Cooking Courses News

Specialist cooking courses: bread making courses

Bread is amongst the oldest of our prepared foods with evidence to suggest that Europeans were baking it around 30,000 years ago.

It is eaten throughout the world and is probably one of the most satisfying foods to prepare and cook – there are few things that beat the smell and taste of freshly baked bread.

With its enduring popularity it is easy to understand why so many people want to make their own. For those looking for improve their bread baking skills there are numerous cooking courses throughout the United Kingdom.

There are a variety of different providers but, in our view, the following are amongst the best.

Nottingham, The Manor School of Fine Cuisine

The Manor School of Fine Cuisine was founded in 1987 and offers visitors a wide range of cookery courses. It is based in the Nottingham School of Cookery and is proud of its friendly, informal and relaxed learning environment.

The cookery school places a strong emphasis on food provenance and makes excellent use of the fantastic produce available locally.

The one-day bread making course aims to demonstrate how simple and rewarding it can be to make your own bread. It will provide students with the skills to enable them to make fantastic breads such as Irish soda bread, organic granary loaves and focaccia.

The day will begin with some fundamental bread techniques before progressing onto bread shaping and more advanced doughs later in the day.

Bath, The Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School

The award-winning cookery school was opened in 2005 by French baker and chef, Richard Bertinet. It offers specialist bread-making and baking courses for professionals and amateurs alike as well as a wide range of cooking courses for food enthusiasts of all abilities.

If you’re really serious about bread then the five day bread-making course may be for you. The week long course will be taught by Richard Bertinet and will begin with an introduction to bread making on day one. This will be followed by Italian breads, French breads, sweet & dark and slowdoughs, and sourdoughs on day’s two to five.

The course will include lunch on each day, all ingredients and materials and a copy of Richard’s acclaimed book – ‘Crust’.

Cooking Courses News

Yorkshire schoolchildren offered free cooking courses

Bettys Cookery School is offering free bread making courses to Yorkshire schoolchildren in celebration of its ten year anniversary.

The cookery school was founded in 2001 by Lesley Wild; the chairman of the Yorkshire based family business Bettys & Taylors. Lesley’s was to share the company’s passion for great food with its customers and members of the local community, especially schoolchildren.

The free bread making courses are being financed using an allocation from the profits of Bettys & Taylors. It is all part of the school’s commitment to the importance of healthy food, community based education and promoting the life skill of cookery.

During the last decade the cookery school has also taught almost one hundred and fifty ‘Young Chef’ courses designed to give young people aged between eight and sixteen, a basic introduction to cookery.

The manager of the cookery school, Richard Jones, explained that the community schools schemes were established ten years ago as a means of working in partnership with schools to inspire children to get enthusiastic about food. He explained that bread has always featured in these schemes and is an excellent way of capturing the children’s imagination.

During the cooking courses the children are taught the ancient technique of kneading. They are shown how to shape the bread into ‘scrolls’ or ‘plaits’ and also how to decorate the bread with poppy or sunflower seeds.

Whilst the rolls are ‘proving’ in the oven the children are taken on a tour of the cookery school. This is followed by a tasting workshop where shop bought bread is compared, usually unfavourably to their hand made rolls.

Mr Jones believes that the cookery school has a social responsibility to be involved in the local community as well as helping to identify the bakers of tomorrow.

Cooking Courses News

West Yorkshire School Hosts Cookery Courses

Students at Todmorden High School in West Yorkshire learnt about sustainable growing, food production and also attended cookery courses at a recent ‘Food for Life’ day.

The event was designed to teach students about a number of different issues relating to food in support of the schools aim to achieve a Food for Life Partnership gold award.

Those pupils that attended the cooking courses learnt how to press apples, how to make delicious homemade bread and how to prepare fantastic summer smoothies.

The high school’s catering manager, who demonstrated to the students how to prepare fresh pasta, explained that this was the second such event that the school has hosted. He also explained that the aim was to help students make the right food choices by explaining where it comes from, how it’s grown and how we cook it.

The event was also supported by local producer Staups Lea Farm. Staff from the farm attended with a number of animals.

The day included activities in a variety of different subjects.

Geography students studied the food sustainability in various different countries whilst mathematics students spent time looking into nutritional analysis.

History classes studied the way in which food production has evolved over a number of years while art students were given a food based design task.

Organisers acknowledged that the day had been a great success and were quick to thank the students and staff who were involved.

The school continues to work hard to achieve its aim of a gold award. It is currently investigating organic produce and plans to add organic options to its lunchtime menu.

For more information of the Food for Life scheme please visit

Cookery Courses London News

BakingMad cookery course and cook books up for grabs

How are your baking skills? Could do with a top up? Have one of those bread-makers at home that you bought, used once, couldn’t be doing with the mess, thought about putting it on e-bay but seen there are a thousand other budding bread chefs like you beat you to it? Yeah, I? know where you’re coming from.

Well, here’s a chance to put all of that right. In conjunction with BBC Good Food, we have news about the chance for you to win a half-day cookery course learning how to turn dough into bread, not an hour and three quarters in the oven for it to turn out D’oh! Instead.

Not only is it an intense cookery class in everything to do with baking but the winner of the competition will be under the expert tutelage of Channel 4’s Eric Lanlard, he of BakingMad With Eric Lanlard fame.

Of the many cookery courses on offer in London, this one is perhaps one of the most renowned. Obviously, with eyes on customers giving it star ratings given the media spotlight surrounding his Cake Boy cookery school in Battersea, you are guaranteed to come away with the knowledge Eric imparts as you stroll through some of his favourite recipes and patisseries as well as the inherent experience of what it must feel like to bake on television. For what that’s worth.

As well as the half-day cookery course, the competition winner will take home the staple branded apron, everything that you have baked during the course of the cookery class and a handy BakingMad gift bag in which you can put the recipes you also win as part of the prize.

In order to celebrate the show’s return to the TV screens earlier this month, Eric’s giving away a prize a week. There is also a freebie to claim on his site plus the opportunity to win an Allison’s herb Garden and a separate competition to win one of five cook books he currently has on offer. The question for the cook book is simple enough: What is the name of Eric Lanlard’s Baking Mad With television show called? It’s all going on over there, I tell you.

You do need to sign up to access the competitions, but you will get plenty of recipes in your inbox and there are many on the site, ranging from Almond Cheesecake to Brioche made in a bread maker. For the intuitive, there are enough recipes on there to start a cookery class of your own, but I didn’t say that…

Cookery Course News

Learn how to cook bread – a right pain

I apologise profusely in advance for the amount of buns puns that are going to be in this article, but learning how to cook bread just lends itself to giving the rise.

But, as this is a staple component of many a culture, from the Lord tempting the Israelites to cross the Desert of Sin en route to Sinai by raining down manna from heaven to the celebration of Holy Communion to this day with unleavened bread and the spiritual holiday of yeaster, this is a biblical side dish of much renown.

However, Leith’s School of Food & Wine, London, are offering a one-off cookery class this summer to learn how to cook bread in different styles from the continent, just in time to use your loaf on holiday and impress the locals with your knowledge of their local bread.

Unlike many cookery courses which require you to have a camper van full of equipment before you can even bread roll enrol, all that is required of the budding bread chef for this four and a half hour course is an apron and a notebook and you’re set – everything else is supplied.

The cookery class looks to pack in plenty of variety to enable you, once completed, to be able to perfect the art of bread-baking in several languages!

From a Gaelic fruit soda bread recipe to a base Italian offering which should be a pizza cake, you next move on to biga things as you experiment in French and further Italian textured breads to complete the European tour.

It’s not all hands-on; when you arrive there is coffee and pastries as you meet your fellow students, but after that you dough get a minute (yeah, you probably have to be from The Black Country to get that one) as you get stuck in to the lesson.

Each slice of the action will be in the form of a demo, then you get to have a go with the ingredients that are weighed out for you for each recipe – they really do supply all you knead.

Mid-lesson, there’s a breather when wine is served to go with the food that you’ve prepared up to that point, I guess to toast your success so far, and then it’s into the afternoon session to complete the cookery class.

Any food not consumed during the course of the lesson you’re free to take home with you if you couldn’t eat the whole meal, as well as a recipe booklet as a souvenir to help you replicate your expertise time and again just in case you don’t crust trust yourself to remember each lesson. If you’ve not bought anything to carry the surplus home, don’t worry; I’m sure Leith’s will baguette for you.

It’s a pitta, but I’ve not been on this cookery course; however, my naan reckoned that this essential lesson in cooking was, well, the best thing since sliced bread.

At time of writing, there were still places available; further details on Leith’s School of Food & Wine’s website.

Last updated on January 11, 2012