By guest blogger CORIN BELL
Our full-day bread-baking course, Our Daily Bread, kicked off in style on Saturday in our new, very spacious venue at Flixton Girls' School. The amazing Rob Tomlinson was on hand to tell us everything we ever wanted to know about yeast, sourdough, flours, processes and bread-making myths. The session started with a chat about the loaves that we’d be making as we had a coffee and some of Rob’s lovely homemade flapjack (he does look after us). The group then began by making a classic white loaf, keeping the recipe nice and simple to focus on techniques, the right steps to take, timings and myths. There are so many books, websites and blogs about bread, and all of the experts have different tips and steps they swear by, so it’s great to have Rob explain how they all fit together and how you can devise the perfect bread-making process to suit you.
While the participants cracked on with kneading, myself and our delightful volunteer Judith made some pizza dough and a lovely thick tomato sauce to whip up some pizzas for lunch. Although the group didn’t make the pizzas themselves, me and Judith talked them through the process, which is very similar to the basic loaf recipe, and everyone got the recipe so they can have a go at home. The end result… four different pizzas, a beetroot and farro grain salad, and a well-earned break!
Over the course of the day, with lots of time for coffee and questions, the group also made a beautiful black olive, sun-dried tomato and rosemary focaccia, and a light rye bread bloomer. It’s great to be able to compare how the different types of flour behave, and how different additions to the basic loaf (the focaccia is an enriched dough, with olive oil in the basic recipe, for example) affect the rising time, and how you treat the dough to get it light and airy. This new bread-making day was a really engaging workshop with a lovely relaxed pace… as Rob always says: great bread has five ingredients, flour, yeast, water, a pinch of salt - and plenty of time.
There are more photographs from this Our Daily Bread session on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page.
Our next full-day bread making session is in Prestwich on Saturday 7 June - book here. Our next half-day bread making session is in Chorlton on Saturday 14 June - book here.