Last year i had permission to hold a promotional class consisting of colleagues family and friends with the idea that fellow TFL member Ross (ROSS-N-ROLLER) would come along and do an article that we could submit to the local paper prior to a November date for a class on Sour Dough.
Ross and his partner Janice came along and we had a great evening together.
Ross's article follows
Bred to Bake
i recently attended one of Derek Hughes' sourdough bread baking classes at Beaconsfield Challenger Institutes campus. There were 12 attendees in all, most with no bread-making experience. as a home baker of sourdough bread myself,i was struck by the depth of Derek's knowledge and his deft dough handling and shaping skills He was a pro baker for many years,and it shows .He even looks like a baker (see pic)
While Derek's retail bakery days are behind him,he has never stopped baking,enthusiastically passing on his knowledge to Hospitality students at the Institute, in between working on campus as a Supply Officer. He brings this same impassioned approach to his bread baking classes-It's infectious!
The classes take place over 3.5 jam-packed hours. Derek led us through sourdough breadmaking process:weighing and mixing the ingredients:stretching and folding the dough during fermentation;shaping and baking.
There is plenty of opportunity to get down and doughy,with Derek overseeing as mentor-and just as well,in the case of some devilishly naughty but easy to mangle cinnamon scrolls!
The highlight is the sampling the wares,which included a delicious black sesame seed sourdough Pre prepared by Derek and baked during the class.
We were all given a dozen cinnamon scrolls to take home as well a dough fermented and shaped in class to be baked next day. This night it was a delicious wholemeal sourdough featuring Derek,s home brew stout recipes are included.
a fun night well run,and outstanding value. ROSS ---------------------------------------------------
As the article didn't get a run in the local paper we had to cancel the proposed date, it was not long after this that i received an email from fellow TFL member Betsy Teo asking if i knew of any one that gave sourdough lessons as she would be visiting Perth and had hoped to book into a class with Yoke Mardewi of Wild Sourdough fame who lives in Perth but alas was not holding any classes at that time. I said to her it was a pity as i was due to run a class but had to cancel due to no publicity.
Anyway i was able to gain permission to run another freeby for staff colleagues and friends and over seas visitor so emailed the details and to contact me when she got to Perth, which she duly did. i gave the details of where and when. and how to get there.
What follows is an account from Penelope, Betsy's daughter who accompanied her on this trip.
Over the hill
Now that phrase can be rather misleading.
And this is something i had come to learn last November 2013 as i made my way by foot from the junction of South Tce and Sth St where the free blue cat bus service had let me off (bus stand7) towards Challenger Institute of Technology.
Stopping every 500 metres or so , i was greeted with the same response ,"over the hill. to your right across the oval"
Well, what would have been helpful was if i had been told that its a BIG hill - somehow the art of describing how strenuous and challenging the different hills one has to encounter on foot is something only the residents of San Francisco has it refined to the 'T'.
What's interesting is my mother has over the course of 5 years or so been trying to make the perfect San Francisco sourdough bread.
Having left the 'brick' stage some time back with the help of online forums,countless of hours spent on You Tube videos, and many.many guinea pigs who has been or lived in San Francisco as testers the phase of inconsistent results of 'blisters','open crumbs' and 'ears ' continues to haunt her.
This resulted first with amassing a collection of sourdough or levain publications by the who's who of baking, followed by stalking self proclaimed local artisan bakers, to eventually combing farmers markets of Europe and begging strange Swiss, Italian and French men covered in powdery white substances to Pilates professional moonlighting as organic artisan bakers for private lessons.
Almost giving up hope , a lovely Australian man - Derek- responded to her email queries, agreeing to provide her with some lessons one fine day.
the respond was timely with a last minute visit i had planned for after receiving news of an old family friend who was terminally ill in Perth.
Needless to say our laborious hike up Sth Street was well worth the visit and the very fact that we had travelled all the way from Kuala Lumpur gave us not only automatic access to the Challenger Institute of Technology premises after hours but an escorted tour around by security personnel on duty.
Derek on first impression was unassuming and friendly . While waiting for the rest of the 'friends and family who would be joining the baking session that evening, i went about taking the roots off the spring onions that were to be used latter, while he went about answering my mothers 'technical questions'
Betsy and Derek
With the party ensemble at the agreed upon time ,class started with Derk explaining the lesson plan for the night and put a batch of flour , sourdough starter and other base ingredients for a white bread with turmeric Haloumi cheese and spring onion sourdough: one of 3 breads that we would make that evening into a larger mixing bowl.
Michael one of Challengers' chefs adding cheese and spring onions into the last few folds
the dough pieces scaled off below
As the dough was getting a good work out in the industrial sized mixer , Derek produced loaves of risen 50%wholemeal with Home brewed stout and torrified wheat that he had made the previous day and went about describing the technique of slashing . Once we had all had our rounds of slashing 2 or 3 loaves each Derek went about preparing the loaves with a glaze before baking them.
Michael the Hospitality Technician prepares the loaves for washing slashing ready for the oven.
(TO BE CONTINUED)