Learn how to cook bread – a right pain

I apologise profusely in advance for the amount of buns puns that are going to be in this article, but learning how to cook bread just lends itself to giving the rise.

But, as this is a staple component of many a culture, from the Lord tempting the Israelites to cross the Desert of Sin en route to Sinai by raining down manna from heaven to the celebration of Holy Communion to this day with unleavened bread and the spiritual holiday of yeaster, this is a biblical side dish of much renown.

However, Leith’s School of Food & Wine, London, are offering a one-off cookery class this summer to learn how to cook bread in different styles from the continent, just in time to use your loaf on holiday and impress the locals with your knowledge of their local bread.

Unlike many cookery courses which require you to have a camper van full of equipment before you can even bread roll enrol, all that is required of the budding bread chef for this four and a half hour course is an apron and a notebook and you’re set – everything else is supplied.

The cookery class looks to pack in plenty of variety to enable you, once completed, to be able to perfect the art of bread-baking in several languages!

From a Gaelic fruit soda bread recipe to a base Italian offering which should be a pizza cake, you next move on to biga things as you experiment in French and further Italian textured breads to complete the European tour.

It’s not all hands-on; when you arrive there is coffee and pastries as you meet your fellow students, but after that you dough get a minute (yeah, you probably have to be from The Black Country to get that one) as you get stuck in to the lesson.

Each slice of the action will be in the form of a demo, then you get to have a go with the ingredients that are weighed out for you for each recipe – they really do supply all you knead.

Mid-lesson, there’s a breather when wine is served to go with the food that you’ve prepared up to that point, I guess to toast your success so far, and then it’s into the afternoon session to complete the cookery class.

Any food not consumed during the course of the lesson you’re free to take home with you if you couldn’t eat the whole meal, as well as a recipe booklet as a souvenir to help you replicate your expertise time and again just in case you don’t crust trust yourself to remember each lesson. If you’ve not bought anything to carry the surplus home, don’t worry; I’m sure Leith’s will baguette for you.

It’s a pitta, but I’ve not been on this cookery course; however, my naan reckoned that this essential lesson in cooking was, well, the best thing since sliced bread.

At time of writing, there were still places available; further details on Leith’s School of Food & Wine’s website.

Last updated on January 11, 2012

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