Gazette & Herald reporter learns tricks of the trade at bread-making course (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Gazette & Herald reporter learns tricks of the trade at bread-making course
11:00am Saturday 14th April 2012 in Devizes
Break-making is one of the ‘in things’ at the moment.
Whether it’s the tough economic times, the attraction of the Fabulous Baker Brothers TV show, or a combination of factors, there is a demand among consumers to make their own bread.
At Vaughan’s Kitchen, a cookery school in Devizes, staff have been inundated with requests from the public for bread-making classes.
To find out what all the fuss was about, I took part in one of their introduction to bread-making courses.
I had never made bread before and was nervous as my attempts at baking pastry at school had ended in disaster.
But course director Margaret Bryant, a former food technology teacher at the George Ward School in Melksham, quickly put me and the other five participants at ease.
She said the secret of good bread was using the best ingredients you can afford. At Vaughan’s Kitchen they only use organic flour, which is locally produced, whereas mass produced supermarket bread contains flour enhancers and preservatives.
Then it was over to us and our first task was to make white bread.
We began kneading but I was quickly in danger of going wrong as my dough was very wet and nowhere near getting dry.
The potential mini-disaster was averted, however, when Margaret instructed me to add more flour and to rub off the sticky dough on my fingers.
At the end of kneading, my dough did seem to be the right consistency and we divided it up, some in tiny loaf tins and the rest pressed into a flat bread, drizzled with olive oil and a selection of herbs. I chose thyme while others went for rosemary and sundried tomatoes.
While our white bread was proving, it was on to wholegrain bread. The flour for this was heavier than for the white bread and we could feel it was denser. An interesting ingredient we used was molasses to add nutrients and flavour.
We made a mini loaf and three rolls.
Our final task was to make soda bread, which was quick as it doesn’t need to be proved like conventional bread because the bicarbonate of soda makes the dough rise.
As we sat down to tuck into soup we tasted our white bread and, without exception, it was delicious. It tasted completely different to the mass-produced sliced bread in supermarkets.
Some of the others on the course had tried making bread at home, but without success, and found the course enlightening.
Helen Bollen, a marketing officer who lives in Colerne, said: “I tried baking bread at home, but it didn’t taste nice at all. The difference is Margaret showed us all the steps and it’s so simple.”
Nicola Daulman, of Trowbridge, who works in customer services, said: “I tried to make bread six months ago, but it was a disaster – it was like a brick and tasted horrible. This course was really good fun and I understood everything Margaret said. I will definitely be making bread at home now.”
We left with the rest of the bread we made and back home my partner was impressed.
He said my bread tasted light and fresh.
n Vaughan’s Kitchen’s bread making courses include three in the week of May 7 to coincide with National Bread Maker week. Visit www.vaughanskit chen.co.uk or call (01380) 530203.