Monday, March 18, 2013

A different Sunday.

A couple of weeks ago husband informed me that some cooking classes would soon be held in the local pizzeria La Strana Coppia. I was so happy something like that was happening close to our place, that I started spreading the news among colleagues I thought would be interested, and called for info.
So a colleague and I decided to go to the first class on bread making, held yesterday. Unfortunately husband couldn't join us, as he had to work, but I hope he'll make it to next classes (next class I am interested in will be in May).
The teacher was lovely Sara Papa, who kept us from about 10 am until 2 pm talking about how the wheat seed is composed and how it should be milled, the importance of flour, proportions, yeast, and showed us some preparations beyond classic white, everyday bread.
It was a lot of fun, and after the lesson we got to eat all the bread that was prepared, with cheese, salami, lard and Gaeta olives (a quite famous local kind of olives, very small and tasty). And of course some nice wine.
Here are some higlights from the course (all images courtesy of La Strana Coppia)

Here you can see half of my head while I am braiding some small raisin breads:

 Here are our braids before cooking...

And after!

Some more breads:


And our lunch (before we dived in)!

I left with some interesting tricks I'll use next time I'll make bread - hopefully soon:
  • Flour really does make a difference. The best kind is the stone milled one. It really has a different smell and taste.
  • When making bread with different flours (such as barley, rye, spelt...), they must be used with a 30% of wheat flour to help raise.
  • Salt should be around 2% of the flour weight, never more.
  • Water temperature is really important. The dough should always be 25 °C.
  • Fat, be it oil or butter, should be added after all the ingredients and after the dough is formed.
We left with some delicious breads, so at least husband could taste some of our production, and a little piece of sourdough, which I hope will survive!

It was a really different and fun Sunday, and I can't wait for next classes.

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