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Winter Sourdough Week

November 26, 2018 - December 1, 2018

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Vanessa Kimbell

The Sourdough School

The winter Sourdough Week is one of our favourite courses. It’s cinnamon butter, sourdough toast, frosty mornings, woolly hats, blustery walks, pots of tea and the excitement of getting gifts ready for family and friends as Christmas approaches.

The workshop will be run by The Sourdough School founder and sourdough specialist Vanessa Kimbell and amongst the aim is to give sourdough bakers an in-depth understanding of the principles of sourdough, of flour, digestibility, gluten, hydration and of shaping loaves with a festive feel.

You will learn to make:

  • Italian Panettone
  • French Ambient sweet light open crumb batards
  • Russian rye bread
  • Cultured butter
  • Nordic Spiced buttermilk
  • Fresh cranberry mincemeat Galette with cultured cinnamon cream
  • Wholemeal Chapatti dough
  • Pistachio & Saffron Pain De Mie

All the principles of baking sourdough and making Panettone are included in this course.


  • Learning about how to get a beautiful open crumb sourdough loaf.
  • How to refresh a both a 100% hydrated starter and a Lievito Madre
  • Starter maintenance
  • Learning about versatility and purpose of different leavens
  • Understanding each step of the process
  • You will find a rhythm – and plan your baking schedule
  • Flavour – demystifying how to control the sourness of your sourdough
  • Milling our own flour
  • Learn about mixing and kneading techniques
  • Looking at the role of salt and how this affects the rise
  • Understanding how water and various hydration levels affect your bread
  • We will look at the role flour has on the finished bread in detail
  • Make sure that you really understand the point at which the bread is proved
  • There is a combination of both hands on baking and some demonstrations so you will be involved in every aspect of mixing, shaping and proving sourdough, through to the bake and we will be looking at the details that really make the difference.
  • Discovering why sourdough is particularly nutritious and digestible

Whist the teaching will centre on every aspect of sourdough bread and Panettone, there will still be time to savour your bread, to relax, to breathe deeply and just lose yourself in the delicately-spiced, festive sweetness of long, slow fermentation and in the beauty of winter in our rural Northamptonshire setting. We will try to incorporate a walk into each day’s schedule, weather permitting.

  • You will have some free time, and with the opportunity to walk, cycle, visit the local pubs, or pop in the local cheese mongers and bakery.
  • The course aim is to give you the confidence and know-how to bake your own homemade, artisan, sourdough loaves.
  • It will be a fun week, full of information, demonstrations and baking.
  • All participants will receive a certificate of attendance. Once you have booked a full schedule will be sent to you.

What is included:
You will only need to bring a few essentials, your favourite apron, and a large basket to take your bread home in, your bakes and several other bits and pieces home with you. International students please allow space in your luggage to take many items back with you. Bring shoes to walk in and something warm to wear and a flask – we will fill it with hot tea. If you want to cycle then please bring something appropriate to wear – the route is some tarmac and a well-used track, but it can be muddy in places.

Everything else is provided – we will be eating sourdough, local cheeses and simple, delicious homemade food for lunch, and enjoying a glass of award-winning wine from the local vineyard or our own sourdough beer.

Full course notes will be provided.

Please note that we are also mindful that some people want to avoid alcohol, and we have a separate table available, that is still very sociable to eat at.

What is not included:
Students are responsible for their own accommodation and transport to and from the classes.


November 26, 2018
December 1, 2018
Event Category:


The Sourdough School
+44 (0)7813 308301


The Sourdough School
Pitsford, Northampton NN6 9AU United Kingdom + Google Map
+44 (0)7813 308301