Breadmaking at Court Fields Community School, 7-9pm on 29th September
I’m delighted to hear that the course is going ahead, albeit with low numbers. If you have a friend who’d like to come with you, it’s not too late (they would be very welcome!).
This letter sets out what I intend will happen in the first session and includes a list of ingredients and utensils which you will need to bring. If you are new to breadmaking, let me reassure you that it is much easier than you have been led to believe.
The session will begin in a relaxed fashion – the first thing you need to do is to find somewhere to park all the stuff that I ask you to bring, get yourself a drink and a stool to sit on. There is some necessary administration to complete, but it’s best if we go through this together. If you need any help with the forms I will be there to give you a hand, so there’s no need to worry. Bring a pen if you can remember, although I will have a couple to spare.
Before we start I’d like to spend some time finding out if you’ve had any experience in breadmaking, and what you expect to get out of the course, so that I can hopefully meet all your requirements.
The breads we will be making on the first evening are: Plain or fruit soda bread, and fancy dinner rolls or a loaf (traditional English loaf or a focaccia).
Each week you will make 2 varieties of bread – most of them chosen by you and the other students. Also there are various techniques I want to cover, such as ‘No-knead, overnight bread’, using the cloche method, etc. You will be given the recipes for all the breads we make, plus general breadmaking hints and tips. My aim is for you to become a competent home baker (if you’re not already!), able to bake any bread you fancy.
Bring a large cardboard box or basket to carry all your equipment and ingredients, and the finished products to take home with you! Coffee or tea is available at 20p per mug – the kettle is always on. (Or bring your own, of course.)
I want to reassure all those students new to breadmaking that my first aim for this course is for everyone to enjoy their learning – I always delight in these sessions, and it’s my job to see that everyone else does. Breadmaking is an easy, everyday craft – as you’ll come to realise (if you haven’t already)!
If you have a particular variety of bread you'd like to make instead of one of the breads on offer, I'd be very happy for you to do that. Get in touch if this idea appeals to you and we will see how we could fit it in to the programme. Or if you have any questions, doubts, suggestions at all, please don’t hesitate to ring or email me. It’s always nice to make contact with my students before the course begins.
Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to the word ‘Companion’. The ‘com’ part means together – as in community – and the ‘pan’ part of the word means bread. So the word ‘Companion’ can be taken to mean, ‘Someone who makes bread with friends’. Which is what we shall be doing on these Wednesday evenings!
I look forward to meeting you and welcoming you on the course.
Paul (Course tutor)