Saturday, 29 October 2016

An autumnal bread-making workshop at the Jamie Oliver Cookery School, London

I love bread. Who doesn't love bread? Everyone loves bread.

And yet, despite this fact, it's not something I've ever made. I don't tend to buy it much either. But that's not to say I don't demolish a bread basket when given the opportunity.

As you may know, I bake a lot of cakes. Love me some cake-baking.

But bread? Well I've always thought it was difficult and just a bit of a faff what with all that proving and whatnot.

So when I was invited along by Curry's PC World and Hotpoint to the Jamie Oliver Cookery School for an autumnal bread-baking masterclass with a few fellow bloggers, I was mad keen to go along and find out just what exactly is involved when creating bready delights.
It was a beautiful autumn day when I arrived at the cookery school - sunny but with a crispness in the air - which was just perfect for what we were going to be making: crusty white rolls, focaccia and a walnut and caramelised onion wholemeal loaf. YUMMMMM!

The cookery school is delightful - it's bright and beautifully decorated, with all the kitchen equipment of your dreams.
After tea, coffee, biscuits and fruit upon arrival (well, you've gotta fuel up for all that baking, right?), we donned our aprons and hit the kitchen, where the fabulous head chef Gabby was going to instruct us in how to become the next Paul Hollywood.

First up: crusty white bread rolls.
After an expert demonstration, it was our turn, and we were encouraged to experiment with different shapes. I decided to try plaited loaves and ended up making two extremely unequal ones. Oh well.
Glazed and sprinkled with pumpkin seeds before baking, I think they turned out pretty nicely though.
So proud of my work. Domestic goddess. Who dis.

And it had all been incredibly quick, with just a little prove and a quick bake. Of course, it helps when all the ingredients are not only laid out but measured for you. Such luxury. Plus, the snazzy Hotpoint ovens meant everything baked perfectly evenly which as any baker will know, is not always the case.
Next up, focaccia. I always thought this must be incredibly complex to make, but it's so damn simple. Who knew? (Probably everyone who's ever made focaccia.)

We ground up some sea salt and rosemary to go on top...
Spread it all over the dough and that was pretty much it.

And alongside the focaccia we baked our third creation: wholemeal bread filled with walnuts and caramelised onion. Oh yes.

We had to knead our dough for a full ten minutes and then let it prove, but after that it was just a case of stretching it out, covering it with caramelised onions and walnuts, rolling it up and finishing with an egg wash and pumpkin seeds. Simples!
I was rather pleased with how these came out too.

Hard work done, it was time to sit down with a glass of prosecco and enjoy the fruits of our labours. 
I don't wanna brag, but everything was delicious, and the bread went down a treat with the best fondue I've ever had and a bowlful of classic pumpkin soup (recipes here!)
I had had so much fun meeting like-minded people, learning more about bread-making and eating delicious things. How lucky am I to get opportunities such as this? 

And I'm definitely feeling inspired to do more bread-baking in future too. Are you?


  1. Focaccia is so easy isn't it?? I really would've thought it'd be a hard one to master. Your bread looks insanely good, well done! Very jealous of the post-baking bread and fondue! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    1. Surprisingly so, Lucy, yes! Thank you :) X

  2. That cooking class looks like so much fun. There's nothing better than freshly baked bread straight outta the oven :) Your bread looked delicious!

    Colleen x |

  3. I love baking bread, but I just don't eat enough of it to make it worth doing very often! And I don't see bringing in a loaf of bread having quite the same effect at work as a tin of brownies does... Your bread looks absolutely delicious though - I love the plaited loaves with seeds, might have to try and recreate something similar!
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    1. I know what you mean Jenny. However, I took the wholemeal loaf into work and I certainly didn't get any complaints! x


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