A Taste of the Past

Historical and Traditional Cookery

Day-long Cookery Courses: Basic Bread Making | Further Adventures in Bread | Jam and Curd | Basic Baking | Sour Dough and Sponges | Fancy Breads | Mediterranean Breads
Evening Cookery Club: Christmas Treats
Other Services: Talks and Demonstrations | Recipes for Forty Hall | Catering

Further Adventures in Bread


If you have mastered the basics of bread making and fallen in love with your new hobby, or have tried something interesting at the market and want to try and re-create it, or you have never made a loaf of bread before but are always up for a new challenge, then this is the course for you.

We will be looking at three different bread making methods on this course: a slow rise, real French baguette, an English style sourdough and flat breads cooked on a hotplate.

Baguettes are synonymous with France: the smell of fresh bread early every morning, the lovely crisp crust and soft, fluffy centre. Although French bakers use something called the Vienna method to make their famous baguettes (this involves injecting steam during the cooking the process to give it its characteristic crunch) it is possible to make something very similar at home. In fact, I would go so far as to say that a home made baguette has a superior flavour, better keeping properties (it will be chewy after a day but not inedible) and is much more bread rather than fresh air in the middle. Baguettes are made with a very wet dough which makes it hard to handle, but we will add the water slowly and work towards full hydration suggested in the recipe. The important aim is make a bread that you can recreate at home without professional bakery equipment.

Sour dough is basically a method of preserving yeast. In a time before fridges, mechanised yeast production, easy transportation and celebrity chefs there were bakers, cooks and housewives all over the country who were using sough dough methods to raise their bread. We will use a rye starter mixed with white, wheat flour to make our loaf of bread. There will be enough starter for you to take home and use again and again. Along the way we will discuss some of the ideas about sourdough loaves and lunch will be accompanied by different recipes from different countries that highlight that not all sourdough is the same in appearance or flavour.

Lastly we will make flat breads, cooking them on a hotplate. This is probably the oldest method of cooking bread; it is depicted in Egyptian tombs and is still the national bread of modern Egypt. I will bring along some different herbs and spices, cheese etc. so we can experiment with making filled flat breads as well. This method of cooking is a lot of fun, lends itself to cooking in virtually any situation and it is a mush cheaper way of cooking bread than having to heat up a whole oven.

The cost of the course includes all your baking ingredients, course notes, equipment and lunch. You will also take home all the bread that you have made.

Betty's sour dough bread
Betty's sour dough bread

Booking and Other Information

To find out more information about any of the courses or catering on offer please call Claire Passaris on 07999 871 053.

To book a course please send a booking form and cheque to Claire Passaris, A Taste of the Past, 80 Orpin Road, Merstham, Redhill, Surrey. RH1 3EY. I do require payment in full at the time of booking as I have to pay for everything before the course. However I will not cash your cheques until I have enough people to run the course. Please give me your e-mail address or mobile phone number and I will send you a message a couple of days before I cash your cheque. I will also use it to tell you of any changes to the course details.