Bread – I LOVE bread but have never attempted to make it at home. The thought of working with yeast just frightens me. So when I received an email from Sarah Han of Brasserie Bread asking if I would like to attend the Artisan Baking with Seeds and Grains Workshop, I couldn’t help but say yes!
The Artisan baking with seeds and grains workshop is a three hour hands-on class where participants learn how to make bread – seeded loaf, shape baguettes and dinner rolls. It also includes a tour of the Brasserie Bread’s operational bakery and ends with a tasting of the various types of organic breads with complimentary wine and cheese – YUM!
Now as the name suggests Artisan Bread: it is bread that is crafted rather than mass produced. An artisan baker is ‘a craftsperson who is trained to the highest ability to mix, ferment, shape and bake a hand crafted loaf of bread’. Matthew Brock, Brasserie Bread Training Manager taught us how to make these wonderful bread. Step by step, we started with the Multigrain Struan, described as bringing together a soaker, biga, and a selection of grains.
The recipe on how to make this tasty bread: It’s quite tedious, there are about three steps. Starting with Biga, which is a type of pre-ferment used in Italian baking. It adds complexity to the bread’s flavour and is often used in breads which need a light, open texture with holes. Made by mixing 112g of bread flour mix (40% kialla organic stone-ground wholemeal flour, 40% Manildra bakers meal and 20% organic unbleached plain flour) with 1g of fresh yeast and approximately 85g of water at 21 degrees.
Mix all the ingredients together and form a dough ‘ball’. Knead for 2 minutes, then let it rest for 5 minutes then knead again for another 1 minute, then covered and refrigerate for 8 – 12 hours.
The soaker is made from 30g of bread flour mix, 85 grains consisting of soaked sunflower seeds, linseeds, boiled grains and rolled oats, 2g of river salt and 85g of milk. The other ingredients include 7g of fresh yeast (which can be purchased from your local baker), salt and agave nectar in extra virgin olive oil to impact flavour and fat.
The final dough can be made by chopping the biga into 6 small pieces and lightly dusted with flour. Combine all the ingredients together and mix for 5 minutes. The dough will become very sticky (and gooey – my least favourite part), and it is important not to add flour, and important to work the dough by hand. Rest the dough for 5 minutes, then knead again for 1 minute to strengthen the gluten before it is placed in a bowl, covered and left for 45 minutes.
Another tedious process, which I am not very good at! Once the dough is ready, ‘shape’ it into a round-ish looking ‘ball’, roll in rolled oats and dust with wholemeal flour and prove at room temperature for 45 – 60 minutes. Matthew makes it look so easy! Clearly I had trouble and my bread looked a little ‘rustic’ – to put it nicely. Using a sharp blade, slash the dough, and place into oven (preferably onto a pre-heated stone base) and start bake at 220C, inject steam for 2 – 3 seconds, and reduce heat to 18C and finish baking for 40 – 50 minutes for at least 1 hour.
The SECOND part of the workshop involves making multigrain bread rolls, baguette a l’ancienne and pain d’epi. Unfortunately I didn’t take step by step photos as my hands were a tad dirty, but it was definitely fun! My baguettes were again ‘rustic’ looking but surprisingly it turned out ok and was quite tasty!
Whilst the bread were baking, we were taken on a tour of a bakery whilst it is in full operation.
The bread…. it smelt so divine, I was so tempted to grab them and eat it on the spot.
After all our hard work of baking, we were treated with some degustation of different types of Brasserie Bread with a selection of cheese, pepe saya butter and taramasalata.
So many bread, I was in heaven! Will definitely come back to pick up a loaf or two.
Before leaving, I did buy some pastries – croissants, snail and my favourite the fruit pastry – seriously sinful, but seriously good!
I have yet to dine at the cafe, but will not hesitate to go back!
Thanks again Sarah and Brasserie Bread for the experience. We got the recipe to make the bread, and no doubt I will try and make it soon. The family definitely enjoyed it – who doesn’t love bread right?
Full course details can be found on Brasserie Bread website.
1737 Botany Rd
Ph: 1300 966 845