bread essentials

Our bread series is designed to help you build a foundational set of skills to both prepare and handle a variety of leavened doughs. There are two separate courses: Bread Fundamentals One and Bread Fundamentals Two. These courses are designed to expand your technical knowledge of WHY bread baking works while improving HOW you develop, handle, and shape bread dough.

Regardless of your current cooking level, this series will instill more confidence, techniques and inspiration in the kitchen. Collective benefits of the series include:

  • Yeast Bread 101: Learn the standard phases that all breads go through, all the time. Get your hands right into the dough and make Sandwich Bread, Dinner Rolls, and Focaccia. Start calibrating your hands to the feel of these different doughs and practice basic bench skills for handling and shaping dough.
  • Different flours, different shapes: Vary the steps or substitute different types of flour in this session. Hands-on practice making authentic German Pretzels and Semolina Torpedo Rolls. You’ll make a rich Brioche that freezes well to fit your home schedule.
  • Sourdough 101: Different styles of sourdough are incorporated into daily production. You will learn how sourdough starters are elaborated from scratch and how to maintain them on day to day basis. Factors affecting starter characteristics are explained, such as hydration, fermentation temperature and feeding schedules. Understanding these topics will help you create your own sourdough bread with desired characteristics.
  • Sandwich Bread and Buns: Learn to create tender white and honey whole wheat sandwich breads and you’ll see why you won’t need store bought bread again. In addition to forming loaves, you’ll learn to roll gorgeous hamburger buns and dinner rolls too. You’ll also make a starter dough for baguettes and you’ll begin your sourdough starter in session one.
  • Baguette, Challah and Cinnamon Rolls: Learn the art of enriched doughs like challah and buttery cinnamon rolls, using butter and eggs that you will use in both sweet and savory applications. You will also learn our baguette dough, introducing you to the French style of making crusty loaves at home. You’ll continue to feed your sourdough starter.
  • Flatbreads and Crisp Breads: Traditional Ligurian focaccia with a variety of toppings and fillings; Turkish flatbreads with easy hummus; Egyptian pita; Fattoush (Egyptian pita salad); grissini (classic breadsticks of Piemonte), Indian Naan, flat bread with yogurt and Mexican Tortillas (Flour & Corn).
  • Rolls and Individual Breads: White and whole-wheat bagels; English muffins; ciabatta rolls; pretzel rolls; mufuletta (classic New Orleans sandwich); pain bagnat (Niçoise salad sandwich); easy citrus marmalade. You’ll make pizza dough for the final session
  • Pizza and Quick Breads: You’ll learn to stretch pizza doughs and set up your home oven to best achieve a crisp-chewy crust. You will also learn how to use baking soda and baking powder as leaveners as you prepare a variety of quick breads, like muffins, scones, brownies, cornbread, and more. Finally, we’ll demo sourdough loaves using the starter we’ve built throughout the series and show you how to shape, score, and bake them to perfection.
  • Whole Grain, Ancient Grains, and Alternative Wheat: Satisfy the demand from your customers (and your own) for healthier, tastier bread. There is a growing awareness on the difficulty in digesting gluten for some consumers.  Using alternative wheat such as Kamut® and spelt, as well as incorporating processes like sprouting and long fermentation will increase the digestibility of the grains and bread. In this course, students will make bread by integrating those techniques with whole grains, which make them more nutritious and easy to digest, and best of all, visually appealing and flavorful.