The Bread Ahead Bakery and School located in London’s Borough market is famous for its amazing artisan breads and incredible doughnuts. The bakery’s wealth of baking knowledge comes from its expert bakers Matt Jones, Justin Gellatly (author of Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding and royal bread baker for William and Kate’s wedding) and Aidan Chapman (also a tutor at River Cottage).
Knowing that I was stepping into a real bakery school, I couldn’t wait to learn as much as possible about baking real bread. The workshop I signed up for was the Bread Bakery Workshop, which included learning how to make a country loaf, ciabatta, focaccia and soda bread. It is a full day workshop from 10am to 4.30pm. The day began with introductions, tea, coffee and brownies and then we got straight into the serious business of baking real bread.
Aidan Chapman our tutor for the day demonstrated exactly what we need to do, then we all got our hands dirty and began making our very own bread dough. Aidan proved to be a great tutor ensuring that all students were up to speed before moving onto the next stage throughout the day and explained everything really clearly.
We learnt about why so many of us have trouble digesting gluten and it really does come down to the way bread is made commercially now. Mass produced bread is made so quickly which does not allow the bread dough to ferment, it is the long fermentation process used by artisan bakers that makes their bread much easier to digest.
I was so proud of my focaccia, it looked so authentic and tasted fabulous. That evening, when I was back home I served the focaccia with a little salad and cheddar cheese for a easy Saturday nights meal. The following day for lunch I filled the two ciabattas with cheese, ham and sliced tomatoes then baked them in the oven until slightly crisp. My country loaf looked a bit lopsided but still had a lovely dark chewy crust. It tasted delicious just simply buttered but also made excellent toast. Did I mention I had it for breakfast smothered with Nutella!
The Bread Ahead Bakery and School is a great place to learn the art of baking bread, it takes the mystery out of the process and demonstrates that everyone can make their own bread from start to finish. Would I recommend the Bread Ahead Bakery and School? Most definitely, in fact I’m trying to decide which workshop to book next!
Until next time.
My review of the Bread Ahead Bakery and School is honest and reflects my own experience. I paid for my own workshop and I was not sponsored by Bread Ahead to carry out the review. Bread Ahead kindly gave me permission to photograph my day and write about my experience.