Olive oil bread making


The Simple Things - - LIFE SKILLS - By LOUISE GORROD You can find out more about up-and-com­ing work­shops at stone­ham­bake­house.org.uk

IT’S A SUNNY MONDAY morn­ing and I’m in a light and bright café, to master the art of bak­ing olive oil breads. The course is run by Si­mon, founder of Stone­ham Bake­house, a com­mu­nity-sup­ported bak­ery in the Poets Cor­ner area of Hove. There are six of us on the work­shop, all will­ing, ea­ger and at the novice end of the scale when it comes to bread-making.

First we make a batch of dough from which we make grissini and fougasse breads, learn­ing use­ful tips along the way such as the im­por­tance of mea­sur­ing with dig­i­tal scales for pre­ci­sion. Once we’re all own­ers of balls of dough, we set them aside to prove for about an hour (they can also be left overnight for quick fresh bread in the morn­ing). Si­mon then pro­duces a large tub of his ex­pertly proven dough, and divvies it out. This is for our fo­cac­cia, which we make our own with var­i­ous herbs from his al­lot­ment. Fo­cac­cias ready to bake, we re­turn to our orig­i­nal dough, now risen enough for us to start shap­ing fougasse bread and rolling out grissini.

It’s a pro­duc­tive morn­ing and time flies. Af­ter test­ing a grissini or three, we pack our goods away along with recipe sheets. One of the main things I left with was con­fi­dence and the next day I made fougasse breads for my son’s lunch­box. Since I went on the course, Stone­ham Bake­house now have their own premises thanks to a hugely suc­cess­ful crowd­fund­ing scheme, which means more ev­ery­day and spe­cial­ity bread work­shops.

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