A first timer’s guide to… bread-making
My reading at present is Gary Taubes’ book Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It. To save your hard-earned, Gary’s answers are ‘carbs’ and ‘don’t eat so many’.
Not the ideal book to read, then, when you sign up for a day’s sourdough bread-making course at the delicious E5 Bakehouse set in the train arches next to London Fields Overground station.
Sourdough is as artisanal as bread gets. It’s back into fashion along with the slow food movement. I would go into the science of it all but, truth is, it was a lot to take in and I wasn’t really listening when the teacher Kate was talking us through it.
Kate taught us how to bake four types of sourdough bread – rye, ciabatta, bagels and their signature loaf, Hackney Wild.
This course is for people who want to bake bread the old fashioned way. The headline is sourdough takes longer, is better for you and tastes delicious.
There were 10 of us in the class – a couple of people on their own like me, a married couple, two retired policewomen and a gang who worked at a fancy central London art gallery. I promised them I wouldn’t say where. The Courtauld.
Much of the day was spent mixing and folding, waiting and folding, then folding and folding. Eventually we baked and went home with bags stuffed with fresh, self-made (tasty) bread.
Although expensive at £150 for the day, I’d hazard you don’t get as well looked-after at cheaper ones. Tea and cakes came out at four and I thought it only proper to taste (gobble) a bit (a lot) of everything (everything).
This was a fun, sociable seven-hour course but the focus was on giving us the full download so we could go home and make our own sourdough leaven then whip up a few bagels on our own.
I was exhausted by the end of the day. All that folding took its toll. The retired coppers and the gang from the gallery seemed fine. I don’t know how I got to be so tired. Gary reckons them carbs don’t just make us fat, but tired too. Maybe I just got high on my own supply.
HOW TO SIGN UP
The details: Organic sourdough bread-making
Where: e5 Bakehouse, Hackney
Level: Suitable for all
Time: A full seven-hour day
Read more: A first timer’s guide to beer-making at Brew Club