The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best artisan bread schools in the world?

mariacuellar's picture

Best artisan bread schools in the world?

What is the best artisan bread school in the world?

I'm guessing it's in France, but I can't find ratings anywhere.


breadline's picture

It's certainly NOT in France, nor Spain.  It might be in Italy.  You might find courses in the USA.  In fact the artisan bread movement is pretty much an English-speaking phenomenon.  I'd use a seach engine but would start with which has courses in Italy, the UK and USA.

plantguy's picture

Has anybody been to the In the US? It is close to me and I just found out about it and would like to try it.

OakLeaf Farm 1716's picture
OakLeaf Farm 1716

I highly recommend the Artisan Bread School taught by Carl Shavitz

breadline's picture

A search engine alert appeared in my mailbox this morning.  Carl Shavitz is doing a focaccia workshop at Eataly on 2 April 2011.  Check it out at

108 breads's picture
108 breads

I see this thread is a few years old and I am wondering whether there are recommendations other than the Artisan Bread School, which has very few course dates and is quite expensive. Any advice on Chicago's Pastry School bread courses or ones at the SF Baking Institute? I wish there were something in the DC area. Maybe that's my next project. I know a few expert, but amateur, bakers here.

BakerSD's picture

The Good

 Carl is a very good self taught baker.  I think this helps in translating techniques in the class.  You will learn to make some really good Foccacia which you practice almost every day.  This will reinforce the techniques for kneading, folding and shaping highly hydrated doughs.  You will also learn to make your own starter and maintain it.  You will practice shaping loafs every day, but due to the limited quantity of loafs you actual shape each day (2) it really is hard to get the muscle memory from the exercise.  These are all great fundamental skills that you can learn from in the 5 days of the class to become a good home baker.
 The BadThis is advertised as a course where professionals have gone on to start their own bakeries. The techniques you will learn originate from self taught methods for producing very limited quantities. Carl to my knowledge has never worked in a bakery and therefore can not translate his methods to a viable model beyond what you can do by hand in a mixing bowl.  To further complicate matters the loafs that you learn to make require allot of attention and are in my opinion have unnecessary steps and require more labor than is required to make a great loaf of bread. (The methods in the Tartine book are much easier, smarter  and in my opinion produce better loafs of bread. My frustration from this course comes from the fact that I paid close to $3000 not including travel and lodging for this course and am only left with being able to make some really great breads but only a couple at a time. This should be advertised as a home baking workshop.  Carls response is that you can not make great breads using traditional methods and get good results when you make allot of them.  Using the technique that you learn in this class that is true, however many of professional  bakers are running viable bakeries producing breads that are fantastic.  Carl calls himself a master baker, but I feel this should be reserved for people like Chad Robinson at Tartine who have years experience running a successful bakery producing fantastic breads.  If you want to learn to make bread at home this is a good course, however if you want to ever do more than that I would look elsewhere.   The UglyCarl is posting on this forum under false pretense using the profile name of Breadline.   I doubt that he has been to a King Arthur course or the SFBI classes (Rather than being the "Real McCoy" I think its the "Real Decoy") .  LoriP his bakers assistant is also promoting the course on this forum whit out stating that she actually works for him. Carl also tends to show the most attention to the ladies in the class and the better looking the more help you get.  I am not a touchy feely person so the hugs were a bit uncomfortable for me.  To compound matters there was a gentleman in our class that tended to be slower and require more help.  Rather than giving him the attention he needed Carl would become frustrated and often make comments under his breath that created some awkward moments.  There were other moments that lacked professionalism but I will reserve my comment about them.  Bottom Line,  I have real issue with not being above board and being deceptive. Carl is a very skilled home baker but not a baking professional.  Buy the book Tartine and spend your week at home with it and save $$$.