March 2014

March 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Bay Tree Cottage Workshops - Speciality Bread

Baked to perfection
Last Saturday I had the privilege to accompany my friend, Tony, on a baking course run by Bay Tree Cottage Workshops in Farthingstone, Northamptonshire. Tony, who is blind, is already an accomplished bread producer and, in fact, makes all the loaves needed for home consumption every week but this ‘Speciality’ class proved to be just the ticket to extend his repertoire and skills.

After arrival, in Tutor Jenny’s comfortable and welcoming kitchen, and whilst we sipped our tea or coffee, she explained the recipes that would be used and the order of the day. Then, it was all ‘hands-on’ accompanied by Jenny’s knowledgeable ‘how-to’ demonstrations.

Class assembled
Jenny uses her own tried and tested recipes and is a great believer in using ingredients which are already in the cupboard and fridge, thus adapting basic formula to whatever is available on the day. 

Rolling Nettle, cheese and chive bread
The morning seemed to speed by in a blur of flour, yeast, cheese, herbs, bacon and so much more - all with a welcome coffee break half-way through and a piece of one of Jenny’s famous cakes. 

Beetroot dough

Before we knew it, the students had produced a savoury corn bread, spiced flatbread with cumin and coriander, a plaited beetroot loaf stuffed with all manner of good things, as well as several nettle and chive rolls. Can you imagine the wonderful aromas?

Tony and corn bread
Afterwards, Tony told me he had experienced a good time - his disability had not proved a problem for him or the workshop - and he had definitely learned some new techniques. 

We would therefore highly recommend to anyone the huge variety of courses available at Bay Tree Cottage as, for certain, Tony and I will be back there to experience another few hours of pleasurable and productive tuition. Thank you, Jenny.

Ready for home

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