At the beginning of the class you will be given a binder with all the recipes and places to keep notes. This will provide reference for everything discussed and practiced in class so that you can continue to build and iterate the skills acquired during bread camp. You will also take home a sourdough leaven that you will refresh and maintain so there will be no shortage of amazing breads for you to share with your friends and family.
Artisan Bread Camp – Day 1
As we begin the first day of artisan bread Camp, you will quickly realize just how much there is to learn about artisan bread making and the skills required to produce a loaf with amazing flavor, proper texture and artisanal beauty. We will begin the class by a welcome breakfast at 9:00 at MozzaPi. Getting to know who you will be sharing time with and understanding why your fellow classmates are attending in important. We then start setting some goals as to what we would like to accomplish during the week. You will be introduced to a foundation of bread making skills that you will continue to build upon throughout the class. We will discuss the following:
- Mise en place – This French term, translated as “everything in its place”, is the most important fundamental skill we will practice. This refers to your tools, equipment and ingredients.
- Methodology and Theory – While we understand that you are anxious to get your hands in the dough, understanding the history of the grains you use and how they are processed shows you a more complete picture of your products.
- Essential Skills – This will cover everything from hydration to kneading, shaping to dough development, and preferments to baking in a wood fired oven or how to get the same loaf baked in a home oven.
We will then get our hands in the dough and you will begin to learn through repetition of skills and muscle memory. We will start creating your very own sourdough leaven from nothing more than our freshly milled Louismill Organic wheat flour and water. We will continue over the next four days to nurture this starter, so that it will be strong and active when you take it home with you. We will then practice the skills discussed in the earlier by making Focaccia and a Sourdough Country Loaf, focusing on the techniques of mixing, hand kneading, folding and shaping.
While our doughs are resting, we being our journey into pizza, with demonstrations and discussions; which may or may not include – how to make fresh pulled Mozzarella, how to hand crush tomatoes and finally, creating your own lunch by shaping and firing our Neapolitan Pizza dough.
After lunch, we will finish our Focaccia and Country Loaves, continuing to discuss elements, such as shaping, baking, finishing and an overnight rest for our Country Loaves.
Artisan Bread Camp – Day 2
We will begin by reviewing Day 1 and answering any questions that might have arisen. We will also dig a little deeper into some of those topics we covered during the previous class, so that you can gain a more firm grasp on these essential ideas. Then we will begin our baking day by refreshing our personal sourdough leaven and discussing how important time and temperature are as ingredients. Now that you have amassed some basic skills, we will reinforce those skills by making Focaccia again (repetition) and introducing working with whole grains by making a County Loaf with our freshly milled organic flours.
We will also discover the joys hand made bagels, with discussions on how these are different, yet similar to the breads already made. After mixing, kneading and dividing the bagels, we will let them rest overnight.
While we will bake our first Country Loaves, which fermented overnight, we will talk about scoring and baking and what creates and loaf with an open crumb and beautiful ear. We will discuss and dissect the differences between firing in a wood fired oven and baking at home, learning some tips of the trade so that the color, flavor and texture of your home baked loaves resembles that of a wood fired oven.
We will close out our second day by shaping our whole grain bread loaves to bake the next day, with starting discussions on how to use, refresh and take care of your mother/starter/leaven.
Artisan Bread Camp – Day 3
We will again start the day by firing our bagels from yesterday. After shaping, boiling and topping, the bagels are fired in the wood oven, creating an amazing texture. You will get to enjoy the fruits of your labor for lunch! As you continue to gain confidence and skills, we will begin to delve into variations of Country Loaves. We will explore the concept of folding in items like sprouted wheat, cherries, walnuts and how to create your own signature loaf by combining different ingredients and how to fold them in. There will be some discussion on why ancient and sprouted grains are important, how to sprout your own grains at home and how these grains differ from common grains.
We will close out the third day of Artisan Bread Classes by learning to make Ciabatta, using the skills from our Focaccia making, such as mixing, kneading and folding. We will again discuss how to refresh your leaven and we will refresh for tomorrows bulk bake. We will also discuss preferments and how and why we use them with sourdough to create complex flavor. We will then feed our sourdough leaven that we are creating and you will be able to see the changes that have begun in this fresh grain leaven as it starts to smell very much like sourdough.
We will also demonstrate milling our very own organic flour and will talk all about the wheat properties, types of flours, their uses, etc. while we watch the mill create beautiful fresh flour.
Artisan Bread Camp – Day 4
We start our morning earlier, between 7:30-8:00, as we will enter the world of the commercial baker! We will discuss baking in larger quantities and how you can mix and fold in tubs for larger batches. By mixing and shaping 40 loaves, you will have the opportunity to experience baking bread in larger volumes, as well as getting plenty of practice in shaping and crafting multiple loaves. Each student typically makes 6-8 loaves on this day, with a staggered start, so that each student gets one on one instruction on shaping. We will also discuss our Community Supported Bakery. This bread subscription is a great way to start a business with minimal income, while honing your skills as a professional baker.
Like small children or pets, your leaven needs to be fed every day as you create it (we will also discuss how to keep your starter going when you are on vacation or planning to take some time off from your everyday baking). To further cement our muscle memory and artisan baking skills, we will make Focaccia again. However, we will modify these loaves by adding variations, such as roasted red pepper, tomato and basil, grapes or the creation of your own design. We will finish the day by making our famous MozzaPi sourdough English Muffins using a preferment and our Louismill stone ground cornmeal.
Artisan Bread Camp – Day 5
Today you will get hands-on experience in firing the 40+ loaves we shaped yesterday. Utilizing the wood oven, you will learn the essential techniques for what it takes to fire the perfect sourdough loaf. You will also have plenty of loaves to practice different scoring techniques. We will then learn how to cut and griddle our English Muffins from yesterday, creating an amazing brunch with our Louismill grits, poached eggs and speck for brunch. After feeding our leaven, it will be ready to transport home. We will also be sending you home with a lifetime of Artisan Bread Camp memories and tasty treats. By now, you will have the skills necessary to call yourself an artisan baker and you will possess the necessary fundamental skills, muscle memory and recipes to go home and share your knowledge with friends and family.