GUEST BLOG: Great bakes

By guest blogger CORIN BELL

It’s definitely the start of summer, and it was a beautiful sunny day when we turned on the ovens at Chorlton High School for some dough-based action with our resident bread-making expert Rob Tomlinson. The half-day bread-making course runs with a little more speed than the luxurious full-day course we ran at Flixton Girls’ School for the first time last week (see our blog post), but our lovely group still got to make FOUR different kinds of bread… phew!

The group started by learning how to make a classic white loaf, keeping the recipe nice and simple to focus on techniques, the right steps to take, timings and how you can devise the perfect bread-baking process to suit you. While the group got into some technique lessons on kneading, myself and volunteer James got cracking making pizzas – it’s hard work all this bread lark, and our group were going to knead (sorry) a good lunch and everyone gets to hear how to make this extra kind of dough, and takes home the recipe. Once the white loaves were kneaded and resting happily, the group went on to learn how to make an enriched dough (one with fat, in this case olive oil, added to the dough at the start) as the base of a sun-dried tomato and olive focaccia. Smells of garlic, rosemary and olives filled the kitchen, and thankfully the pizzas were ready just before anyone started eating their raw dough!

After a quick lunch break, and some chat about different types of yeast, and how to fit making a daily loaf into your life, the group moved onto making garlic naan. Tip of the day… we all need to stop saying “naan bread”, because naan is the traditional Farsi word for bread, so w’ere basically asking for “bread bread” when we head out for Indian – thanks, Rob! Naan dough is made using yoghurt, so this was a new adventure for lots of our group, and as the bread is pan cooked rather than oven baked, there were lots of new techniques to learn. By the end of the session, the group had a cracking stack of naan, beautiful herbie focaccia, and a perfect tin loaf to take home… bring on the carbs!

There are more photographs from this session on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page – click here to be redirected, and please do “like”!

More bread making sessions are coming up in Chorlton (14 June, 13 September and 11 October), Prestwich (7 June and 27 September) and Flixton (12 July and 8 November). Visit the Cookery Schools pages on our website for full details and online booking – click here.

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