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bread baking class(es)

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Anyone know where a guy can take some bread baking classes? Nothing so intense as at George Brown- just a basic class or two to learn the simple ropes.

Ideas? Thanks, all!

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  1. I asked this question many years ago (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/499810) and didn't find anything. I'll be interested to hear if any classes have started up since.

    1. Hey Matt, why not teach yourself?

      Watch Julia Child at the PBS website in the following very detailed episode:
      "Traditional French Bread with Danielle Forestier."

      If you are truly a novice bread baker and need to get some confidence there's probably no better start than with Mark Bittman's video at the New York Times web site with Jim Lahey of NYC's Sullivan Street Bakery making his "no-knead" bread. I think I've seen it on You Tube too. It's a simple and science-based technique that defies failure. The outcome is a rustic and flavourful loaf with a crisp crust and chewy centre. It makes a great pizza dough too. There's probably lots of postings on it at Chow's Home Cooking.

      1 Reply
      1. re: iamafoodie

        Saw this post after i posted....even better.

      2. There are so many great vids on youtube. Have you tried that type of instruction to learn the basics?

        1. Funny enough, I taught myself with JC's baking book- but it's not for me, but a present for a friend who wants to learn from someone who knows.

          Any other thoughts?

          1. Matt, as a gift you might consider the bread baking courses offered as a Continuing Education course (evenings) at some of the vocational high schools. The instructors are competent and the facilities are first class.

            #2. See if your neighbourhood Loblaws has a bread baking in their culinary workshop program.

            I know it's a stretch, ask at a local bakery you like if your friend can do a "stage" there. A Cobbs store would be good but they seem to have a lot of very strict rules to protect their business model.

            Lastly, if you have mastered Julia Child's book, why not invite him over for a baking day on some weekend? Just demonstrate the techniques and let him do most of the actual work while you provide feedback. These days, there's probably no greater gift than giving your undivided attention to someone for a few hours.

            2 Replies
            1. re: iamafoodie

              Very flattered- I might be competent enough to follow JC's recipes, but "mastered" is a helluvan overstatement.

              My only issue is that I don't know any of the baking theory and have no way to diagnose something if it goes wrong. Strictly a follow-the-recipe-and-hope-it-works kinda guy. :)

              1. re: biggreenmatt

                this will probably be deleted by the mods, but since you asked -- i'd recommend taking a look at:
                1) peter reinhardt, the bread baker's apprentice
                2) jeff hammelman, bread

                and

                3) www.thefreshloaf.com

                working through these resources should provide a decent grasp of the basics for bread baking.