The Art & Science of Sourdough Bread / April 14, 2018 / 9a-1p
In this four-hour workshop you will learn to make delicious, naturally leavened bread in your home kitchen. The workshop will focus on the science, the art, the flexibility, the skill, the variables and the method. You will learn, help and leave armed with the knowledge, confidence and supplies you need to incorporate this beautiful and satisfying ritual into your life.
I have always appreciated a good loaf but started really getting into making it about a year ago when I was gifted a sourdough starter that is rumored to have originated in a grandma's kitchen in Bethel, Alaska 130 years ago. I started studying this enchanted, ancient, fermented leaven with fervor and have since become a devoted student, making all of my family's bread and pizza dough. I read a lot but my best information comes from the hands-on smarts and wizardry of the masters -- particularly my dear friends, Kara and Selden Daume, who have decades of experience making bread.
Kara will join me in leading this class. She is passionate about demystifying the homebake process, sharing her enthusiasm and wisdom. She is an expert baker, gifted teacher and generous human and she will prove that beautiful, artisanal bread-making is a rewarding (and forgiving) routine that can fit into your life. She recently shared this quote with me:
Bread makes itself, by your kindness, with your help, with imagination streaming through you, with dough underhand, you are breadmaking itself, which is why breadmaking is so fulfilling and rewarding.Recipes do not belong to anyone -- given to me, I give them to you. Recipes are only a guide, a skeletal framework, to be fleshed out according to your nature and desire. Your life, your love, will bring these recipes into full creation.- Edward Espe Brown, The Tassajara Bread Book
It's easy to feel intimidated by maintaining a sourdough starter. Or that those glorious crusty loaves shared on instagram are part of some exclusive, mystical coalition. Or that the time investment can't possibly fit into a busy schedule. Kara and I will share how we do it and, together, we will have so much fun!
The workshop will take place in my home in Missoula, Montana. We will spend a full four hours in the kitchen, beginning with breaking bread together over coffee and tea. The workshop will follow and we will end with a light lunch. Traveling here? We are happy to share recs for a place to stay the night!
Gourmet Bread Baking Starter Kit (see second image / $85 retail value). This kit is a collection of our must-haves. At the class, we will suggest a few other items that you might want to add to your bread baking arsenal. But this kit will equip you well.
- Your Very Own Sourdough Starter. You will also share a piece of the Bethel, Alaska lore.
- Tartine Bread. We are thrilled to partner with Chronicle Books to bring you this incredible resource. Written by Tartine Bakery co-owner Chad Robertson, this book is a favorite that details the method we will cover in class. From the publisher: "A hundred photographs from years of testing, teaching, and recipe development provide step-by-step inspiration, while additional recipes provide inspiration for using up every delicious morsel."
- Two Bannetons. These lightweight baskets are used for the final proofing of your dough.
- Bench Scraper. To handle dough, cut dough and clear your work surface.
- Dough Scraper. To ease dough from bowl.
- Lame. To score your loaves.
- Beeswaxy Bread Wrap. A handy tool for storing your finished bread.
ABOUT KARA DAUME
Kara Daume wears many hats--mother, accounting manager, board member, consultant, and lover of being in the mountains. She is at her best when she is working with her hands, in the dirt or in the kitchen. She has many years of baking experience, both professionally and personally, that has fueled a passion for the process of making a bread that nourishes.
ABOUT NICI HOLT CLINE
photo by Paige Green Photography
Nici owns and operates DIG + CO. and authors an award-winning blog - www.digthischick.net - where she chronicles adventures with her family. She appreciates growing and making food, learning new things, listening to Pearl Jam, camping under the stars, jumping in rivers and the magic of gluten.
When you don't know where to start . . .
Sourdough . . . it's a skill I'd always wanted to have under my belt. It's intimidating, though. There's so much information out there and I didn't really know where to start. Nici and Kara were excellent at cutting through all my fears and making it very understandable. The process of making sourdough bread has woven into my weekly schedule with ease and I'm now keeping my family supplied with delicious bread every week. It's such a win for all of us!
Cracking the baking code...
I consider myself a decent cook. I enjoy being in the kitchen. But I've always been terrified of baking, especially bread. My cooking skills are decent because cooking food is VERY forgiving. Swamping ingredients or modifying recipes can be a good thing. But not with baking which is scientific and one slight change can destroy a recipe. This is why I had always stayed away. Enter this magnificent duo--Nici and Kara. These two simplified the mysterious process beautifully and made it accessible for a novice like myself. They scooped out all of my fear and replaced it with the skills and tools needed to make delicious and beautiful bread at home. They showed us that you don't need a fancy kitchen or fancy tools to bake amazing bread. We learned that even when the final product is not "perfect," it can still taste great. I took this course with a fun group of ladies, and I appreciated discussing our trials and tribulations in a closed FB group. Nici and Kara continued to encourage us and answer questions long after the course. I HIGHLY recommend this course to new and seasoned bakers alike. You will not be disappointed and you will finish the course armed with the skills and tools needed to produce delicious bread.
THIS workshop is my all time favorite. I always thought the idea of baking bread sounded daunting. The need for a scale....i mean come on? Watching Nici and Kara talk about the science of sourdough, talk about how to make the process fit your life, it just all became so reasonable. I bake bread at least once a week currently. Something that I really enjoy about these workshops is not just the knowledge and step by step tutorial but you also walk away with the tools you need. I use all the tools that were provided for me to this day. Another piece to this workshop is that connection to other people in your community. I love that I can reach out to Dig this Chick or other people from the workshops and ask them questions about their process and what is working and not working. I cannot recommend these workshops more- You are guaranteed to walk away with a new skill.