4 March 2014

GUEST BLOG: Loafing around

By guest blogger SIOBHAN KELLY

We hosted another full house for Rob's very popular Breaking Bread session on Saturday's bright spring morning. In these classes, each participant makes a loaf of bread, then pairs up to make naan breads and focaccia, some of which they get to take home, along with recipe sheets handed out at the end to encourage baking more bread at home. The participants are treated to homemade pizza for lunch which is made from scratch during the session by the volunteer staff. While the dough is rising, a pizza sauce is made using red onions, garlic, tinned tomatoes and a diced apple. The pizzas are topped with the sauce and layered with mushrooms (pre-fried), red peppers, chillies, black olives, anchovies (a veggie option is also available!) and grated cheese - it's quite a heavenly taste when cooked, if I say so myself.

Throughout the session, Rob shares a wealth of knowledge about bread-making, yeasts, flours available, where to shop, and our good old friend 'the Baker's Mate'. The session is interspersed with questions, answers, and fact sharing. Tips, such as: make the dough wetter rather than drier to begin with, as it is nearly impossible to add water to a dry dough, but easy to add flour to a wetter dough.

This is a 'hands-on' session, so rather than just watching/demonstrations, the participants do everything themselves, the best way to learn. Naan breads, which include freshly made garlic paste (being prepared in the photograph) are fried in pans of oil then eaten with avocado or red pepper hummusThe focaccia always look divine even before they are cooked: plump, colourful and topped with fresh rosemary, olive oil, red onions and rock salt, with black olives and sun-dried tomatoes inside the dough.  Rustic, beautiful and a meal in itself.

The participants are encouraged to look at the photos on our Facebook page and comment about their experience during the session today: click here. There are lots more exciting courses to whet your appetite coming up over spring and summer, including full-day breadmaking in Whalley Range in May, July, September and November, a brand-new course in Prestwich and the return of this half-day course to Chorlton (the next one with places still available is 14 June). All details can be found on the Cracking Good Food website.

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