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Build and Bake

Learn how to build a cob oven and cook incredible food within it, during a day of practical and culinary craft at River Cottage.

Wood-fired ovens are an integral part of the River Cottage kitchen – and this hands-on course will show you how they can transform your home cooking too. On our one-day Build and Bake course, you will be guided through the process of building your own cob oven, and teach you how to use it for delicious results.

Be prepared to roll up your sleeves (and trouser legs) and get stuck in, as you’ll be working and moulding the cob to build an oven from scratch. You will also be making your own artisan bread and pizza dough, to bake in the River Cottage wood-fired oven at the end of the day. There will be plenty to savour along the way and beautiful views of the Devon countryside around River Cottage HQ.


- Learn how to build a cob oven from scratch

- Make and cook your own wood-fired pizza for lunch

- Make and bake a loaf of bread to take home with you

- Tuck into the tasters from an afternoon of wood-fired cookery

  • Build and Bake

    A great course and one I highly recommend. Excellent course, both staff members involved clearly knew what they were talking about and showed great patience with their students.

    Bill Attended 28 April 2023

    5.0 out of 5

Your day

10.00 - 17:00

  • Arrive at River Cottage

    Your River Cottage experience will begin with a 10-15 minute walk through the wonderful pathways down to the farm, enabling you to really soak up the views of the valley.

  • Make yourself at home

    You will meet your tutor and start the day with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.

  • Session one

    You'll begin by learning about the importance of material and the building techniques used to build a traditional cob oven.

  • Session two

    Next, get hands on and start to create the form for the oven, mix the cob to the right consistency and build your oven as a group.

  • Session three

    Next, you'll find out how to light your oven properly, discuss what wood to use and how best to get the temperature up ready for cooking.

  • Lunch

    Now it’ll be time to refuel with lunch, with a woodfired pizza you'll create yourself.

  • Session four

    After lunch your River Cottage Chef Tutor will guide you through making the most out of your cob oven with seasonal recipes and tasters as you go. You'll also have fun making a classic bread dough, shaping it into loaves and then baking it in the woodfired oven to take home with you.

  • Departure

    You’ll have time to marvel at the scent of freshly baked loaves, before heading back up the hill with your own delicious creation, still warm from the oven!

    Please note, you will not be taking the cob oven home with you.

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.

Stay in our famous Farmhouse, click here. For other local accommodation click here.

We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by a paying 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.

With many of our courses there are often treats and leftovers to take away with you. In our quest to be more sustainable we are encouraging guests to bring their own containers and bags to transport their produce home. Details of what is required for each course will be included in booking emails.

  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Food and Travel Magazine 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2018