The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

BBGA Course @ SFBI: Introduction to Artisan Breads

breadsong's picture
breadsong

BBGA Course @ SFBI: Introduction to Artisan Breads

The Bread Bakers Guild of America recently hosted a class, “Introduction to Artisan Bread”, at SFBI on June 18-19. I signed up for this one - it was a really good class!, with theory and lots and lots of hands on. SFBI generously donated their space for this class, and SFBI instructor Mac McConnell and assistant David were both volunteering their time.
Big thanks to the Guild, SFBI, Mac, David, and the cooks at SFBI who took such good care of us while we were there; the instruction was outstanding, as were the snacks and lunches!

The course content covered a lot: different mixes and preferments for baguettes, sourdough with two different levains, hand-mix ciabatta, and sourdough multigrain, sourdough semolina and sourdough rye.

Each student baked approximately 50 loaves over the course of the weekend. Lots of chances to practice shaping and scoring! There was a nice mix of home bakers and professionals and it was a fun group to be working with :^)

Here are some pictures:
Baguettes...
 

Sourdough 50% Rye:  


  ...Sourdough boule

Ciabatta:  

  ...Sourdough Multigrain (flax, oats, sesame, sunflower)

Sourdough Semolina (no crumb shot):  Pretty hand cut stencil!:
               


Thanks once again to the Bread Bakers Guild and SFBI for this wonderful learning opportunity!
Happy baking everyone,
from breadsong

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm so glad you were able to take the workshop. The SFBI is such a marvelous place for learning and meeting a diversity of serious bakers, both professionals and home bakers.

Your breads are all star quality! Just magnificent! And, having made all of them, I know they are also delicious.

David

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello David,
I so agree about SFBI - this institute and the Guild provide fantastic opportunities to learn and meet nice people!
Thanks for your comment! But I wasn't always at the oven when my breads were coming out, and I had a hard time keeping track of where mine were on the cooling rack, in amongst so many others :^)
So the breads pictured here were ones that looked good or which Mac selected for slicing/crumb evaluation.
These are a selection of (at least what I think were!) mine (not as pretty as the ones above!!!):

:^) from breadsong

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

breadsong's picture
breadsong

...but I'm embarassed I didn't make it clear those breads weren't mine, in the original post!

varda's picture
varda

and maybe some of them are yours.   What a great opportunity!   -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Varda,
It was a great opportunity to take the Guild's class, at such a fantastic location as SFBI!
I know for certain the rye and baguettes weren't mine!!! The baguettes were beauties, shaped and scored by our very talented instructor Mac McConnell.
:^) from breadsong

louie brown's picture
louie brown

How nice that you were able to do this, breadsong. I can well imagine that the intensive class environment has the effect of getting more out of each individual, and of each individual getting more from the class.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello louie,
It was a fun and busy couple of days, and I so appreciate Mac's organizational ability, keeping everything moving along and on track.
It was really good to work with so many different people, each bringing their own experience to the table.
Seeing how Mac could shape dough was wonderful, and one of the people at my table is the head baker at a Pacific Northwest bakery; it was a joy to watch him work with the dough too.
Mac's assistant, David, who did so much to help in the lab, is a talented baker also and he would come by and offer
well-timed and extremely helpful advice.
It was fantastic to be surrounded by so many good people!
:^) from breadsong

Syd's picture
Syd

What a great opportunity to go on a course like that!  No doubt you learned a lot and got lots of ideas/inspiration from others.  I know you won't be squandering anything you learned, either.  I can't wait to see what you will be baking next. :)

Yours in anticipation,

Syd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thanks, Syd!
I'm thinking seriously about the Sourdough Rye. It was delicious.
I'm trying so hard to remember what the dough felt like, with the hydration and mixing, and so hope I'll be able to replicate it here at home!
- breadsong

proth5's picture
proth5

for your write up.  I thought long and hard about going to that class, but knew that the timing would be problematic for me.

I know that no one on TFL puts any credibility in anything I say (and I don't know why because a lot of what passes of "common wisdom" these days started with me saying "think about it", but there you have it) but let me add my voice to commending the Bread Baker's Guild of America - it was pretty great a while back but really has gotten to be an indespensible part of my baking life.  Membership gives you access to great formulas, great classes, and great bakers.  Serious home bakers should seriously consider it - and they are always welcome....

 

Pat

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

FYI, I've joined the BBGA.

David

proth5's picture
proth5

Well then, you'd better check out those formula formatting guidelines (I never, ever forget....).

Why?  I've finally got an answer for that.  I've been working more and more on formula development lately and the more I stick to that format - the easier I find it to whip up a new formula.  I had my own formula developer spreadsheet before, but as I get into more complex formulas the thing was getting a bit clunky.  Once the new formatting guidelines take hold (and there is a learning curve) the more you will realize how good they are.  I'm now even using them to redesign non-bread related flour based recipes. 

Pat

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Pat, Thanks so much for your comments.
I agree about the indispensable part (as I also find TFL!). I've spent an hour or two in the archives of the Guild newsletters :^)
The Guild is a very welcoming organization and offers so much in terms of education - I'm grateful to be a member.
:^) from breadsong

 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I enjoyed looking at all the breads baked : )  

Sylvia

breadsong's picture
breadsong

I'm glad you liked the photos :^)

ananda's picture
ananda

That seems like a great course, Breadsong!   It is also really good to read all the praise for BBGA here in the thread too.

I thought buses were meant to come in twos?   You seem to have 3 posts here, all in a line!!!

All good wishes

Andy

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Andy,
Deserved praise for BBGA, imho!
I was all fired up from the wonderful experience of this class and our trip - wanted to share some pictures
(I so enjoy it when people share pictures from their classes (David, for example)
and bakery visits (JoeVa, for example)...!)
:^) Thanks from breadsong