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Christmas Bread and Baking

Forget shop-bought loaves and bake up a storm this Christmas, join us for a day at River Cottage on this most festive of baking courses.

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 Christmas brioche, Boxing Day focaccia and a sage, onion and chestnut loaf as well as grissini and Lebkuchen, the German gingerbread. With the beautiful Devon countryside right outside the window, this most festive of baking courses is the perfect way to warm up for the coming season.

Your day

09:30 - 17:00

  • Arrive at River Cottage

    You’ll be met at the top of the hill at 9.30 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 begin the day with getting your Christmas brioche under way and you’ll learn about the baking journey.

  • Session two

    You’ll learn the basics, get to know the ingredients, learn about the differences between flours and yeasts, and get to grips with your sage, onion and chestnut loaf.

  • Session three

    Next we will be mastering grissini, beautifully flavoured, and served with seasonal dips from the kitchen.

  • Session four

    We’ll prepare a focaccia and learn about this delicious style of sharing bread, perfect for your Boxing Day guests.

  • Lunch

    You’ll refuel with a hearty lunch of local, seasonal fare prepared by the River Cottage chefs, with optional sprouts!

  • Session five

    After lunch we’ll get stuck into making Lebkuchen a lovely German gingerbread for nibbling over the festive season.

  • Teatime

    After all your hard work, you’ll sit down to sample your own freshly baked brioche with homemade River Cottage jam.

  • 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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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.

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 and Travel Magazine 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2018