Friday 8 March 2013

Foodie Friday: Give us this day our daily bread

Focaccia, Wholemeal rolls, ciabatta & Cobb loaves laid out on a wooden chest I am grateful to Penny Smith for a few things:

1. The yoga dvd she made with Howard Napper that I do when I can't get to a class with him
2. Her lovely, supportive tone when I called her radio show to talk about adoption
3. She dropped out of a bread class with Daniel Stevens last weekend which meant I got to go instead 

teacups and saucers, water jugs and plastic drinking cups
Now aside from my Penny love I now have total Daniel love. I did have a moment there where I expected Matthew from Downton Abbey to be teaching us, until I realised that it wasn't *that* Dan Stevens. This one is a chef and his pedigree is from River Cottage and he is now based in South London.

Daniel's Cookhouse runs a classic bread class that is a full day and begins with coffee / tea in the most amazing kitchen in Wandsworth and ends with a delicious meal and lots of wine and teeny tiny doughnuts that we filled with jam ourselves. If you like food and you enjoy preparing it this is a great day for you.

During the day we made Ciabatta (harder than I thought), focaccia (easier than I thought), wholemeal seeded rolls (a faff, but delicious) and a cobb loaf (still in the freezer, can't comment yet). The morning was spent kneading which takes longer than I realised and explains why my homemade bread has a tendency to be a bit on the stodgy side. We took it in turns and when we got tired Daniel took over and showed us how to do it properly. We learned how to check it was ready, the answer is always "not yet, keep going."

yellow bowl with flour, yeast and bottle of olive oil on counteryoghurt dip and homemade houmous in gorgeous plates

Daniel showed us how to turn some of the dough into crispy and delicious flatbreads, we made some houmous and mint yoghurt and had a snack break with a glass of wine before making our cobb loaves. The last thing we made was the doughnuts I mentioned before and I don't even like jam doughnuts, but I was all over these sugar coated little beauties !!. It's a pretty full day with a lot to do, but it's very well organised and the learning is balanced out with some good old fashioned graft. 

mini jam doughnuts in a fish shaped dish fish stew on a table laid with pink napkins

At the start of the day Daniel told us we'd fall in love with the dough scraper and all want to get one and I have to admit I had no idea how useful that small bit of blue plastic was going to prove to be. I did indeed get one to take home as well as a kilo of flour and more bread than the three of us could eat so I filled the freezer and we've been working our way through it all week. 

me and Daniel Stevens posing I've never done a 'cookery course' before and this was a gift from Hubbie which I'd basically told him I wanted. We looked at the Waitrose cookery school classes before Christmas, but didn't book anything as they are in North London, are very expensive and as far as I can tell you don't get a fabulous meal (with wine) at the end.

I left early on Sunday morning leaving Hubbie and the boy to their own devices and returned in the evening with a bag full of bread and a very full tummy.

If you fancy learning about bread and having a fun day with some delicious food this is definitely worth a go. If you can get it as a present, even better !!

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