Just look at those gorgeous bakers and their amazing baps!
From left to right - me, the rather talented Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen, and the amazing Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes.
Last Saturday we all met in Freuchie for a day of baking bread with Colin from Bread In Fife.
We did the Mediterranean Breads and I must say I had a brilliant day. Colin runs the courses from his own spacious kitchen. I just felt that it was such a lovely relaxed experience - very homely - and only the four of us leisurely baking bread with lots of breaks for cups of tea and to eat what we had made.
We made a LOT and got many useful tips and ideas from Colin. We had all made plenty of bread before and still gained plenty but I know that Colin's course would be excellent for beginners too. He has a range of courses such as rich breads or sourdough or essential breads.
We started the day by making breadsticks - nice thick ones - chewy in the middle and crispy on the outside.
We then made pretty fougasse.
As Colin said, this was really just an exercise in shaping the breads as the dough itself was fairly uninspiring. Would go well with a flavoursome soup though. I was reminded of my first time making fougasse which I outline in this post - you can either have the pretty shape or you can have lots of interesting fillings. I have yet to master doing both but I might try again and see if I can find a compromise.
We then made our olive oil dough for the paninis and focaccia. Colin gave us a display of his encyclopaedic knowledge and displayed many different kneading techniques and who they were attributed to. We had plenty of time to practice different ones and find what suited us best and Colin was able to watch what we were doing and chip in with advice. I think I have found my own kneading style but whether I use it or whether I stick with my trusty technique of using the Kenwood Chef remains to be seen!
Colin finished off with a demonstration of pizzas. He made a savoury one and a sweet one. The sweet pizza was my favourite thing of the day - he spread some thinned apricot jam onto the dough then added some sliced apples. It was beautiful. I know the boys will absolutely love having pizza for dessert so I'll be making this again next week. I then plan to experiment. I want to do a banana one and all sorts of pizzas for pudding.
We rounded off the day by sitting round to share our pizzas with some salad.
A hugely enjoyable day with great company and a bounty of bakes to take home.
I would thoroughly recommend Colin's classes to anyone near enough for a day trip. As usual, I paid for the day myself so there is nothing influencing my recommendation.
Here is the Bread In Fife website if you are interested and Colin does gift vouchers if you are looking for a Christmas gift.