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Author Topic: King Arthur bread courses  (Read 2040 times)

Offline carluke

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King Arthur bread courses
« on: October 25, 2010, 01:59:24 PM »
Hi all,
I just thought I would provide some info on the King Arthur bread course I took last week.

It was called 'Survey of Classic French Breads: from Miche to Levain to Baguette', and was taught by Jeffrey Hamelman and James MacGuire.

Suffice it to say, Jeffrey and James are both charming, and very, very knowledgeable about all things bread.

The course took 17 hours, over 2 1/2 days. It was advertised as a professional course but of the 11 students, I think less than half were professional (bakery or restaurant employees or owners). The rest of us were (just) relatively experienced home bakers. So, if anyone has been intimidated by the professional designation, I think I can say that it is a guideline only.

We made a number of different breads, including several 'side-by-side' comparisons to evaluate the differences obtained using different flours, different mixing techniques, commercial yeast vs. levain, etc.

The breads were made in commercial quantities (40+ loaves per batch of dough) and in commercial mixers, so there was no hand kneading, but we were always encouraged to feel the dough and to give our opinion (and reason for same) as to the readiness of the dough for the next stage.

A lot of time was spent on pre-shaping, shaping, and slashing the loaves, and we all had many opportunities to practice and develop/improve these skills. Questions were always encouraged, and answered.

I drove 9 hours each way and had the expense of a B&B for 4 nights, but I believe it was money and time well spent.

Oh, yeah, and you get to come home with lots of bread. I pulled into the driveway with a miche, 3 pain au levains, and 8 baguettes.

If you ever get the chance, go!


Offline Zeb

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Re: King Arthur bread courses
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2010, 02:15:55 PM »
Lucky you  ;D  You must have learnt loads of good stuff! Did anything surprise you in what you were taught? Any great ah-ha moments? 
Joanna @ Zeb Bakes