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Christmas Bread and Baking

from £195.00

Forget shop-bought loaves and bake up a storm this Christmas, with a day of festive baking at the River Cottage Cookery School.

Deck the halls with the scent of freshly-baked bread, after mastering new recipes on our Christmas Bread and Baking course. Led by River Cottage bread experts, the one-day experience will get you into the Christmas spirit and send you home with skills to impress friends, family – and maybe even Santa Claus.

We will explain the principles of baking, inspiring you to abandon shop-bought loaves for a world of delicious real artisan bread. The festive menu will include chestnut and walnut loaf, cranberry and yoghurt sourdough, Guinness and apple soda bread and Christmas mincemeat doughnuts, as well as flatbreads and wood-fired pizzas for lunch. With the beautiful Devon countryside right outside the window, it’s the perfect way to warm up for the festive season.

Your day

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 host, and start the day with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.

  • Session one

    We will demonstrate the art of sourdough bread, and you will get a fabulously festive cranberry and yoghurt sourdough underway.

  • Session two

    First off, the basics. You’ll talk about ingredients, learn the differences between flours and yeasts, and start measuring and mixing your dough as Aidan prepares pizza and flatbread dough for later.

  • Session three

    You’ll have a go at making and kneading your own Christmassy chestnut and walnut dough, which you’ll return to during the day as it proves.

  • Session four

    The next lesson will be versatile flatbreads, made in a frying pan and served with a seasonal twist.

  • Session five

    You’ll learn to create focaccia, a sharing bread perfect for experimenting with different toppings.

  • Session six

    Next you’ll top your pizzas with seasonal ingredients and cook them to perfection in our wood-fired oven.

  • Lunch

    You’ll refuel with a hearty lunch, including your homemade pizzas and local, seasonal fare prepared by the River Cottage chefs.

  • Session seven

    We will show you how to make doughnut dough, leaving it to prove before being fried up at teatime.

  • Session eight

    Next you’ll learn how to make the perfect speedy teatime loaf, Guinness and apple soda bread.

  • Tea break

    You’ll finish the day by rustling up your Christmas mincemeat doughnuts, and eating them warm with a scoop of ice cream on the side.

  • Q&A

    By now you will be probably be bursting with questions, so this will be your opportunity to take away some expert advice for festive baking at home.

  • Departure

    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, Christmas bakes in hand.

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.

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All prices include VAT.

Further information...

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.

  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Food Reader Awards 2014
  • The British Cookery School Awards 2014
  • Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2015 Gold