In the Bakery

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Monday is one of my favourite days at college. We spend 6 hours in the bakery with Chef Courtis who was Richard Bertinet’s head chef in Bath for 5 years. She teaches Bertinet’s own special method of bread making; Westking and Bertinet’s Kitchen are the only places which teach this particular method.

It means that there is no vigorous kneading or slapping the dough around, neither is there any use of machines to mix the dough. The water content of these breads is quite high meaning the dough is harder to work with, but the kneading method helps and the resulting bread is moister than usual. (I was going to try and include a video of this, but when we’re in the bakery we’re supposed to be baking, not struggling to get the best angle for a video! But if you’re interested there’s a short video on the Bertinet Kitchen homepage which shows a small clip of the process.)

The bakery is a huge room with wooden work surfaces (Chef Courtis prefers using wood to any other surface) 4 ovens with steam functions, a prover, a laminator (don’t ask me what that’s for!) and a few other bits of equipment which we haven’t been introduced to yet.

So far in our classes we have been learning the simple stuff; a basic white dough recipe which we have made into fougasse, olive breadsticks and rolls.

 

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And the wonderful thing about baking on a Monday night is that we can bring in cheeses and cold meats the next day to eat with our bread at lunchtime :) #simplepleasures

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