July 2, 2011 - This is an excerpt from my Travel Blog - If you would like to read more about our trip to England and Scotland, join us at Sweetsadies on the road!
After a very warm welcome, master bread maker Richard Bertinet began to teach us about bread. I read his first book, "Dough" and tried to use his technique but was not very successful...and that is really saying it mildly.
He works with a very wet dough and cringes at the word "kneading"...no, he doesn't believe in it, and instead works the dough by incorporating air into the dough by lifting and slapping it down etc. ... He corrected my stance and coached me to use my whole body – not just my arms - and truly get a feeling for the dough. He asked me not to look at it and instead made me look in his eyes….hmmm…I must say he isn’t bad to look at ….
Richard started off the day by reminding us how bad the sliced bread in plastic bags sold in the grocery stores is for us. He then described bread bores and I realized I, in fact, was one. When conversation moves to the bread at the table, I use any opportunity to yak non-stop about bread...and every aspect of it. I want to apologize to my friends and family, but especially to those strangers who find themselves innocently sitting beside me at a company lunch or dinner. I just can't help myself – I am so passionate about it.
We learned how to work a simple white dough, which can be used for a "tin" loaf, a fougasse, breadsticks and focaccia. We made them all, prepared the beautiful bread baskets when they were ready and sat down for a wonderful lunch.
I find myself right now wanting to go on …and on…about my class, but I will stop and simply say that I had an absolutely amazing day. If anyone is interested in a class with Richard Bertinet, I highly recommend it! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
While I was in class, Camera Guy (Dan) wandered around Bath taking some fantastic pictures.
Thanks Dan for encouraging me to do this!
And thank you Richard Bertinet for teaching me how to dance with dough!