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Introduction to Sourdough

Sourdough has become wildly popular over the last few years, and it’s not hard to see why – there’s nothing quite like a freshly-baked sourdough loaf! Although the use of the sourdough ‘starter’ might seem a bit intimidating, on this Introduction to Sourdough course we’ll demystify the process and cover everything you need to know. You’ll also take home a ready-made sourdough starter to use.
• Making and maintaining your sourdough starter
• Country loaf
• Danish rye bread
• Sourdough pizza
• Baguettes

The crucial component of sourdough is your starter, a symbiotic culture of yeasts that provide the carbon dioxide that makes the bread rise, and also give it that distinctive sour flavour. We’ll begin with everything you need to know about creating your starter, and how to care for it and ‘feed’ it so that it lasts.
Following a demonstration for each, you’ll then practise how to mix and knead a country loaf, Denmark’s famous rye bread, a sourdough pizza base and a baguette. When it comes to sourdough, understanding how the dough should look, feel and smell at each stage of the process is just as important as following the recipe, so we’ll help you to develop an understanding of exactly what makes the dough work, and questions will be very welcome!

At the end of the day, you’ll go home with a pot of sourdough starter to use, a selection of your own delicious creations, and a course booklet which includes all the recipes used and some guidance notes. The day also includes a delicious two-course lunch with the other course attendees.

Our bread baking courses are held in the picturesque village of Timsbury, near Bath in the South West of England. If you’re interested in staying locally overnight, you can find recommendations on places to stay nearby on our accommodation page.


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March 9
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Course Categories:

Andy Tyrrell

Vale House Kitchen are really excited that Andy will be running our Sourdough Courses starting at the beginning of 2022. Since his first job in a local bakery Andy has had a passion for real bread baking. After training in London and working in restaurants and top gastropubs Andy moved via Pembrokeshire to settle at River Cottage HQ where he worked his way up to Head chef, leading courses and events using the best local and organic produce around. Andy…


“One of the best experiences I’ve had in years!”

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“An exceptional experience. Educational, brilliant teaching, and amazing surroundings. I'd recommend it most highly”

Course Member - Two day shooting course