The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Making Class

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Baker Frank's picture
Baker Frank

Bread Making Class

I have been baking bread for about 3-4 years and I have been basing all my efforts from what I have learned / read from bread making books and from this forum. I am considering taking a bread making class. To others my bread taste fantastic but I understand more clearly my short comings: handling / shaping dough and bread making science. I live on the East End of Long Island, New York, about 120 miles east of NYC. Inevitably I will have to travel for any course and I am open to that but if the right class was offered in the New York area it would become much more feasible than if I have to travel across the country.

I am interested in hearing the suggestions anyone could offer for a really good bread making course!!!

Thanks,
Frank

Mirko's picture
Mirko

Hi,

Ciril Hitz is offering bred baking classes :http://www.breadhitz.com/events.html

Mirko

Baker Frank's picture
Baker Frank

Mirko

It's remarkable that you mention Ciril Hitz, I was great impressed the other day watching some shapping videos by him.

Thanks,

Frank

bob13's picture
bob13

FYI- I was very dissapointed in the Culinary Institute of America weekend series-Artisan Breads at Home that I attended in Hyde Park, NY.  It was given to me as a gift.  While there, a small "class" of 10 watched as the chief made 5 different doughs from scratch.  We than had the hands on experience of shaping a loaf, some buns, and a pizza shell.  Not much in the way of learning as the actual hands time we had was less than 1 hour and their full time students did most of the work.  The baking was done in large comerical style ovens, large stainless steel proofing boxes, and the mixing was done in very large Hobart mixers.  Unfortunately, I learned very little that I could apply to my home kitchen.  My advise is do exactly what you are doing and fine a good class that offers what you want to learn and has the personal recomendation of someone here who attended.  As for the CIA, my personal experience is to save the $250 and look else where.    

Heidela123's picture
Heidela123

Here are a couple of ideas ( if you are willing to start in a smaller less notable setting, not drive so far pay less than a private school) for doing this, a little phone, email or even better in person footwork foot work to save money and travel ..Talk with local community and vocational colleges, especially, but not limited to those who have culinary/ baking schools...  if they get enough interest they can hold continuing Ed classes in bread baking.  You can even do a post on craigslist to see how much local interest there is in doing this.

 Second contact the bread bakers guild or other club of bakers in your area , to see if they can recruit a baker to come for a class. 

A third  idea if you know a great bread baker in your area, ask if they would hold a class, at their bakery  ( lots of good questions, gentle polite pestering and sincere flattery got me a kimchi making class at a Korean market, while I came in knowing how to make a decent kimchi, I now can make really wonderful kimchi and Korean banchan recipes for a very reasonable negotiated class price.   That also started a side job for the instructor and brought more business to her market! 

I avoid all the " private " " culinary" programs in our area because they are not great. But our public Ed in this area is really willing to bring in anything feasible.

I so want to do this as well! 
 My son had a great experiance during te baking portion of his culinary education in community college, so much so he almost switched from cooking to baking. But cooking won, he is now after a few years of very hard humiliating adventures is a steadily employed  executive chef We  can read, bake, watch videos, bake, talk and discuss and bake, but there is nothing like hands on with a great professional... just need more time! 3 years until my first retirement 2/2/16 is the year! 

Good luck in finding what you want/ need. Hope this helps.

Baker Frank's picture
Baker Frank

I agree with the suggestions made by my fellow bakers that there is nothing like the input and insight of a great professional instructor. I look forward to hands on activity under their guidance rather than a "watch me" approach. Over time if I add this to my own personal practice and development I am sure it will lead me to becoming a better breadmaker.

I am very surprised that the New York area does not have a more established bread baking education program.

I may have to do as suggested and develop a bottom up opportunity.

Frank

varda's picture
varda

one poster had a bad experience with CIA, I wouldn't assume that all classes  there would be bad.   I know my sister who is an excellent baker and lives in California was about to sign up for a class at CIA until she discovered that there was an equivalent class closer to home at SFBI.    I just signed up for my first baking class ever at King Arthur in Vermont with Jeffrey Hamelman.   Not super close for you, but at least in the region. 

CelesteU's picture
CelesteU

I trekked across the country to do a class at King Arthur taught by Hamelman.  It was worth every penny.  Totally hands on.  

tracker914's picture
tracker914

Hi Frank, I'll be going to a class in whiteplains in February, it's offered by ChefCentral. Not sure how much hands on it will be and like you would like to see what a pro can offer.

Angelo 

Baker Frank's picture
Baker Frank

Angelo

Thank you for the suggestion; if possible please let me know about your experience. I just signed up for a 1 day course with Ciril Hitz up in MA during March. I will report back about my experience afterwards.

Frank