It’s that time of year again, when the nation goes bonkers for a motley crew of amateur home cooks baking their socks off in a soggy marquee. What we love about the Great British Bake-Off is that it celebrates so many of the skills that we teach at Vale House Kitchen, and that it inspires a whole new wave of people to get stuck into things like patisserie, cake decoration, and the subject of one of our most popular courses: baking bread.
One of our favourite local bakers, Martin Hunt from Joe’s Bakery (one of the oldest in Bristol), leads our one day crash course in bread, which will guide you through the process of creating all your favourite British and Continental loaves using a variety of different flours. Martin has been in the bakery business for nearly thirty years, and in his own bakery produces a huge range of different breads using both traditional and modern processes, so he’s the perfect expert to teach you a whole variety of techniques, as well as answering all your questions, from the tricks of the trade to health and nutritional benefits. As well as running his own very successful bakery, he also teaches the apprentice bakers at the City of Bristol College, and has won several awards, including for his sourdough.
Our one day bread class isn’t just about mastering the recipes, but about gaining a deeper understanding of the processes involved – and that’s why we teach you to knead all of the loaves by hand. It’s a serious work-out, but we reckon it’s a crucial part of learning to bake good homemade bread – it helps you connect with how dough works, what it should and shouldn’t feel like, and what’s really going on behind the scenes of your local bakery. Of course, we know it’ll tire you out, so that’s why we provide a delicious lunch as part of the package, to keep you going – and, of course, you’ll have the satisfaction of taking all your handmade loaves home at the end of the day. For more information and to book your place, click here.
Sourdough is something we’re often asked about, which is part of the reason we’re also launching a new two-day bread masterclass. Sourdough is fascinating stuff which creates absolutely delicious bread, but it can’t be rushed, which is why we want to spend two days on it rather than one. If you’re not local to us, then why not take the opportunity to stay in the beautiful city of Bath, just 8 miles away – we’d recommend Villa Magdala or The Carpenter’s Arms – and use our free shuttle service from those two hotels to reach us in the tiny, beautiful village of Timsbury. More information on our two-day masterclass will be coming very soon – watch this space!