The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

UK based baking course for TFL users?

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

UK based baking course for TFL users?

Regular readers of the TFL forum will have seen that we have amongst us an expert baker and educator in the form of Andy (ananda).  It is clear from Andy's posts on this forum that he is a very accomplished baker and he has access to kitchens that are suitable for teaching bread baking, the college where he works has even just invested in some deck ovens.  


Having such a resource within our community made me wonder whether we could arrange a course that teaches Artisan bread baking techniques to experienced amateurs (such as myself and most other contributors to TFL).  It is likely that such a course would last at least a couple of days and, given Andy's location in the North East of England, an overnight stay would be necessary for most participants.  However, one great advantage of a course like this is that participants could have a high degree of involvement in developing the course content.


I must stress that this is only an idea at present but, if there are enough interested bakers out there it may be worthwhile exploring things a little further.  It is unlikely that the course could be arranged before June or July 2011.


Is anybody out there - particularly those of us who are UK based - interested?

geraintbakesbread's picture
geraintbakesbread

If Andy (ananda) was to run a UK course I would definitely be interested.


Geraint

rocketbike's picture
rocketbike

I presume Andy is aware of this thread and has indicated he is content for us to discuss such possibilities?


If yes, and if start times allow travelling up from the south, then I could be interested too.


R.

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

This is all done with Andy's knowledge and full agreement and we were planning that Andy would be the tutor.


Ruralidle

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Ruralidle, andy,


I have benefited a great deal from andy's expertise and would like to meet other UK bakers.


I would be interested in being part of this. 


Sadly I don't drive so would need to look into getting to Northumbria from Central England and where to stay etc. 


Do keep us posted!  Best wishes, Daisy_A


 


 

Elf's picture
Elf

I'd definitely be interested!


 


Subject to not clashing with my wedding ;)


 


Cheers


Tim

bertie26's picture
bertie26

Hi I would definitely like to attend a course since I feel like a lone wanderer on my bread journey and a course will help me greatly with seroius networking thanks albert

aran's picture
aran

Please add me to the list of those keenly interested

jeffmaughan's picture
jeffmaughan

I am a regular reader of tfl and have been learning breadbaking for a few years now.  I live in NE England (Whitley Bay) and would be interested in finding out more about this and whether I could participate or even contribute. 


my email is jeffreymaughan@gmail.com


 


Regards


Jeff M

danek's picture
danek

Hi all - this sounds like a great idea. I'd certainly be interested.


Best,


Dan

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hi Dan


Welcome to TFL.  You will find that there are a lot of experienced, helpful bakers here so don't be afraid to ask any questions that you may have.  "Ananda" (Andy) is one of the most helpful contributors and he is the person who would lead the course if we have enough firm interest to go ahead with it.  Thanks for your interest, any developments will be posted on this thread initially.


Ruralidle

candis's picture
candis

I'd love to go, and to meet people who are only names now. best wishes, candis


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Doughtagnan's picture
Doughtagnan

Sounds like a great idea and one that I might be interested in (work permitting), and iv'e  never been to NE England......  Cheers, Steve

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

I'd have bells on!  Sounds like a great idea (and fun!)


Just make sure it doesn't clash with William and Kate's big day!  LOL

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

Money depending :)


If I can't attend the course we can go to Pani's for a coffee :)

heidet's picture
heidet

Depending on schedule, fees and costs at the time, I would be interested. Does it matter that I was a professional a long time ago? I don't want to be a problem

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hello Heidet


I am sure that you would be welcome, my only concerns are that:


1) We are a LONG way from Japan -I peeked at your profile :)


2) You may not learn anything new because of your background.


We will post a few suggestions for content and timing etc if it looks like we can run it and you can decide then.  Thanks for your interest.


 

Jaydot's picture
Jaydot

Sounds like a fabulous idea. It would take some organizing to get myself and my dinky toy car over to the UK (and then drive on the wrong:) side of the road), and of course schedule, fees, costs etc. would have to fit, but I would love to join in!

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

Hi Jaydot


Just get yourself to Amsterdam and get the ferry to North Shields.


Drive down the coast road untll you get to Jesmond, there are hundreds of BnB's there - park up and get the Metro to Central Station and the College is 5 minutes walk. 


Easy Peasy.


What type of dinky toy car do you have? A smart car? I had a few of those - the for2 and roadster.


 


 

Jaydot's picture
Jaydot

Thanks, that sounds doable - that ferry is expensive though. In fact, flying costs about three times less, but I don't suppose they'd let me take a tiny Peugeot as handluggage...
And I just realised: not only will I need a dogsitter, I'll need a startersitter as well :).

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

Well it's just as easy, fly to Newcastle, then get the Metro from the airport to Jesmond, or where ever you choose to stay. 


The Centre of Newcastle will be a bit expensive, Whitley Bay is cheaper and beside the beach but it's full of hen nights and stag do's - Tynemouth is beside Whitley Bay and is nice but more expensive, Jesmond is your best bet because it's a nice area with nice bars - it's full of posh student girls too :D


There's a nice little BnB in Whickham that I know about, near "The Orchard" - which isn't an Orchard, it's a housing estate haha (it's actually beside the Police Station but that doesn't sound as enticing!)


As Andy says, the public transport is very good, everything is pretty close together so you can't really go wrong. 


(try not to stare and laugh at people on the Metro with their tracksuit bottoms tucked in to their socks though hehehe they're called charvers, they're a bit like village idiots haha)

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi jaydot,


Bring your starter with you and leave your car at home!


We have a great public transport network in the North East, with the Metro offering fantastic service from North Shields to Central station.   As Craig implies, the College is a 5 minute walk from there!


Cheers


Andy

Jaydot's picture
Jaydot

For a minute there I thought you said leave the cat at home and I was afraid you'd be telling me to leave the dog in the fridge next... That had me giggling all morning :)!


Oh, and Craig: posh college girls, eh? LOL. Should make me feel right at home. I was one myself. Forty years ago :).


Thanks for all the info!

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

Hahaha 


Lots to talk about then :D 


That's tickled me hehehe


Feel free to ask for any information about Newcastle :) 


ahhh the joys of making an assumption on the internet hahaha *blush*


there are lots of posh college boys too :) unless you like posh college girls - you are from Holland, I've heard about you lot, all clogs and no hang ups hehehe.


I'm embarrassed but I think it's funny :) sorry about that! x


 


 

luciano bonci's picture
luciano bonci

Hi Andy, I hope you are having a good weekend up to now?


I would like to take this opportunity to ask you if it would be at all possible to observe your new bakery course that you will be running at Newcastle College? I believe observing your lesson will allow me access to the correct methods you use  in terms of your recipes and teaching styles in accordance to artisan bakery, Artisan Bakery is something that I would like to introduce in the Chefs Academy restaurant from time to time, I believe the students will really appreciate this craft, and hopefully take the skill with them into their careers.


I know that there is this real push for a general resurgence of local artisan bakers, and to some it may seem like I am jumping on the band wagon some what, however as a Chef I believe it is very important to be able to produce quality bread, as it is a very important part of any quality establishments offerings.


Also, as a former student of yours I have first hand knowledge of the depth of knowledge there is on offer to students, from the basics of bread making to the science of the subject too, I feel the students in the restaurant will lap this knowledge up.


Maybe from time to time, if you have room in your diary?, you could come up to the Restaurant kitchen to do certain master classes in the basics of bread making, and if the students respond to the sessions?, which I am almost certain they all will, you could step up to a more advanced level of bakery as you see fit?


 You did mention that you will be using Video in your sessions, I think this will be a great tool in terms of studying the results on an individual basis, I am unsure as to how long the footage will be and if there will be more than one camera in the session, however this is a great idea and I look forward to seeing the results of the video.


Thanks Andy, I will look forward to meeting up soon in regards to discussing this matter further.


Kind regards


Luc


 


 


 


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Luciano,

Many thanks for contributing to this thread.

You would be very welcome to come into this class as it is proposed.   As you say, I have taught you this subject a couple of years ago; I have always recognised your own skill levels across the board, and your passion for being at the cutting edge, so to speak!   I am sure there are numerous ways your participation in some form would further benefit those attending the course.

As for video, I note this has been suggested above.   You will remember I was a big user of digital media from your time studying in the Bakery.   However, the amount of video and photography has to be up to those participating, to a large extent.   From my point of view, I am happy to use it as a learning method for students and a great assessment tool; of course it really helps in generating publicity too.

Here's a little reminder for you, just in case you'd forgotten about making videos...Master Pizza base roller!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adGFEOzY2jE

I'm pretty sure there are plans to offer short baking courses to students as additional teaching next year; let's hope they sign up for these

Best wishes

Andy

ps. I forgot to wish you continued success as you work towards completion of your teaching qualifications.   Keep at it!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I hope you can pull this off! I'm excited on your behalf.


I've taken a couple of week-long workshops at the San Francisco Baking Institute. The students were a mix of home bakers, home bakers who sold some bread at farmers' markets or the like and professionals. 


As a home baker who had never even had the benefit of working with another home baker, the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and to work with professional equipment was fabulous. I can't recommend it highly enough. 


I sincerely wish you the best in this venture. I do hope you will all share your experience on TFL.


David

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Thank you David.  I am sure that it will be good, if we can get it arranged, because it is clear that Andy (ananda) is a very skilled and knowledgeable baker but also because it would be good to put faces to TFL forum names and learn from other participants.


I hope that one or more of us will report on the event, if it goes ahead. If I do a report you can rest assured that it will not be a patch on your comprehensive posts about your experiences at SFBI!


Richard

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

My hobby is videography, I'd gladly make a video of it, if people would like me to.


 

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Craig


Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves!  We have a bit more organising to do before we get to the video stage but ... it would be really great if you could, so long as it doesn't interefere with your participation in the course (assuming you want to participate!).

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

Fair dooz :)

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

OK!


Things are progressing.  It seems that, particularly given the location of the proposed course (Newcastle upon Tyne college), it would make it worthwhile if it covered two full-ish days and Andy - ananda - who would be the tutor suggests a Tuesday/Wednesday or a Wednesday/Thursday in June (2011).


The course content would be designed around the wishes of the participants.


The college facilities would be able to cope with 10 (max 12) participants and based upon 10 participants the learning part of the course would cost £100 per person FOR THE TWO DAYS!! (The cheapest commercial course I have seen is £125 PER DAY).  There would be a small additional charge for the ingredients.


The only other oncosts would be travel and accommodation (but I think that we may be able to find a few good B&Bs in the area!).


Please add your name below if you are interested in participating.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Dear Richard and Andy,


Many thanks for providing further details. I would be interested in this.


Daisy_A

geraintbakesbread's picture
geraintbakesbread

Great news!


I'd definitely like to participate provided the dates work for me (which I can't see being a problem).


Thanks


Geraint

danek's picture
danek

I think those dates would work for me, so count me among the interested!


Thanks for taking the trouble to organise this, it sounds great.


Best,


Dan

bertie26's picture
bertie26

hello andy


 count me in please i am very in terested to learn more thank you albert

Elf's picture
Elf

Hey Richard I thought I reregister my interest!

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

I'm interested too, now that I know the venue and time of year.

Mary

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hi all


It looks like 21 & 22 June (2011) would be a convenient time for this course.  Please indicate below if you would be able, and want to, take part.


Best Wishes


Richard

geraintbakesbread's picture
geraintbakesbread

Hi Richard & Andy


Looks like things are shaping up... I can make those dates & if you go ahead I would like to be there.


Many thanks


Geraint


 

Elf's picture
Elf

Cant 100% guarantee my attendance until I have the holiday request granted from work but I can't foresee any problems with this date.


 


Still very much want to attend & hoping with a demonstration I will finally comprehend when a loaf is proved ;)

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Andy, Richard,


These dates look good! Hope I can make it. Having a wisdom tooth out in the summer but hopefully not those dates.


Best wishes, Daisy_A

danek's picture
danek

Those dates would work for me, so count me among the interested.


Best,


Dan

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Sorry folks but there has been a slight hiccup in the plans and we need to change the dates of the course to 19th and 20th of July.  Please indicate in this thread or by pm to me if you are interested in a course on those dates.


Again, apologies for the change.


Richard

Salilah's picture
Salilah

I'd be interested also, provided a) I don't get any significant work commitments, and b) I can work out how to get there from Dusseldorf!


Please add me in as a probable


thanks lots
Sali

geraintbakesbread's picture
geraintbakesbread

Hi Richard


I'm fine with new dates.


Regards


Geraint

Elf's picture
Elf

Hey Richard I think I'm ok with these dates I'll need to check with work if I can book them off.


 


But obviously I will hold off on booking off until the dates are confirmed.


Tim

aran's picture
aran

Hi Richard


Most unfortunately these dates are not good for me.  I am hugely disappointed but wish the lucky participants good baking.  Now if the dates change again...


Ruari

geraintbakesbread's picture
geraintbakesbread

Hi Richard

Just wondering how plans are progressing for Andy's course - is it definitely going ahead? Would like to start thinking about booking trains/accommodation fairly soon. Also, if not happening could commit to other opportunities.

Many thanks

Geraint

 

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hi everyone

There are 6 of us showing an interest in this course and that would put the cost at £167 each. What does everybody think about that?

Richard

Salilah's picture
Salilah

Richard - yes, I'd be fine with this!
thanks & regards

Sali

geraintbakesbread's picture
geraintbakesbread

Still seems a bargain.

Geraint

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

OK folks!!  The great news is that the course is scheduled and will run on 19/20 July.  However, 2 people who expressed an interest haven't got back in touch so .... Elf and Bertie26, if you are out there please send me a pm with your email address.

If these 2 don't get in touch we will have some spaces available so anyone else who is interested should get in touch, either through this thread or via a pm to me.  It promises to be a very informative and social course .... and VERY good value.

Best Wishes

Ruralidle

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

Hi Richard

Well done for making it happen, I hope it turns out well, I'm sure it will.

 

Elf's picture
Elf

Hey,

I'm very sorry but it looks like I won't be able to make this course, I'm a bit gutted about that as I was really looking forward to meeting some of you & getting answers to a lot of questions.

My father had a heart attack on a break in Iceland & I've been out here in intensive care since the end of May. Work are being very good about it but I'm using holiday, sick leave & favours just to stay out here until he's out of the woods.

It's still at the day by day stage so realistically I doubt I'll be able to make the course.

Hope you all have a good time & if you decide to run such a course in the future I'll be the first to sign up.

Cheers
Tim

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hi Tim

Sorry to hear about your father, please pass on my best wishes to him and I hope he has a speedy recovery.  I fully understand your situation.  I had noticed that your posts on TFL had rather dried up for a couple weeks, I was hoping it was just a holiday but clearly not.

If you have a few hours to yourself in Iceland I would suggest visiting Geyser (yes, there is a place of that name and you know why its famous) and Thingvelir, site of the ancient Icelandic parliament and the only place on earth where the tectonic plate movement is creating ground that you can see (all the rest are under water).

Please keep us up to date with your Father's progress.

Best Wishes

Richard

 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Tim,

Just catching up with this thread and I'm sorry to hear about the situation with your father. I do hope he is soon out of intensive care and able to make a good recovery. 

With very best wishes, Daisy

yozzause's picture
yozzause

I do hope that when this has been run and a great success that i am sure it will be that you will start plans for next year , i am looking forward to a return to the old contry in 2012 and meeting up with some of the UK TFL people.

In the mean time i will be in DARWIN at the begining of July followed by a trip on the Ghan to Adelaide  about 12 July, love to catch up with any AUS TFL folk if you are interested,  PM  me  and we will try to make it happen. 

Kind regards to all Yozza  

geraintbakesbread's picture
geraintbakesbread

Just a quick note to say a big thank you to Andy and Richard for organising this great baking course.

It was fantastic to meet some fellow TFLers in the flesh - only Richard, Sali and Andy in the end - a shame others couldn't make it.

I'll try and post my comparison bake of two English wholemeal flours sometime soon.

I hope more of these courses are able to happen in the future, as this one was hugely enjoyable and informative.

Thanks again

Geraint

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Thanks Geraint. I'm glad you enjoyed it and found it useful.  A report and photos to follow soon.

Richard

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Well, the course eventually took place on 19th & 20th July 2011 at Newcastle College.  The tutor was Andy (TFL - ananda) and there were a few TFLers there to learn from such an experienced baker (Salilah, sgratch, & Ruralidle) along with a baker recommended to the course by TFLer Juergen Krauss.  Andy also found some interested locals who had taken other courses at the college to fill the places that other TFLers had, unfortunately, been forced to leave free because of a variety of unfortunate reasons (ill health and the like).

We were all in the classroom by 09:30 on Tuesday 19th and Andy explained what we would be doing.  Andy had prepared a variety of sourdough starters for breads we would make later and a biga for us to use to make ciabatta, whilst Andy also made a dough, using the biga, that would be made into focaccia and pizzas for our lunch.  I am sure there was a good reason for it but Andy made us mix the ciabatta (with 85% hydration) by hand and then use Andrew Whiteley's "air kneading" method to develop the gluten.  Some of the group were better at this than others (I was pretty useless, but I have a ready-made excuse). After 20 minutes exercise we left the dough to prove on the counter top, under upturned bowls and did s&fs every 20mins or so.  Whilst we waited for these doughs to develop Andy gave us a demonstration of the handling and shaping techniques necessary to get the open texture that is the characteristic of ciabatta.  A similarly gentle technique gives a very open focaccia.  Whilst these doughs proved (aren't proving cabinets a wonderful invention?) we prepared toppings of roasted vegetables for the focaccia and Salilah took charge of making a lovely tomato sauce for the pizzas.  The bread and pizzas were loaded into the ovens after we had formed our own ciabattas and some salads were prepared.  A delicious lunch was shared in the college bistro area (which was closed because it was summer holiday time) and most of the staff who were working also got a free lunch because we had seriously "over-catered".  The afternoon was taken up by shaping practice using white and wholemeal doughs that Andy had prepared over the lunch period (and he had also baked off our ciabattas whilst we stuffed our faces - what a star he is!).  We shaped batards, boules and "knotted" rolls and then researched what we wanted to bake as a personal (or small group) project the following day as well as sorting out the groups who would be baking similar bread.

The TFLers got together for a drink after the course finished on the Tuesday and we were able to chat about baking and other topics as well as hearing about Andy's experiences as a commercial baker with Andrew Whiteley at The Village Bakery.  We also learned about changes in Newcastle College because of the finance settlement being imposed upon the UK's higher & further education sectors by the Coalition Government as it works to reduce the national deficit.  Unfortunately, this means that we will not be able to run another course similar to this one at the college.  However, if we can find another suitable location, there seems to be some interest in learning about enriched doughs such as challah, brioche and croissants etc!

Day 2, Wednesday 20th July, started with finalising the recipes for our baking projects for the day.  As you would expect, there was a variety of breads selected.  One group, who have a wonderful ambition to operate a bakery co-operative/community enterprise in the Newcastle area chose to bake 4 different breads as they had learned, the previous day, that they had to make an important presentation about their idea to a company who had the equipment they were hoping to use.  They wanted to make full use of the deck ovens at the college to give their products a more professional look.  Salilah and Derek chose to make lemon bread, using some durum wheat flour but with a sourdough starter rather than all commercial yeast.  Another group (including me) wanted to use a rye sour and we made a dough with the rye sour, wheat leaven, molasses and carraway seeds whilst another person made two breads, one with Khorasan flour and one with Einkorn flour.  Andy produced a dough to make lunch, which consisted of fougasse and baguettes, accompanied by lovely salad with mozzarella and basil.  Salilah made a Spanish dish that included eggs, courgettes, aubergines, onions and garlic - I can't remember what it was called - but it was very popular.  Andy gave a great demonstration of shaping the fougasse and scoring the baguettes - he did make it look easy but I find it anything but easy.  After lunch we baked off our own breads and then had a tasting session so that we all experienced the tastes of these more unusual flours and recipes.  We cleaned the kitchen down and then had a classroom session to develop (excuse the pun) our knowledge of the chemical reactions that take place in the dough during the bulk fermentation and this reinforced my view that a good bread baker is part scientist and part artist. 

Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves and learned a lot and we got to take what seemed like half a bakery's output home with us - I don't have to do much baking for the next couple of weeks but I will be practising what I have learned very soon.  Here is a slideshow of some photos I took:

UK TFL Baking Course

It was a great pity that Daisy_A, Elf and Bertie26 - as well as other TFLers - were not able to join us but we do hope that the reasons why they couldn't be with us are resolved satisfactorily.  Maybe they will be able to attend next time, if we can organise another course in the future.  Certainly everyone felt that the £100 for a 2 day course (+ £5 for ingredients - including the lunches) was excellent value.

It really was a pleasure to meet everyone and to learn how to bake bread from such a knowledgeable and experienced baker - thank you Andy for giving so generously of your time and knowledge!

Wishing you all Happy and successful baking, Best Wishes

Ruralidle (Richard)

jamesl's picture
jamesl

I've only just discovered this thread and sad I've missed my chance to attend. Any plans for further course? 

 

regards.

 

james

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Hi James

I'm sorry you missed out, we did what we could to publicise this via TFL - including having the original post as a "stickie" for a week or so - and some of the original group from TFL were unable to attend so some places were filled by people who hadn't come to it via TFL.  As I mention in my report, things have changed fundamentally at the college and because of that Andy will not be working there any more.  That means that we will not have ready access to the facilities.  However, Andy is keen to stay in teaching and, if he does so, there is the possibility that we could run a course at a different facility.  Keep an eye on the posts on TFL for any further developments or maybe also drop me a pm with your email address and I will let you know of anything I am looking to organise.

Ruralidle (Richard)

lumos's picture
lumos

 Glad someone has digged this thread up. I must've missed it when it was posted.  Thanks, James!

 

Great write-up and slide-show, Richard. Thank you for sharing. :)

Lovely to hear everyone seems to have had a really good time not only with Andy at the college but also after the lesson on some drinks! 

Pity I couldn't attend this time, but if there's another chance in the future, preferably somewhere a little nearer to me :p, I'd definitely love to take the opportunity to meet up with my fellow UK TFLers.

Best regards,

lumos