The next 5-day courses at Fattoria degli Usignoli begin in 10 days. The car’s fully loaded & travel arrangements made.

The 4-day journey takes me through the French countryside to collect fantastic bread knives in Thiers, passing the mountain every cyclist knows, Mont Ventoux (yes, I have done the climb by bike). Then through the Mont Blanc tunnel into Italy, down the Aosta Valley to Vercelli where there are two excellent restaurants. The next day I arrive at Fattoria degli Usignoli in the rolling Tuscan hills just South East of Florence. Two and a half days of prep and the first group of participants arrive.

The course begins Monday morning & the very first thing we do is to create our own personal sourdough leavens. Then we start the bread-making, three different loaves each day. More than 35 kitchen-hours later we’re eating our final meal together, sourdough bagel and smoked salmon with Philly cream cheese.

Among the breads we will have made during our 5-days together have been:

  • Hakan’s Sourdough: King of Bread (using 100% hydration leaven)
  • our original Sourdough: King of Bread (using a leaven of 56.3% hydration)
  • Semolina sourdough (100% hydration leaven)
  • Sourdough Bagel (100% hydration leaven)
  • Focaccia
  • Ciabatta
  • Grissini.

All totally hand made and baked in wood-fired ovens.

Our flours come from the United Kingdom &, of course, Italy. The delicious Extra Virgin Olive Oil is from Puglia in Italy. Time is the important ingredient that makes the difference in our breads; a long, slow fermentation resulting in bread that’s good to eat and good for your digestion.

Two days off and we begin the 2nd course. As ever the groups of participants are diverse, this year from Brazil, India, The United Kingdom & The United States of America.