Breadmaking Course by Catherine Evans :: 23rd May 2013

Traditional Bread Oven

I have had a fabulous day today attending a Breadmaking Course at Acton Scott Historical Working Farm. The course was run by Peter Cook, Owner and head baker at Prices Bakery in Castle Square, Ludlow. We started the day by making a traditional white dough, the key point being to weigh accurately – something I’m not renowned for! The dough was left to prove and we moved on to make a dark ale and walnut bread, using Ludlow Brewery’s Dark Knight ale. Again this was left to prove and we moved on to a third mix – fig and fennel using a malted flour – this turned out to be my favourite, although I wasn’t too sure about it at the time! The final bread we made was an oaty bread with butter and honey in, making for a softer loaf, apparently.

Once it had proved for a couple of hours we shaped the white dough into a small tin and also a small cottage loaf and again they were left to prove. Peter helped us shape the different doughs into different shapes and he had all the different shaped tins from the bakery for us to use, many of which had been in the family for many years! With all the doughs either shaped or proving we stopped for lunch but were all eager to return at the allotted time as we were to cook our cottage loaves in the traditional bread oven located in the Bailiff’s cottage. The oven had been lit about 1 1/2 hours earlier to give it enough time to reach the correct temperature. The loaves were left to cook and we returned to the New Barn to finish shaping the rest of our doughs.

My Bread Basket

After about 15 minutes we returned to the cottage and the bread was cooked, although the base was a little pale so we finished it off in the conventional oven. The basket contains the 6 loaves we made during the course of the day Рall are delicious and I now intend to make bread at least occasionally  for guests.

I would certainly recommend the course to any one interested in making their own bread, whether experienced or a complete novice! Next I would like to do the Dairymaid course which includes butter, cheese and junket making.




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