The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Teaching the Art of Breadmaking

mimifix's picture

Teaching the Art of Breadmaking

Greetings everyone! I need suggestions for breadmaking classes.

I already teach a variety of 3-hour adult ed baking classes; but not bread because of the time constraints. Since all baked goods need to be started and out of the oven within that 3-hour timeframe, does anyone have reasonably good bread recipes for the novice breadmaker? I'm hoping that once students are introduced to yeast and starters, and enjoy their first delicious loaf, they will continue the adventure at home.

Thanks for your help! Mimi

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

For starters I would suggest bread sticks made from Pizza dough.  I have 1 1/2 hours of proof time 10 to 15 minutes to bake.  Goes in the oven on the flat side with big spring results. So while you teach the process you can have a batch proofing and when you get done with the instruction the bread sticks are ready to go in.  Don't forget the cheese or herbs that makes them a real winner.  They are also good hot and easy to serve. So you won't need a long cooling time.

AnnaInMD's picture

having a preproofed bread ready to be placed in its loaf pan, scored and baked for instance.  Similar to various chefs' appearances on the daytime shows, where some foods are in different stages for teaching and display purpose.


Sounds like fun !  Good luck !


mimifix's picture

Great idea, but having a prepared dough (although a nice thought) takes a lot of donated time. TV chefs have assistants to do that extra work. I used to do this with three of my classes: Breads 'n Spreads, Danish Pastries, and Croissant, but it was too time-consuming. I'm now looking for ideas or recipes that can be started and completed in three hours.

Many thanks, Mimi

pmccool's picture

and you really only need to have one that is about ready to pop into the oven shortly after the students arrive.  That way they get to see what the properly fermented dough looks like and the finished product, too.

As for class, you can take them through the process, up to the point of the final rise after shaping.  Send them home with the bread in disposable (or inexpensive reusable) tins.  They can let it finish rising and then bake it at home.  They get the pride of "I did it myself" bread, their house will smell wonderful, and their families will beg for more.

Be sure to have them each measure a cup of flour, then weigh each one.  They will be amazed at the variation from one person's cup to another's and easily sold on the importance of weighing their ingredients--even if that isn't "how Grandma used to do it."


Candango's picture

The basic recipes I can think of for "three-hour breads" are French or Italian loaves.  Estimating a max of 30 minutes to assemble and knead the dough (so this will be a straight yeast recipe, no fancy starters, bigas or sponges), max of one hour to proof at room temp, a few minutes to punch down and shape the loaf and about 45 minutes to let it grow to double and then slashing and about 25-30 minutes in the oven.  The bread should be done by the time of the closing bell.  If you can cut some minutes off the front end (assembly), the students might even have time to examine the finished loaf.  As it would still be hot from the oven and not cooled (for at least another 45-60 minutes), there probably not be enough time to allow for taste tests.   Does anyone else have any suggestions? 

jpchisari's picture

Try making a French Bread from a sponge made the night before.

This method will take approx. 2 - 2 1/2 hrs from start to finish


Bread Flour    8   oz-----------33%

Water             8   oz----------33%

Fresh Yeast     .5 oz----------2%

Malt or Sugar   .25 oz        1%

Mix until all ingredients are incorporated and ferment 4 hrs at 75 deg, or overnight at 65 deg (these are dough temps, not room temps)




all of Sponge

Bread Flour    1 lb------------67%

Water           6.5 oz -----------27%

Salt              .44 oz  (2 1/4 tsp)-----1.75%


Mix to a uniform smooth dough.

30 minute final fermentation @ 80 deg

Shape and proof

If you are using a proof box: 80-85 deg with 70-80% humidity until doubled.

425 deg with steam for first 10 min



alabubba's picture

The Iron Chefs can make bagels in 1 hour, you should be able to do it in 3.

mimifix's picture

You are all the best, thank you! I now have a few good ideas and will give them all a test run. But I'd love to hear more...

Thanks again, Mimi

patrick.h's picture

Hi Mimi,

It is not the purists way maybe, but it works and success is guaranteed. Use 1 percent dough improver (of flour volume) mix all ingredients in Kenwood/KitchenAid what ever for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes. Turn out and shape. Leave to double 1 hour or less, bake for 25 - 30 minutes at 220 for a 500g loaf, simple, job done and brilliant results in 2 hours.


kindest regards



LindaIg's picture

If you can give students instructions to start a no knead dough at home and bring it into class that will enable shaping, a rise and bake.  It might even cool enough to taste before taking it home.  Lots of time to discuss the "science" of what's happening with dough.  Videos available on shaping will be useful.

Another thought, if the class has the same students session to session, have students make the no knead batch at the end of the class, take it home to refrigerate and bring it back to finish the processes.

Hope some of this helps.


copyu's picture

You are aware of the 'quick' no-knead bread recipe of Jim Lahey, aren't you?

Instead of 12-18 hours (or so) of primary fermentation, using "almost hot" water and a quarter teaspoon of red wine vinegar, you can make N-K-B dough in about 2-5 hours. You'll still need to do final proofing for 1-2 hours, depending on the surroundings...temp, humidity, etc...the problem is that every loaf requires a heated dutch oven...proofing boxes would be helpful

It could be a good homework assignment for groups to get together before class and prepare the dough, scaling all the dry measurements, measuring the temp of the 'almost hot' water, etc...Morning homework for an afternoon class would be a real treat...3 groups of 2-3 students would be nice.

You could have some substitute 2-3oz rye, some to do the same with durum semolina, another to do some whole wheat. Taste testing would be possible, but there would be some great learning experiences there.

An old adage: "I HEAR and forget; I SEE and remember; I DO and understand"



jennyloh's picture

I find small rolls - esp the asian types eg using gelatinized starter the night before,  works well with me to do a quick bake the following day. All usually within 3 hours.  (check my blog, had several recipes there -

for a start - can try English muffins or flat bread - did it just the weekend (yet to post what I did on my blog),   all within 3 hours with instant yeast which makes the rising time relatively shorter,  and of course - with a warm environment,  it hastens the rising process - tried using the oven at 50 degree celsius - with a glass of hot water,  covering the bowl with a damp cloth - probably rise within 45minutes - 1 hour if the dough is well rested during the kneading.  I did all these by hand too.  Won't get nice bubbles like baguette,  but some decent stuff.

Or you can try Richard Bertinet's recipes in "Dough" - I believe there's a few recipes eg fougause (am I spelling it right?) that are done within 3 hours.

SallyBR's picture

Definitely a focaccia - the best recipe, in my opinion is the one from No Need to Knead


It can be ready from beginning to end in less than 2 hours


you can check the recipe here, in case you don't have the book

Urchina's picture

Flatbreads like pita, naan, and focaccia (or fougasse) can be done quickly and deliciously within three hours. 


Also, you might try Cuban Bread from Amy Dacyczyn's Tightwad Gazette -- it's a yeast-raised dough that is done in a little over an hour and rises tremendously in the oven. Very tasty and a great accompaniment to soups and stews. 

mimifix's picture

After input from all of you (many thanks!) I wrote up a class description which was added to the adult ed brochure. It was a four hour Saturday class and everyone enjoyed the experience.

My blog post about the day with a link to this great site! Again, thanks everyone for your help.




mimifix's picture

I continue to teach (and refine the curriculum) for yeast bread classes through my local adult ed program. It's become the most popular baking class! Each class is four hours and the main interest is (1) learning to not fear yeast and (2) how to make cinnamon buns. Every student leaves Bread Class with recipes, resources (TFL!), and their own warm loaves of bread and buns.



Pioneer Foodie's picture
Pioneer Foodie

Hiya Mimi. How much do you charge for your yeast bread class?

mimifix's picture

Greetings pioneer food person, students pay $65 for the four hour class (includes materials fee). We don't make slowrise breads, not enough time. But they looove the cinnamon buns!