are them with red pepper hummus and other dips - it's hungry work, this breadmaking!

Rob chatted passionately throughout the session, sharing preparation tips, scientific facts, good places to buy ingredients, and interesting stories to share. Everyone has recipe sheets to take away at the end of the session, so time can be spent enjoying the 'hands-on' experience of making dough, rather than taking notes. These sessions are designed for working individually and also in small groups. Learning together in a relaxed, sociable environment, we then sit and eat together after everyone's hard work, which also gives us time to reflect upon what's been made and learnt in the kitchen during the session. 

Today the participants were treated to freshly made pizzas for their lunch, which myself and the volunteer Charlotte made. These had a fresh tomato sauce containing apple, onions and garlic, while the toppings were made up of olives, chestnut mushrooms, anchovies, red pepper, yellow chillies and freshly ground pepper - delicious.

This was another successful session that inspired participants who now have the knowledge to bake their own breads at home. Thanks as always to our volunteers who work hard to help with the smooth running of our sessions. A lovely group of people today.

We have loads of photos from this session on our official Facebook page - take a look!

We have various breadmaking sessions coming up in Chorlton and Altrincham - see the Cookery School section on our website for full details and ways to book.

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