30 October 2013

Breadmaking the Italian Way



On Saturday I went to Edinburgh with Cakeyboi aka Stuart to review lunch at A Room in the West End (scroll down for the review) and to attend a breadmaking course at Bellini Cookery School in Edinburgh.

The course was kindly set up for us by lovemycourse, a website that offers over 62 thousand courses across the UK.




We picked a breadmaking course, but there are all sorts of courses. Photography, art & crafts, beauty, computer software, creative writing and web design, to name but a few. You can also set up your own courses and add them to the site. A good idea if you are thinking about setting up your own business.

We got there in plenty of time, people who know me may question this, but we did. We had a browse at the other independent shops on the street and a lady approached us to ask if we were there for her pumpkin carving course as we were looking in her shop window. It sounded fun, but we had other plans so we declined.

Bellini Cookery School is part of Gino's Italian Kitchen, a small cafe that sells homemade Italian food. It is owned by Gina Giubarelli and Chef Angelo Cimini. Chef Angelo is up early every morning cooking and baking for the cafe.

Gina introduced us to the cookery school and told us a bit about Chef Angelo's background before we got started. Chef Angelo was quiet to begin with, but as soon as he started baking his Italian passion for food came to the fore. 

We all started off the the same basic recipe, but each of us decided if we wanted to make a white or brown bread, then we decided if we would flavour our dough. 

On a recommendation from Chef Angelo, I made a brown bread filled with walnuts, raisins and lemon peel, which is a great pairing with blue cheese.

Chef Angelo only uses extra virgin olive oil, his family grew their own olives and the extra virgin olive oil was plentiful, so they used it for everything and he has carried on the tradition.


First we (Cakeyboi demonstrates) rubbed the olive oil into the 00 flour.

  
Next we added our extra ingredients and salt and tossed through the flour.

Then we made a well in the centre of our flour and poured in our fresh yeast dissolved in some warm water. Next we pulled it altogether into a dough, then we kneaded the dough until it was elastic. It was then popped back into our bowls, covered with clingfilm and left to prove in a warm spot above the oven. Once it had proved we shaped the dough and baked it until it was crisp and golden.

Here is a couple of wee videos of Chef Angelo kneading the dough and then finishing of some focaccia. I always think it is interesting to watch how it is done. There are so many techniques.





.....  and a few photos from our class.



Cinnamon was a popular addition in the class. I made small cinnamon rolls too, however Chef Angelo hated the cinnamon, it made him sneeze dreadfully, although he kindly left the room for that.

Cakeyboi

Some of the bread we made.




Tapping the base & listening for that hollow sound, which indicates it's ready.



We really enjoyed our class. There was only 6 of us in the group, so we really got individual help and in between baking we learned some knife skills and made the most amazingly tasty bruschetta.

Highly recommended!

 


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The course was arranged and paid for by lovemycourse. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed were my own.

12 comments:

  1. What a lovely variety of breads! Really nice to have the videos to look at too! We eat a lot of great bread here in Pisa but most of it we buy from the bakery. This has inspired me to have a go myself now though!

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    1. It's so easy, you just really need the time to leave it to prove. The walnut and raisin bread was amazing.

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  2. Hi Jac, gorgeous post. I love these pics and I'm so impressed that you got such well timed ones! Looks like a really fun session xxx

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  3. My kind of course. I would love to try the bread with the walnuts in it.

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    1. It was lovely. Even my walnut-hating husband thought it was wonderful!

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  4. Lovely post Jac. I can just imagine those lovely smells. I'm going to make cornbread today.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. Do you know I have never made or eaten cornbread! Maybe it's something I need to try.

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  5. Fab postJac! I enjoyed watching the videos too, classes like this when you have individual attention and learn loads of different varieties of bread using similar dough are brilliant. :)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the videos Michelle, it was a great class.

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  6. I think I need to go on a course like this to conquer my yeast fears!

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    1. You'll enjoy it CC and nothing to be scared of.

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x