Learn the ins and outs of truly great bread, with a day of mixing, kneading, baking and eating at the River Cottage Cookery School.
Home-baked bread always tastes better – and we’ll prove it. On this fun, educational one-day cookery course, our River Cottage chefs will inspire you to rise to the occasion, abandon ready-sliced loaves and discover a world of delicious fresh bread baked at home.
We’ll teach you our basic bread recipe and show you how it can be adapted in many different ways, giving you the confidence to become master of your own bakery. You’ll also explore international breads such as focaccia and roti, make wood-fired pizza for lunch and create your own wild yeast starter, for fabulous sourdough.
Find out how Eleanor from the Western Morning News got on when she joined us for a Bread Making course.
“A fantastic day out that far exceeded my already high expectations. I am well and truly a real bread convert now.” – Jen, My Make Do and Mend Year
"From start to finish the day was packed with information, demonstrations and our own bread making all carefully guided and supervised by the extraordinary Aiden Chapman - a dynamic and charismatic master baker." Purplepixie48, Trip Advisor
09:30 - 17:00
Arrive at River Cottage
You’ll be met at the top of the hill and transported to River Cottage HQ by tractor and trailer.
Make yourself at home
You will meet your hosts and start the day with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.
To begin, we cover the basics – looking at the ingredients, learning the differences between flours and yeasts, and measuring and mixing a great bread dough.
Practical session one
You’ll have a go at kneading your own dough, which you will leave to prove as we break for coffee.
Practical session two
You’ll learn to ‘knock back’ your dough, then create focaccia and pizza to cook in our traditional wood-fired oven.
Practical session three
Once your dough has proved, you’ll master the art of shaping and baking your loaf to perfection.
We’ll take a break for lunch, which will include your homemade pizzas and other local, seasonal produce.
Here you will learn to make an unleavened frying pan bread, such as flatbread, roti, tortilla or socca (a French chickpea pancake).
Practical session four
Next there will be a quick lesson in rustling up the perfect speedy teatime loaf, soda bread.
You will create your own wild yeast starter to take home, and learn how to use it to make a distinctively chewy, tangy loaf of sourdough bread.
By now you will be probably be bursting with questions, so this will be your opportunity to take away some expert tips for bread success at home.
There will be time to chat to your fellow scholars and the River Cottage team, before being whisked back up the hill by our tractor and trailer.
Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.
On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.
This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.
We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.
If you need local accommodation we have a full list available.
We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.
Sorry, we’re afraid this course is not suitable for those with coeliac disease or wheat intolerances. However we do run Gluten Free Cookery courses.
- Sustainable Restaurant Association
- Food Reader Awards 2014
- The British Cookery School Awards 2014
- Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2015 Gold