The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

San Francisco Baking Institute

  • Pin It
breadawe's picture
breadawe

San Francisco Baking Institute

Just back from a week long artisan bread making class at the San Francisco Baking Institute.  In one word....fantastic....let's take two words or more....a life changing bread making experience.

Our instructor, Didier Rosada, is a master baker and gave clear instruction as all 16 of us made four or so breads a day.  Making artisan bread consumed most of our time along with enough class room experience to understand the process.

Give your self a gift and enroll in one of their classes.  The staff, facililty, equipment and ingredients we used were all top notch.  If you are only new into bread making or a seasoned pro...this class is for you.  

arhoolie's picture
arhoolie

I've been toying with the thought of doing this very thing.  My concern would be at what level do they teach these courses? I'm not a pro baker nor culinary professional; I work for a reference publishing company.  I've baked my own bread for years (decades really) and have taken a few classes locally (Ann Arbor), but nothing more than eight hours in length.

Is the level of instruction geared towards the professional?  Would an avid home baker be out of his/her element? 

 -brian

umbreadman's picture
umbreadman

Brian, may i ask where you've taken classes in ann arbor and what you've thought of them? if they were worth the money / time? that's where i live right now and, while school is almost all-consuming, i really want to take a class that will be genuinely helpful. any tips would be great! I was thinking of zingermans (i'm also considering applying for a job there since my employer is closing down in a few months) since they're the only place i found that seems to offer anything and they're good. it just seems that they're classes, like some of their goods, are rather pricey...

-Cyrus

arhoolie's picture
arhoolie

Cyrus, 

Sorry, I just happened to stumble across your questions today. The classes I mentioned in my post were at Zingermans. I've taken the Rockin' Rye, Better Bagels, and The sourdough class. For the most part, I've found them useful for the hands-on experience gained. They are pricey, especially if you're a UM student (I'm not) but I've generally been pleased with them.

-brian

leila107's picture
leila107

Breadawe, 

Lucky you! I enrolled in their upcoming Artisan I (July) and can't wait! Could you provide some additional details about what was covered in the scope of the lessons? I am also very curious about the ratio of theory and hands-on instruction. 

Thanks in advance!

 

leila107's picture
leila107

Breadawe, 

Lucky you! I enrolled in their upcoming Artisan I (July) and can't wait! Could you provide some additional details about what was covered in the scope of the lessons? I am also very curious about the ratio of theory and hands-on instruction. 

Thanks in advance!

 

breadawe's picture
breadawe

Jump right in and enroll in the next program they offer that interests you.  I only have one years experience of making bread and they cleared up so many of the questions I had.  They treated me with the same respect as they gave to one student that was the head baker at one of the large casinos in Las Vegas.

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I was very fortunate to have a two-day seminar with Didier Rosada--he's a remarkable teacher. 

 

breadawe's picture
breadawe

We had, I believe, three students that took Artisen 1 and Artisen 2 just before my class. I do not know what that program covered but those three students told me our program was well worth the time and expense.

To answer you question regarding theory and hands-on instruction.  Monday morning, the first day, we spent in class and then made bread in the afternoon.  The rest of the days we had an hour or so of instruction and then off or back to making one of the special breads for the day.  This is a hands on program with willing instructors to answer all of your questions.

breadawe's picture
breadawe

Didier Rosada is clearly a world class baker and teacher. 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

that SDbaker took at SFBI last summer..might answer some of your questions.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/3707/attending-sfbi-tomorrow

breadawe's picture
breadawe

Thanks for the link Paddyscake as each days activities are well described

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

I have been fortunate to take several classes at SFBI and agree with breadawe that they are well worth the time and expense. Didier is a guest instructor and teaches several classes per year; their resident bread instructor is also excellent, as is the pastry instructor.

The courses are designed for professionals in that the equipment is bakery-caliber, but home bakers are most welcome and anyone who has baked at home a fair amount will fit in. Most of my classes have been about 50% home bakers.

Artisan I has a much higher proportion of classroom instruction than the other classes. Each day had some hands on, but I think only one day had more time in the bakery than in the classroom.The other classes I have taken have been all been more like what breadawe described.

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

leila107's picture
leila107

Thank you everyone for the information! I am looking forward to Artisan I in summer. 

 

-L

breadawe's picture
breadawe

Leila 107 you are going to have a wonderful experience.

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Breadawe, which class did you take?

breadawe's picture
breadawe

I took the Whole Grain Breads and Specialty flours class with Didier Rosada.  I think they will hold this class one more time later in 2008. 

yogajan's picture
yogajan

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to second all of the comments regarding The San Francisco Bread Institute's classes.  The weekend I spent there learning to make baguettes was better than I could have imagined.  The hands on approach to teaching is the best way to learn how to make the bread.  You should have seen me on the plane with about 20 baguettes to take home to my friends and family.  Now everyone is begging me for more.


 


I look forward to taking more classes and can highly recommend the school, their faculty, the student helpers and the amazing bread.

SourFlour's picture
SourFlour

Thank you for posting your experience at SFBI.  I have heard nothing but amazing things, and look forward to being able to take their classes soon.  I've applied for the scholarship (http://www.sourflour.org/sfbi-scholarship-application/) but will try to go regardless of if I get it.


Can't wait to learn more.


Danny Paz Gabriner
Sour Flour

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

This is exactly what I've been wanting to do when I retire in a year or so but I'm in a bit of a dilemma as I'm just a novice; I'm afraid that the classes may be more geared for the baking professionals and too complicated for inexperienced folks like me.  I'm from HK so the course fees plus accommodation and airfare is going to cause a big dent in my pocket.  I was actually thinking of putting up a post to see if anyone could recommend bread-making courses that I could take without causing an arm and a leg.  Now that I've managed to find this post, I'll think very carefully and meanwhlle learn as much as I can from the Freshloaf  to improve my bread baking skills and then I'll see if I still want to do this.  Thank you so much...

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Agreed that the tuition and travel costs would be substantial.  If all you want to do is learn to be a better home baker, why not take classes locally?


This was discussed at TFL in this thread

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

I am already taking classes run by the local gas company but unfortunately, Artisan breads iare not always on the curriculum.  I've always wanted to attend a culinary school as a teenager but in those days, it was not something that young ladies do, my father wanted me to learn something more useful that would aloow me to make a good living so I was sent to a scretarial college in the UK and I eventually found a very good job in the UK. Now that I am nearing retirement, I would like to be able to relive my dream and consider it as a retirement gift to myself.