A question for new bakers
I am in the process of designing a Bread 101 class for bread novices. While I have a good idea of the material that I think should be included, I want to solicit feedback from TFLers (and maybe some lurkers, too) about the kinds of things that they would like to learn if they attended this kind of class. There might be some things that really ought to be included but haven't occurred to me.
Just to give you some parameters, the class will meet on a Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. While there will necessarily be some lecturing and some demonstrations to give the students the background that they need, the heart of the class will involve hands-on work by the students as they put their new information directly into practice. I expect that we will make up at least one yeasted dough in the morning for baking on-site in the afternoon, and another yeasted dough in the afternoon for the students to take take back to their homes and bake there.
Whether or not there will be a place in the flow for a non-yeasted bread (muffins? biscuits? scones?), I don't yet know. At this point, I'm treating that as an option, not as the primary focus of the class.
Things that definitely need to be part of the class include measuring by weight, bakers math, hydration and its effects, temperatures, autolyse, mixing, kneading, fermentation, shaping, baking. It won't be practical to address sourdough in this class.
I've seen similarly-titled classes that are effectively a "breads from around the world" shotgun blast, with the instructors taking up the bulk of the time with demonstrations and the students getting very little hands-on work of their own. That doesn't seem to me to be very helpful. From what I see in other classes I teach, one of the most daunting things for a new baker is judging dough consistency, followed closely by understanding fermentation progress. Consequently, the more time that I can give the students to have their hands in the dough during class, the better they will do in their own kitchens later on.
Now that you know my ideas, I'm very interested in hearing yours. All suggestions will be valued, even if I can't put all of them into play.