Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sourdough Bread Workshop Details

Do you want to learn how to make sourdough bread from your own starter? Mill your own grains?

I am offering a 4 hour workshop on sourdough bread baking: one on March 18 and one on April 29. Both are on a Sunday afternoon from 12-4pm.


I. Pre-workshop preparation. You will start your own starter and bring an active starter with you to the workshop. If you can't make a starter for whatever reason, you can use mine. I will suggest reading from your choice of several books that have instructions on making a starter and will get you familiar with the overall process. These books also have formulas to make good bread. If you don't want to spend the money, you can surf the web and read about it and find a recipe to get a starter going. I actually made my first starter from a recipe in the Joy of Cooking many years ago; so it's all good.

Reading this material will greatly add to what you will learn in the actual workshop, and hopefully you will come to the workshop with many questions. I will be available pre-workshop for consultation to help you if needed. You should start begin your starter about 10 days before the workshop, 7 days minimum; and, once active, you can maintain it until we meet.

II. Workshop. We will meet for approximately 4 hours on a Sunday afternoon 12:00 to 4:00 pm. Our main goal will be to run through the process of making a basic 100% whole grain (spelt or whole wheat) bread from a sourdough starter; and by hand with no machines. Milling will be included. You can use my formula (recipe) or you can bring your own. Four hours is not long enough for the whole process, so I will prepare a dough before you get here that we will oven bake it while your dough is rising; this way you can observe the whole process and learn some tricks in adapting your home oven to get a good crust. You will take your shaped, rising loaves home and bake them at home. Alternatively, you can choose to add some commercial yeast to your sourdough to speed up the fermentation process and you can bake it here. This will be a hands-on fast paced workshop and you will make your own bread. I will provide all the ingredients while here, but you will need to provide your own ingredients to get the starter going (just flour and water). I will offer you a price list to buy my grains through the Four Worlds Bakery delivery system; but you can use any flour you want to. You also need to bring a mixing bowl, a large mixing spoon, an apron (if needed), a hand towel, and alot of curiosity. As we prepare the dough, I will answer all your questions and we will talk about the bread baking process.

III. Post Workshop. I will continue to offer my grains, from a price list, to you if you choose to use them. I will be available to you for an indefinate, but reasonable, amount of consultation time after the workshop; so when questions come up, you can call or write me. Also, if there is interest we can continue the workshop at a later date to cover more topics (ie baking with Rye). I will also provide you with any formulas you want that I have; and you can take part of my starter as well. And hopefully you will provide me some written feedback and testimonials about your experience with the workshop.

Fee. The total fee for the workshop is $100, which doesn't include any book you will buy before. I request that you pay, at the latest, one week before the workshop unless you make other arrangements with me. You can cancel for no fee anytime until 1 week before the workshop, at which time I will expect you to pay even if you cancel. You can exchange work hours for part of the fee, and we will negotiate that individually.

Class size. Each workshop is limited to 5 people. I will start a wait list after 5 have given me a non-binding comittment (gotta love the new non-binding movement).

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