The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread baking classes?

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Michael 2003's picture
Michael 2003

Bread baking classes?

I live in in Shorewood, just west of the Joliet IL, and have been looking for a bread baking class that is somewhat local to me and have had no success. There's Joliet Junior College but they only offer a basic cooking classes for those looking to go into the hospitality field for work. There are culinary institutes in the area but it's like taking an engineering class to learn how to change a tire, and the experience is out of the question for this one little thing! I even tried chatting up the local bakers, and the Whole foods baker in Naperville is a real baker from flour and yeast to finished product, but I had no success. Perhaps she thought I was attempting to steal her secrets? All I want is to get the basics down and get me going in the right direction. Anyone out here experienced and interested in tutoring?

dghdctr's picture

Hi Michael,

I want to help you find something Michael, but to someone like me who doesn't know you, it seems you're putting a lot of limits on what you will do, and that's leaving you with few choices.

I know Chicago is a bit of a hike from Joliet, but you are in the extended Chicagoland area (I think).  The French Pastry School and the Art Institute might offer casual weekend classes.  Other less high-profile vocational schools might do it.  And gourmet shops that sell cookware might do them.  I wish I could help you more.


Michael 2003's picture
Michael 2003

"it seems you're putting a lot of limits on what you will do, and that's leaving you with few choices"

All I said was I am not interested is signing up for a full blown cooking class, or commit to a culinary institute, just to learn how to bake bread.


Thanks for the ideas.

joanne4's picture

its funny I found this thread searching for the same thing. I know this thread is from almost 3 years ago so I'm not sure you'll get this answer. Or even if you're still interested in this. But.. Joliet Junior College has some wonderful bread classes (and Danish class) that Ive attended in the past few months. The college has one of the best culinary programs in the state but these bread classes are for fun so there's no need to take the food safety classes or any prerequisites. The classes fill up quickly but I think they just listed the Spring semester. If a class is full call and get your name on a waiting list. I did this and was able to get in. Look for the classes in the non credit continuing education classes

sboberg's picture

I taught myself by using Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" and several other whole foods baking books.

FamilyBaker's picture

I also taught myself by using The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book that I borrowed from the local library & of course available on it has an extensive first time bread making tutorial--maybe 20 pages if I remember correctly.

Also you might do a little searching on youtube there are quite a few bread making videos.

In my area one of the school districts puts out a catalog for "adult education" where they teach grown-ups at night in the high schools. One of the offerings is "how to make bread" taught by someone from "House of Breads".

Danni-loves-2-cook's picture

Hi Michael, 

I've been teaching myself to bake bread since February and have learned a lot from the BBA by Peter Reinhart. The bread books listed on this site are great, but I find all the info here much more informative. Most people are willing to put their recipes in their message, so I just bookmark them and them bake away. I also think that even taking a class would result in learning the same way: following the recipe, reading different forums to make sure you understand the chemistry of bread, but mostly trial and error. I've thrown out my share of loaves, but have eaten many more than that. I don't even consider myself a beginner, but I'm getting there with my own starter and a great sourdough under my belt (no pun intended). 

Well, good luck and remember to have some fun on this journey of good homemade bread. 


Freckleface's picture

Check out your local library!  When I started to make bread a few years ago, my "masters" were Father Dominic from Breaking Bread with Father Dominic and Steve from Video Bread.  

You can check out more on those two guys here:


You can also read the beginers guides on this website and watch the videos that The Back Home Bakery posted:


No, they're not someone standing right next to you telling you to put more flour, but they're the next best thing: free!

Freckleface's picture

I was looking up something on the KA site and I found this:


"Online baking classes

Looking to fit better baking into your busy schedule? Whether you live in Anchorage or right next door, our free, self-guided online classes will help you unlock the magic of bread baking, unravel the mystery of pie crust, and uncover the secrets of tender scones - all on your schedule, and from the comfort of your own home.


tjkoko's picture

What helped improved the overall quality of my bread, from heavy doorstop to real loaf with big holes, was a dvd offered at KA entitled ARTISAN BREADS by Michael Jubinsky.

Danni-loves-2-cook's picture

Freckleface, Thanks for that link to KA online lessons. They are FREE! That is so awesome! I appreciate the info and will read all the lessons.  

lmt1113's picture

Hi Michael,


I too am looking for some bread making classes in Chicigoland. Have you had any luck? I live in Yorkville and work in Naperville so would like to find something somewhere in between.




vlr61's picture

Also check out  Great videos.

CanuckJim's picture

Maybe check out People from all over North America have attended these two-day workshops, whether they're interested in wood-fired artisan baking or just bread baking.


highmtnpam's picture

on youtube...chefhitz


reitri's picture

Hello everyone,


I live in Fort lauderdale,Fl and have been looking for a bread artisan school or individual classes in my area, does anyone know something, pls let me know.

Thank you all !



patricia hains's picture
patricia hains

European master baker coming to WA for a five day class with wood fired oven!  Check out for more information.  10% discount for anyone mentioning TFL when you register.  One person cancelled so, one spot left!