Lessons in Baking Bread

I  know I do a lot of baking but bread scared me for a long time. I’ve only recently got into baking a basic loaf at the weekend, occasionally risking adding a bit of rye or spelt.

Coffee Lab

To get a little more adventurous with our baking David and I booked onto Blackbird Bread’s sweetened dough making workshop as a treat to ourselves late last year. Coffee Lab Counter

So, on Wednesday evening we got the train to Twickenham and visited the lovely Coffee Lab for a night of fun and flour!


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Mark (The owner of Blackbird Bread) was impeccably organised and had a time line and laid everything out perfectly for us to get stuck in at 6:30 after relaxing and chatting over a coffee with my fellow bakers. The Coffee Lab is not your run of the mill coffee establishment, so we’d already learnt about coffee and had our taste buds tantalised before the class started!

Our breads for the night were… Brioche, Croissants and Sweetened Seeded Rolls. Although these rolls contained syrup (vegan friendly) they worked fabulously with tuna mayo for lunch.

Croissant dough takes a long time to make, so Mark had started the lamination process in the morning and updated us throughout the day with pictures of each stage.

I don’t want to give away all the tricks but I will give you some tempting pictures!

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I had such a fun night, it was great chatting  othe other bakers on the course, geeking out over coffee with George and grilling Mark with all my questions about bread.

Whilst our various goodies baked we sat down with a glass of wine, slices of bread and cheese and chatted away. Mark told us all about the two loves he’d baked for our supper and the different ways they were made. He also brought some fab books for us to flick through and on his recommendation I am now keen to purchase James Mortons’ book! At intervals in my bread scoffing there would be a shout of ‘oven’ and we’d all rush to the kitchen to see our perfect beauties emerge…

Mark sent us home with detailed recipes for all of the bread we baked, including the steps we had missed of the Croissants. I’m eager to try them again all the way through the process.

We went home with very full bellies, loads of bread and new skills. What a wonderful way to spend a Wednesday evening.

Blackbird Bread 17Blackbird Bread is a community micro bakery based in Twickenham that launched in April 2012, baking for friends, neighbours and local markets. They bake from home using a domestic oven and offer a range of breads, including sourdough, malted, rye, gluten-free and soda bread and a small selection of cakes. If you are local they will even deliver handmade bread direct to your door. Head straight to their website or twitter to order yours now. Mark (the owner) runs bread baking classes in Putney, Twickenham and the surrounding areas.

Blackbird Bread 18Blackbird Bread’s evening classes are affordable, local and support other business. Classes take place either at The Coffee Lab in Twickenham or at Tried and True in Putney. Prices range from £45 to £55 per person.

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The workshops always sell out fast, so get in touch to find out as soon as new dates are realised The Foccacia and Olive Bread Workshop (David attended this last year and loved it) is on 24.3.14 has spaces and is priced at £50.

Fancy having a go?

Are you scared of bread? Next on my ‘scared of’ list is bagels!

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One comment

  1. Lucy says:

    Oooh, am totally salivating over all your bread loaves/buns/croissants! Sounds like a really lovely evening, will definitely check it out, especially if you get to take a massive stash back home for afters 😉

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