Bread, Pizza, Baguette: Workshop

Bread workshop advert

Simple White Bread workshops are a great foundation to a whole world of other bread types, more ambitious variety and ingredients. Start here to develop your basic skill set. The session will be around 3 hours from start to finish.

two finished loaves, wholemeal and plain white flour

BREAD MAKING £45/pp for a full day workshop. Designed to de-mystify the essentialls of mixing, rising, forming and baking a successful simple 'white' loaf of bread at home. A hands-on, energetic and enlightening course that also discusses 'sourdough' and how to start, feed and grow your own starter culture from scratch. Philip is currently building low-gluten and gluten-free bread courses including variations on 'flatbreads' with European, Arabian and those of the Indian subcontinent too. Watch this space.

six inch mini loaf

Mini-loaf (6"/15cm) springs from a new pressed alloy 1/2lb/225g baking tin, made in Birmingham.

Philip getting bread out of the oven

autolyse at evas

loaf at Skewen Produce Fayre

Since moving in to Temperance Cottage in 2010, Philip has begun an exploration of personal priorities.

Wholefood, particularly bread has become a focus.

"I try not to take anything for granted. From waking up in the morning to shelter, food, security, freedom of expression and creativity. All of this can disappear from our lives in a second, so there is no reason not to deconstruct and question everything. Apart from anything else, there is such incredible personal reward, engagement and benefit from having a go at making, baking, building, planting, watching, recording, speaking and sharing. Hands on engagement, reflection, adaption and conversation are absolutely key to mental health. Getting in touch not just with the rhythm of days, months and seasons, but with the inner self, the phenomenal interior universe of our personal bacteriological, intestinal and CNS relationship with food. Our nourishment, balance and subsequent behaviour is just too rewarding a feeling once noticed, to be cynically rejected. Then an equally important aspect of relationships, the dialogue that we need with others"

Bread, Bothy building and chairs then, are his prime motivators.

"Bread making really does charm away anxiety in life. It has taken me two and a half years to get to a stage of genuine fluidity with the process. It really is a relationship in its own right. It is not just a 'one-off' mechanical technique to be mastered, like driving a car. As time passes, you breathe and sleep with the process which is the nurturing of a real living thing. Possibly on a quantum level a sentient being. Bread making is a partner to be encouraged, understood and be empathic with. It is a suitable pre-occupation for those of a patient, even forgetful disposition. Whether you leave your ferment 'do its thing' for 20 minutes or 48 hours is no bad thing. Lots of things happen the day before a bake. Things late at night in preparation. The excitement on waking up and the climb downstairs to see how the yeast has worked its magic. Or a glance across to see how it is doing if you're sharing your sleeping space with the dough! Anticipation. Then the physical engagement of stretch and fold, the aerobic workout of 'slap and fold', the joy of picking up from an extended resting period. They are very genuinely sensual things. I urge you to discover them. The textures, the smells, the sensationalism of bread making. Bakers and brewers, the sourdough community know this bigger picture. It is to be cherished, savoured and shared. What I'm able to offer is what all teachers offer. The condensing. The offer of several years of personal discovery and understanding, condensed into a single or a couple of days. It will 'jump-start' your curiosity, galvanise ambition, revolutionise your life experience, demystify and affirm. With a healthy portion of encouragement, positivity and enthusiasm." Your workshop starts here! Sign up and drop-in!

picture link to blog

group at Skewen Produce Fayre

Successful workshop at Skewen Produce Fayre. The last Sunday of each month. Next one: tbc

sliced white bread

Sliced white/wholemeal mixed bread presentation at a wedding reception, Cafe Chameleon, Ystradgynlais. The gift of food! Great results less than 24 hours after an afternoon workshop with some very keen students!

loaf in a basket to take home

Successful full-tin simple white loaf cooling in a vintage African wicker basket. The hour and a half wait until the slicing can begin! Always a pleasure to see the surprise on students' faces when the final result comes out of the oven. SKEWEN PRODUCE FAYRE workshop, the last Sunday of every month...

loaf in a basket to take home

Great feedback from former students Rebeckah Griffiths and Larry Davies at the July Skewen Produce Fayre, 2019. The power of social media!

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© Philip Cumpstone 2023

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