During a 5-day course I have very little time to write blogs or take photos. I get into the kitchen every morning by 05:30, 06:00 at the latest. The first two days I’m normally on my own. From then on, someone normally volunteers to join me, to experience refreshing leavens for use that day, and undertake other last minute preparations. Once that’s accomplished the wood-fired ovens need to be fired for the first bake of the day. About 08:00 there’s enough time to visit the local café for cappuccino and/or an espresso and a piece of pastry. More often than not I’m joined by fellow bakers from the course.

Here are a few statistics from our two recent 5-day courses at Fattoria degli Usignoli in Tuscany.

  • Used over 150kg of a variety of flours from Italy, United Kingdom, Canada and United States
  • Had 100% success with each participant creating their own sourdough leaven
  • Used 3 different sourdough leavens
  • Baked in excess 140 loaves including 90 sourdoughs, plus baskets-full of grissini
  • Used 4.5li of extra virgin olive oil and at least 120li of mineral water
  • Everything baked in wood-fired ovens
  • Had participants from 4 Continents
  • Participants took home lots of knowledge, as well as bannetons, scrapers, grignettes, bread knives and embroidered aprons
  • Cooking for ourselves in the School we ate real Tuscan sausages produced by the Village butcher, had the last of the season’s artichokes and asparagus as well as delicious melons from Southern Italy.

Some participants attended to learn how to bake for themselves and friends. Some have business ventures in mind and others are now running bread-making courses of their own.  Two participants already own wood-fired ovens and at least one more is considering the investment.

Unfortunately, choreographing these courses leaves little time to take photographs but below you’ll find a few.

Dates for the 2019 courses are now on the Artisan Bread School website.

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