LEARN: Bread Masterclass at Real Patisserie, Brighton

by - December 04, 2018

Ah, beautiful, beautiful bread. Vilified in recent years by the trend dieter bores, the loaf is back on the table and so happy I am it is. From fine dining restaurants making the humble bread a star in its own right with glossy glazes and quirky ingredients, winged by some exotic butter or other to artisan bakeries popping up on every street, we are back to loving a slice of the good stuff.

Though Real Pâtisserie have been in Brighton for close to two decades now and their Chewy Brown loaf can be found tucked under my arm on a Saturday morning and also in many of the decent cafes on their breakfast and lunch menus.

On a Sunday morning though, when the bakery is closed, you can go one step further and learn how to make decent bread yourself. But good bread isn't easy and takes a bit of science, physical work, love and time to get right.

Here you'll learn about starters and yeast, flour qualities and the basic proportional ingredients of a loaf. But what is really key is the technique. You can also read every recipe out there but nothing compares to being shown first hand from the professionals the right temperature, touch and skill. Most doughs are really wet and tricky to work with, but with the right knack, transform into the sort of bread that will make you swear off the supermarket stuff for life.

I've been baking since 2011 where I went on a similar course and that really made a difference to my baking ability and I've used a sourdough starter since. The course, led by Wojciech, the Head Baker at Kemptown, was equally as good and one for you if you're serious about starting baking at home, or upping your skills and ditching the breadmaker. It was well paced, informative and very hands on, delivered in an enjoyable but professional way, and class sizes are kept small so is very attentive. Some of the forms were difficult (I'll never look at a baguette in the same way) but Wojciech ensured everyone was correctly following instruction and corrected each where needed.

We broke for lunch and were treated to a slice of the legendary RP quiches, salads and breads, and were offered hot chocolate fondants and coffee to power us through too.

Although Christmas and January looked all booked up, the course would make an awesome gift for someone (one of the students attending was celebrating their 40th) or a fun date activity (two couples and a mum and daughter team made up the rest of the group).

I will say this is reasonably demanding, and a long day on your feet (God bless the real bakers out there), but went by like a flash and at the end you'll be laden with a selection of beautiful loaves, crafted by your own hands. I was so happy with my rye and caraway and wheat sourdough loaves, focaccia and baguette. I'd like to say they fully stocked my freezer but everyone knows real bread is just too darn irresistible. 

Courses run monthly on Sundays from their Kemp Town shop and cost £80 but will generally get quite booked up. Visit www.realpatisserie.co.uk for details and how to book.

I attended as a guest of Real Pâtisserie but words and opinion, as always, my own. 

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