The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to teach novices Artisan Bread making?

Thaichef's picture

How to teach novices Artisan Bread making?

Hello everyone:

 I taught a Thai cooking classes at my local YMCA three days ago and I also show case my cooking school via Power point presentation. In the show , there are pictures of my Artisan breads . I learn how to make these type of breads via this web site and had been making it for my family and sell some to friends. In this cooking class, I also served my Norwich sourdough breads with the tree soups we made. 

Now, I am bombarded with students who wanted to learn how to make these breads too. They are mature adults but have never made any breads before(they made muffins, breads from a box mix).  They are insistent in their wanting, they called, they e-mail, they contacted me in person(we exercise together at our local YMCA.

While I am thrilled that they wanted to learn, I am also don't know how I can teach them . The Norwich Bread recipe is from the book named "Bread" by Jeffrey Hamelman. The long fermentation periods (two-one for 2 1/2 hour and the other 2 1/2 hours also).   My Thai cooking classes required only 3 hours and in that time, we cook, we chopped, we clean and we eat.  How in the world can I teach this people? No one will want to spend all day for it.

Mr. McCool had written a wonderful post about his teaching experiences of teaching at Kansas city Community college adults in Artisan breads making . Mr. McCool has a vast experiences and knowledge in breads making that I don't have.  I know how to make breads but how could we cut down on the time???  I would love to teach these adult students how to so they could enjoyed it as much as I do but how????? 

Please, please help. I have to let them know sometime soon either we are going to do it or not.




Yerffej's picture

Making bread, of any type, is like all crafts in that one must first gain command of the basic skills involved for production.  Going from no baking experience at all to making more difficult breads requires a number of learning steps that are not going to occur in one class.   Start by teaching a class on the basics of bread making and then offer more complex classes in the future.


BreadBro's picture

Show them how to prepare the dough and bring out an already proofed loaf to demonstrate baking.

This way they  can take their dough home, proof it themselves and bake it like you showed.

WoodenSpoon's picture

I fully agree with Yerffej, I would call it intro to bread and teach them how to use bakers percentages and explain why each of the basic ingrediants (flour water salt and some manner of yeast) are important. Also why the steps ie: kneading/resting/fermentation stages ect are important. then you could have a follow up hands on application class.

As for the time issue... Its a non issue if they want to make good bread. If they are not content to follow the proper steps then they should stick to buying their bread. It will take just as long in class as it will at home, and if they are not content being shown the steps in a realistic way in a class then they are kidding themselves when they think they will be excited about doing it at home more then once.

hanseata's picture

I recommend the practical approach BreadBro suggests. I gave a lot of bread baking classes, and people learn better, if they can see and feel something, not just listen to theory.

Have them measure flour, hydrate them and knead on one day, and then shape and bake a bread you provided in the following class, so that it is doable in the given time frame.



loafette's picture

Hi, Thaichef (mantana????)! We were both in a previous discussion, almost a year ago. I will be relocating back to my home in Bedford County, probably within the next 60-90 days, and would very much enjoy meeting you. I absolutely agree with the previous answers given to you, starting off with the absolute basics. I've only taught school-age children, in a classroom setting, and adults only in the comfort of their own kitchen, simple yeasted breads, due to time constraints. 

I'm glad to hear that the Bower Center is being utilized, and Bedford sure has a lot of 'stuff' going on, that wasn't in place, when I left for Florida. 

It'll take some time for me to get resettled, in synch with everything up there, but I would definitely be interested in talking to you about teaming up together, if you're interesting in a cooperative teaching effort...feel free to message me from here.

Laura :0)


Thaichef's picture

Hello My fellow bread bakers at TFL:

 Wow! I just have time to check an e-mail today and I am very happy, grateful and thankful for everyone's comments. You are always come through when I asked for help. Thank you, Thank you , Thank you.  I will take your advice to heart and will follow your instructions.  I may send some personal messages to some of you on some of the advices which  I am not quite clear.

@Loafette: I would love to get in touch with you when you are back in town. Yes, I am Mantana but I did not remember the subject of our discussion???? I can always use some more advices.

I don't know the future of the bread baking classes since I am more of the Thai chef& Healthy cooking so we are cooking more that way. Because of many articles about my school  lately(2 last week and one in large paper and another one in November 2013) there seems to be an "explosion" of interest in "Healthy cooking" which I offered. Many classes are now in the work.    Please contact me when you are ready and we can talk but I don't know if there will be many bread classes because I am not an expert in how to yet.

Thank you again for all your kind advices.