An artisan baker is defined as “a craftsperson who is trained to the highest skill level to, mix, ferment, shape and bake a hand crafted loaf of bread”. And at Brasserie Bread, the artisan bakery and café in Sydney’s Banksmeadow, they know their craft.
Matthew Brock, Brasserie Bread Training Manager
The Artisan Baking with Seeds and Grains Workshop is a three hour hands-on class where participants learn how to make a seeded loaf, shape baguettes and dinner rolls. The workshop includes a tour of Brasserie Bread’s fully operational bakery and ends with a tasting of the various types of organic breads with complimentary wine and cheese.
1. Multigrain Struan
The first part of the class involves making a loaf of Multigrain Struan, a technique simply described as bringing together a soaker, biga and a selection of grains.
Biga is old fermented dough, made from wholemeal flour and yeast. It is made by mixing 112g of the bread flour mix (40% Kialla organic stone-ground wholemeal flour, 40% Manildra bakers meal and 20% organic unbleached plain flour), with 1 gram of fresh yeast and approximately 85 grams of water at 21oC.
The ingredients are mixed together to form a dough ball. They are kneaded for 2 minutes, allowed to rest for 5 minutes then kneaded again for 1 minute. The mixture is covered and refrigerated for 8-12 hours.
Top to bottom: Bread flour mix, soaker, biga, fresh yeast, extra virgin olive oil and agave nectar
The soaker is made from 30g of bread flour mix, 85g of grains consisting of soaked sunflower seeds, linseeds, boiled grains and rolled oats, 2g of river salt and 85g of milk.
The other ingredients include 7g of fresh yeast, salt and agave nectar in extra virgin olive oil to impart flavour and fat.
Prepared dough bulk fermenting
To make the final dough, Biga is chopped into 6 small pieces and lightly dusted with flour. The rest of the elements are combined and worked together for 5- minutes. This is a very sticky dough at this stage and it’s important to work the dough by hand and not keep adding flour.
The dough is rested for 5 minutes then kneaded again for 1 minute to strengthen the gluten before it is placed in a bowl, covered and left to bulk ferment for 45 minutes.
Shaping into rolls
Once the dough is ready, it is shaped into a boule and rolled into rolled oats with wholemeal flour and left to proof for 45-60 minutes in a hairnet covered container that will give it its shape. A sharp blade is used to slash the dough before it is baked at 220oC, with an injection of steam for 2-3 seconds before turning down the heat to 180cC and baking for 40-50 minutes.
Rolls baking in the oven
Baked Multigrain Struan bread
2. Shaping multigrain bread rolls
The second part of the workshop involves more handy work where a piece of prepared dough is shaped into 6 bread rolls.
The dough is divided into 6 equal pieces and worked with a little dusting of flour. It is manipulated into a square then each corner of the dough is brought to the centre like a pork bun.
The ball is flipped, then pressed down onto the bench and rolled into a boule that holds its shape. This is a technique that requires a little practice and with time, you get the feel of when the dough will start to lift off the bench and come together into the right shape.
3. Rolling Baguettes à l’ancienne and Pain d’epi
The next hands-on part of the workshop involves turning a piece of dough into a beautiful traditional organic French baguette. Baguette à l’ancienne means it is made according to the old-fashioned manner.
Working the dough
The dough is divided into two equal parts, stretched and rolled and its edged tucked in.
The dough is then pinched and brought together into a seam, which forms the weakest part.
The second baguette is turned into a pain d’epi, or Wheat Stalk Bread. It is then rolled into a mixture of fennel, sesame, nigella and poppy seeds.
Pain d’epi is shaped using scissors. A cut is made, and a piece of dough (still attached) is turned to its side forming the traditional wheat stalk bread shape.
The baguette is scored with a sharp scalpel. The bread rolls prepared earlier are given a light dusting of flour before small incisions are made in the top to give them a little shape.
The end result is seen in the photo above: my first baguette, six (almost) identical bread rolls and a pain d’epi I can call my own.
4. Photo Tour of the Brasserie Bread Bakery
While the bread is baking, the group is taken on a tour of the bakery while it is in full operation.
Bread going into stone oven
Garlic bread just out of the oven
Dough mixing machines
Clockwise from top: piped pastries, pain au chocolat in the making, croissants left to dry before they are turned into almond croissants the next day, schiacciata or flattened Italian bread.
In the dough room
Dough left to proof
Shaped dough left to rise
Bread to be distributed to customers
Sourdough for Qantas
Garlic bread dried by fan
Brasserie Bread’s signature garlic bread
The class ends with a degustation of the different types of Brasserie Breads, with a selection of cheeses, Pepe Saya butter and taramasalata. A glass of red or wine wine accompanies the tasting.
Fromage des Clarines studded with garlic and thyme, topped with a little white wine and baked in the oven
Selection of loaves from Brasserie Bread on taste
More Brasserie Bread on taste
The Seeds and Grains Artisan Baking Workshop is a fun and informative class that runs for three hours. Class size is kept to a maximum of 10 students which ensures hands-on tuition and many opportunities to learn and ask questions. Much like the popular Kids Baking Class, the pace is relaxed and caters for novices as well as those with a little more experience. Matthew Brock ‘s instruction is interactive and professional, making everyone feel at ease with their dough.
The workshop is well-suited to anyone with an interest in bread making, whether it is for an individual, a group of friends or a team bonding exercise. Brasserie Bread run workshops and courses on a regular basis with more information available on their website.
Gourmantic attended the Seeds and Grains Artisan Baking Workshop on Tuesday 30 August 2011 as a media guest of Brasserie Bread. She is no longer afraid of bread making and sticky dough.
Brasserie Bread and Bakery Café
1737 Botany Rd
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