First jive with sourdough? Or looking to start up on your own microbakery? Baking bread is one of those things straightforward enough to pick up, but not quite so easy to master. These London-based courses cover both levels, and just about everything in between.
The Prepare For Bake Off One
A certain televised cooking show, with all its bunting and its buttercream, has given Britain a renewed penchant for everything baked. To prepare themselves, wannabe contestants could look to the Cookery School on Oxford Street, where the making of various breads – pizza, focaccia, wholemeal loaf – is taught all in one go. Best look elsewhere if your heart’s not in other baked goods however – this course, which spans eight sessions, involves a lot lot more besides just bread: brioche, Cornish pasties, apple pie, and the rest.
The Budget One (South)
Baking shouldn’t have to be an expensive hobby, but for new hands it’s a tough ask finding a low-cost course to get the dough rolling. Not, however, impossible. What started as a modest pop-up dedicated to introducing good people to good food (now it’s more about introducing them to how to make it themselves), The Greenwich Pantry, in this case operating in, um, Lewisham, offers a well-priced intro on the basics of bead making.
The Other Budget One (North)
The Fermentarium was borne out of a want to make food more democratic. While its HQ at Gnome House in Walthamstow leans more toward lactic fermentation (e.g. kimchi), it also hosts a workshop dedicated to the fundamentals of sourdough leavening, and how different dough produces different textures and flavours. By the end of the workshop, you’ll be equipped with your first sourdough loaf and a starter with which to bake future ones.
The Gluten-Free One
Bread Ahead’s custard grenades – also known as probably the best doughnuts in town – are no secret to those eating their way around London. And while the bakery’s class on how to make these bringers of sugar-lipped joy is tempting, look beyond that and their programme is pretty all-encompassing. With this gluten-free workshop, Bread Ahead want to offer a DIY option for coeliacs unhappy with what they find on shop shelves.
The Next Level One
This is the course where the casual enthusiast becomes the obsessed student. E5’s next-level day workshop shows just how much there is to learn about the seemingly simple world of flour, water, and heat. From using porridge to create your next loaf, to learning about how to work with heritage grains (and their benefit over mass market varieties).
The Entrepreneurial One
From her home kitchen in Fulham, Liz Wilson teaches budding baking business owners the ins and outs of baking to a commercial demand. Over the course of two days, about every subject area is covered, from the cost of ingredients and profit margins, to how to create and market your brand. With lots of baking in between, of course.
The Family One
Jack Sturgess was a restaurant chef. Now he’s a professional preacher of the word of bread, and host of one of the few family-friendly bread workshops in London. But perhaps ‘host’ is an ambiguous term – really his thing involves coming over and setting up in your kitchen with all the ingredients and implements you need to put on a 5-hour bread workshop for the whole family. Fussy kids and awkward dads included. Jack takes you through baking a selection of different breads, while even making lunch and washing up afterwards.
Starting at £87.25 per person (for a family of four)