Sunday, 16 October 2011

Sourdough Workshop with Dan Lepard

I’ve got back into baking sourdough, having discovered several years ago that I am not actually allergic to wheat, but I am intolerant of either commercial yeast or some of he preservatives or enzymes in commercially produced bread.  I have no idea which it is .. but I do know that my own sourdough is delicious, inexpensive and I have no problems digesting it. It's a huge relief to discover I can eat wheat again, especially as I spent years baking sourdough in the village I grew up in. ( in the Dordogne.) 

I've found baking in a domestic situation a challenge. It is easy in the bakery - it is always the same but in my domestic set up my loaves are not the exact texture I have been looking for.   Perhaps is the lack of a wood fired oven, or the flour, or the water?  It is frustrating, as translating commercial baking into my kitchen should be straight forward. 

I’m a huge fan of Dan Lepard’s work and it was his book the Hand Made loaf that really inspired me to start baking again. So when  Dan invited me to his mater class I took my eldest daughter with me and spent a happy day refining my own technique.

We were made so welcome with tea and muffins for breakfast and met the other lovely bakers attending. We got to have a good look at Dan's brilliant new book Short and Sweet and  I met a lovely lady called Azlia who wrote this account of her day here and a great chap called Chris chap from The real bread Campaign  who you can listen to below talking about the course.

Dan covered all the stages of making and keeping a healthy leaven, we all got he chance to talk individually about our loaves and baking with him and the course made everyone feel that they can make bread exactly how they want to. The explanations the Dan gives means that not only do you make the bread you can touch, feel, taste, smell and experience the dough in a way

We have the most fantastic day and left with two sourdoughs’ each.  My daughter loved every minute of it we have both been totally inspired by Dan.   She leant so much about making sourdough that I now let her make her own and  I refined my knowledge to the point where I am now turning out the best bread I have ever made in a domestic kitchen. Hurrah. 

I can’t recommend doing this course enough and of course you must take a look at Dan' new book Short and Sweet 


  1. How brilliant that your daughter went too, I love that! I taught my daughter to cook when she was little and when she was at university, she was VERY popular!
    The course and day looks fabulous......would love to attend a course, will ask for this for my Christmas present maybe!

  2. This is at the top of my cooking wish list. Huge fan of DL and would love to improve my skills. Lucky you. Support the real bread campaign too. Loved this post.

  3. Vanessa, I'm so glad you enjoyed Dan's bread course and working in the Cookery School kitchen. It was our pleasure having you and your daughter there baking together. I'm especially glad to hear that we made you feel welcome and you enjoyed our breakfast (we do pour our hearts and souls into these things!). November's class is already full - there's no denying that Britain has the baking buzz!

    Thank you again,

  4. Vanessa, it sounds fantastic. I think at 5 my little girl is to young, but I'm certainly going to attend a course asap!

  5. this sounds brilliant. I so love the idea of taking your little girl along. x

  6. Sounds like a great course and so pleased you took your daughter too. I did a course with Andrew Whitley a few years ago and have been making sourdough ever since. Lots of people who can't eat Chorley Wood bread can eat sourdough because as well as not having all the additional nasties it also pre-digests some of the things that make it difficult for us to digest.


If you are reading my blog I must warn you that I am not impartial. I want to influence you. I want to make you stop for just a moment and consider the effect of a lifetime of seemingly insignificant decisions and how making small delicious choices can change the world.

I believe that we can change the world one bite at a time.

It's a delicious revolution.