Learning to Make Bread

Bread Making Course Cookery School

I’ve always pictured myself as one of those people who spends Sunday afternoons making fantastic loaves of bread for the family to enjoy. Or who produces a wonderful sharing loaf for a dinner party. However, I have yet to actually make a loaf of bread and I know I wouldn’t make it through Bread Week if I did Bake Off. Cake and biscuits I can do. Bread I have no experience of baking at all. Until now…

A good friend bought me a voucher to spend at the Lemon and Soul Cookery School and I chose the bread making masterclass (and splashed out the extra so Tom could come along too).

Bowl of flour with work bench in background
A messy bench is a happy bread?!

We made a great selection of breads: Cinnamon Wasps Nests, Carrot and Poppy Seed Wholemeal Buns, Kaiser Rolls and Pitta Bread. There was lots of kneading and proving and kneading and proving but we had a great time!

Cinnamon Wasps Nests

These are sweet cinnamon buns and were the first dough we made. They were delicious little buns, though cinnamon isn’t my favourite so Tom will probably be forced to eat them all (what a shame!)

Bowl of flour ad trays of cinnamon butter
Trays of filling waiting for the cinnamon rolls

Somehow in all the fun I forgot to get a picture of the cinnamon buns!

Carrot and Poppy Seed Wholemeal Buns

These were my favourite of the lot. Little perfect vegetable rolls. We had ours with some butternut squash soup for tea and they were perfect. I will definitely be making these again in the future!

A carrot and poppy seed roll being held in two hands
Tom shows off his perfectly round little roll
A selection of different shaped rolls
We learned lots of different shapes

Kaiser Rolls

These are white bread rolls with a small amount of honey or malt for flavour. The dough was really good for shaping the rolls and the taste was lovely. I would make these again for a lunch or rolls to have with a meal.

A knotted plait dough roll and some round rolls ready for second prove
Shaped dough in plaits and round roll shapes
A Selection of Kaiser rolls in different shapes
A selection of the shapes we made. Tom was very proud of his small plaits.

Pitta Breads

This was a very simple dough and easy to make and shape. We would like to make this as mini pizzas next time as Katarina suggested that was popular in her family!

Pitta breads in a green bag
Our pitta breads nestling in our bag to take them home!

We really enjoyed our bread making course, and we will definitely use the recipes again. As we go into the winter we’re planning to make soups for lunches to take to work and the carrot and wholemeal rolls will be perfect to go with them. A happy Sunday afternoon can be spent making soup and rolls for the week ahead!

If you’re in or near Southampton then I really recommend the Lemon and Soul cookery school. Do look them up and learn something new!

Kaiser rolls and man wearing branded apron
Tom proudly shows off our final bakes and his stylish apron we got to wear during the class!

Sloe Gin (to Pimp my Prosecco)

Four bottles to add to Prosecco: Creme de Framboise, Elderflower Cordial, Pomegranate & Elderflower Cordial, Charlotte's Homemade Sloe Gin,

It really started to feel like Autumn in the last few days (August has been a washout here in the UK to be honest) but Autumn is probably my favourite season. Something about the leaves and the weather turning makes me feel at home, and I love the move towards cosy winter nights in and crisp walks in the Autumn sunshine.

One of the best things about Autumn is that it’s sloe gin season! I hope to be able to get out there in the next few weeks and get some sloes to make some more sloe gin. We haven’t managed it the last couple of years what with weddings, and then being away last year.

Four bottles to add to Prosecco: Creme de Framboise, Elderflower Cordial, Pomegranate & Elderflower Cordial, Charlotte's Homemade Sloe Gin,
Pimp my Prosecco!

For our Autumn wedding we made our own sloe gin the year before and used it, with other shop-bought treats, to make a ‘Pimp my Prosecco’ bar. This went down incredibly well with certain guests. My sister claims to have tried all of the flavours and I think managed five proseccos during the drinks and photos!!

If I manage to get out and pick some sloes this Autumn I will take some photos and post the recipe!

Waitrose Summer Festival

Two signed Martha Collison cookbooks and a Waitrose Summer Festival tote bag

Being in Southampton has its perks, one of which is being so close to the wonderful Hampshire countryside. This came into its own this year as the in-laws alerted us to the Waitrose Summer Festival at Leckford and suggested we get tickets. Tom was dispatched to organise this and he duly did. What a wonderful day!

There were lots of stalls with delicious things to try. We especially liked some lemon shortbread biscuits dipped in white chocolate and several of the tasty cheeses on offer. The best food of the day went to the chicken katsu burger we had for lunch. The queue was massive but my goodness it was worth it. Not least because I left Tom in the queue to collect the food while I went off to see Martha Collison’s Q&A!

I got to meet Martha afterwards in the book tent and she kindly signed my copy of Twist (well-used already as I’ve made several of the recipes and may well blog them later). Tom also bought me a copy of her new book, Crave, which I also got signed, but I can’t have that until Christmas – I’m told it was dispatched to Santa already!

Two signed Martha Collison cookbooks and a Waitrose Summer Festival tote bag
Signed Cookbooks!

I told Martha I was really pleased to meet her as I had tweeted her a couple of times when I made the Mont Blanc and the Peach and Pomegranate Pavlova from Twist and she had retweeted them. Hopefully my fangirl enthusiasm didn’t scare her too much!

Later we went to her baking demonstration where she made some fabulous looking cupcakes in ice-cream cones with a marshmallowy topping. A recipe to try out next time I have a willing crowd of people to eat them I think!

Martha Collison doing a cooking demonstration piping icing onto cupcakes that look like ice creams
Martha demonstrates her ice cream cupcakes