A much-kneaded hands-on lesson in bread-making
Getting your hands floury at a bakery school
‘Ev Eryone gets Excited about the doughnuts, but we do some pretty good loaves too,’ says Matt Jones, who has his hands deep in a bowl of flour. the founder of Bread Ahead, the bakery that opened in London’s Borough Market in 2013, is being modest. the dough nuts are raved about: not a weekend goes by without someone instagramming a sugar y trayful oozing salted-caramel cream and hunks of honeycomb, or raspberry jam, or custard. they are the creation of head baker Justin gellatly (of st John-restaurant fame, where he worked for 13 years ), and his bread s–now they really are cracking. We’re talking sour dough with ac rust that– especially in the case of the dark, scorched r ye version – is thick, sweet-sour and ferociously moreish.
the secrets to Bread Ahead’s slow-fermented loaves, as well as its pillowy italian focaccias and even those dough- nuts, are disclosed during classes at its Bakery school, which Jones and gellatly opened in 2014, with bases in Borough and, as of the start of this year, chelsea. With deft movements, Jones demonstrate show to coaxfo ca ccia dough( which, with its high water content, is so wet and sticky that at home one would be sorely tempted to add a little more flour) into a glossy, malleable mass.
Heaving handfuls into the air and thwacking them down on to the worktop, i can see the transformation of my own dough in a matter of minutes. As ciabatta and rosemary-flecked grissini joint hefo ca cc iain the oven, Jones ex pounds the proving process, flourto-water ratio sand kneading knowhow–then sends us off with some exceedingly good loaves. breadahead.com
The Bread Ahead Bakery
School’s classes – which cover everything from Middle eastern flatbreads to new york bagels and pretzels – take place in half-day and full-day sessions at borough Market, london se1, and Pavilion road, london sw1; from £80 per person