Baking bread with Edinburgh Foody

Thinking about whether you want to take the Edinburgh Foody bread workshop? Here’s what it’s all about.

It’s rare that you end up reviewing your colleague. I wanted to benefit from some of the skills that Danielle learned in France last year, so was curious to come along to her second bread work shop. It is in Loudons Cafe and Bakery, down stairs in their kitchen. It’s quite interesting to get access to one of those for any reasons – it’s great to use it to create something.

Look what we made!

Look what we made!

Learning the basics

Five of us collected around the large central table where Danielle had prepared ingredients for our first recipe: a wholemeal loaf. She then put us through our paces.

There are a number of basic skills that bakers need to learn:

  • Measuring. Whether it’s taking the temperature of your flour, or making sure you get the exact amount of yeast, careful measurements are crucial. As a home cook, I know how very forgiving most recipes can be. To achieve consistency, you want to take a more methodical approach and be accurate.
  • Mixing. I learned a new way of mixing flour and water, which was a lot smoother than my normal technique. I used it when making bread last week and it made the process nice and easy.
  • Kneading. There’s a knack to kneading and I don’t quite have it yet, but I will get there. I’ve been practising.
  • Shaping. Danielle taught us how to treat dough with respect and gentle persuasion. This I took to rather better than kneading and I’m pleased with my ball-rolling skills.
  • One dough, several breads. We used one type of dough to make a variety of different types of bread. I enjoyed that: it showed us how flexible a dough can be and gave us ideas for how to get more out of a recipe at home.
Danielle helps us tease the very well-risen brown loaves out of their tins.

Danielle helps us tease the very well-risen brown loaves out of their tins.

Enjoying the fruits

So what did I come home with at the end of the night?

  • Fougasse. As tasty as it is attractive, this is a great picnic or dinner bread.
  • Brown loaf. They rose so well! The slices of my bread looked like slices of enormous ceps (and that’s a good thing).
  • White round. I really liked how this came out. Often, I prefer brown, but this white is a gem: it has great texture and flavour.
  • Flower bread. White rolls dipped in a variety of seeds and baked to look like a flower. It looks beautiful and tastes great! The rolls are perfect for sharing or for eating with cheese and soup.
  • Dough sticks – a great way to use up left-over bits of dough, or to make a variety of tasty treats for eating with dips, or snacking on.
Flower-breads are lovely to look at, fun to make and great for sharing.

Flower-breads are lovely to look at, fun to make and great for sharing.

As well as bread I took recipes, a new tool and useful techniques home with me. I’m going to be making these breads again and have already used the new techniques to improve my baking.

If you want to bake but are unsure how to get started, let Danielle show you how.

Edinburgh Foody Bread Workshop

The Edinburgh Foody Bread Workshop are held monthly. The next is on July 13. Find out more.

Book for 15 September 2015 course

Loudons Cafe and Bakery

94B Fountainbridge
Edinburgh, EH3 9QA
0131 228 9774

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.

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