It was 8.30am on a crisp Sunday morning, I was waiting at my local train station and silently loathing the fact Starbucks didn’t open until 9am. Fast forward an hour, I was caught up in the hustle of London and working my way across the city to Westfield shopping centre. I love to explore these places, I find myself staring into the windows, admiring carefully positioned displays of jewel coloured leather bags and daydreaming about what I would buy.
I escaped my designer handbag daydreams and met up with Helen for a coffee and catch up before we headed to Jamie Olivers Cookery School for Autumnal Bakes. As we whisked through the restaurant, I tried to ignore the steaming bowls of pasta and focus on the fact I was soon going to be baking bread.
The cookery school is stylish, functional and brought to life with two fantastic and helpful chefs, who guided us through baking our loaves of bread. I was excited to get started, we were going to receive the most delicious return for our efforts in the form of spiced pumpkin soup and pumpkin fondue.
Enjoyed with a side of warm freshly baked bread, salty butter and washed down with prosecco, which makes me giddy and thankful for the fact I wasn’t driving.
Back to baking, did you know the best time to start baking your own bread? It’s now…
Autumn is the season for hot buttered toast, dunking bread into soup, mopping up the last of your stew with a cheese topped roll. Don’t feel intimidated, I picked up a few handy tips during the event…
*Stick to the exact measurements: from the recipe you’re following, adding a little too much flour or water (or too little) can make the difference. Fortunately, at the cookery school, everything was already prepared for us, I could most certainly get used to cooking like that.
*Don’t forget ‘The poke test‘: now my friends don’t let your mind wonder to the gutter. The poke test is, firmly poking your dough and if it bounces back to shape? you’re good to go.
*Unsure if your bread is ready? : Turn the loaf upside down and gently tap, if the loaf sounds hollow, the bread is done.
As many of you may have left over pumpkins, here’s a couple of tasty recipes from the day that may help you make the most of your pumpkin’s. If you have the inclination, serving salty pumpkin and cheese fondue is well worth the effort, I could have spent the afternoon gorging on that combination.
The afternoon flew by, all of a sudden it was time to leave the perfectly equipped kitchens. We all placed our lovingly baked focaccia bread and brown loaf filled with caramelised onions and walnuts, in brown paper bags to share once we had returned home.
I was delighted to be invited to this event, you can locate other reviews of the day using #autumnalbakes. A big thank you to Currys and if you fancy taking a bread baking class yourself? You can find all the details here.
Do you bake your own bread? or is this something you’ve not tried before?