Take some flour, salt, yeast and water. Mix it all up and knead the dough to music. Let the dough rest in unusual shapes and plop it in the oven. Wait. Then out pops a masterpiece called bread. Eat and dance around in the celebration of your bread creation.
But in reality bread making is a lot like chemistry (actually it is chemistry). Kind of complicated when you look at the gluten structure. But no worry, be happy.
This bread loaf is made out of Sprouted Wheat flour and gets its shape from a banneton basket.
Attending the John C Campbell folk school I took a bread making course called “the science of bread”. Taught by Emily Buehler. Emily has a PhD in Chemistry and wrote a book called “Bread Science.” Emily incorporates the basics of explaining how chemistry works in bread making, while guiding the class into making beautiful loaves of bread.
The bread course was for a week. The first night upon arrival the class made a poolish for the next day of baking. The poolish kick starts the yeast and adds flavor to the bread. Just learning this secret of bread making is worth its weight in sprouted wheat flour. Go purchase some spouted wheat flour and you’ll understand that joke.
The first full day (Monday) Emily taught us the basics of bread making. We discussed chemistry, kneading, preferment’s, dough rising and basic sourdough starters. Plus we got to make a french baguette.
The next day Emily let us run free and we were off to the races. Some of us stuck to the syllabus and others experimented with different recipes. The results were amazing as you can see in some of these photos!
During the week-long course we also got to light the outdoor brick oven and the next day bake pizza and bread. Results were mixed on the appearance of the items baked, but all were yummy to eat.
Here is the outdoor brick oven at John C Campbell folk School.
Some items baking in the brick oven.
My not so perfect yummy pizza.
Also, we learned how to make a sourdough starter and feed it throughout the week. Plus bake using a sourdough starter.
Now if you go to the John C Campbell folk school website you can find an assortment of classes to take that might interest you. Also, if bread making interests you. Consider taking a look at Emily Buehler’s personal website.
Attending the world renowned John C Campbell folk school just might broaden your horizons.