Knead To Know | PAUL Bread Course, Bankside, London
We don’t have much luck when it comes to baking – we love the idea of it but not the mess and the pure disappointment when it goes wrong. So when we were invited to learn how with an expert at a PAUL bread course just underneath Ade’s office we just had to go for it. They’ve been baking for 127 years so they should know what they’re doing by now.
For once, we were the only bloggers there which was quite nice, no offence guys but it was interesting to be amongst ‘normal’ punters and to find out why they came along. We even managed to get through the whole PAUL bread course undercover. Everyone else were there solo – one lady even came all the way from Australia (well, she was on holiday here but still…)
Our teacher and his colleagues were so lovely and friendly, we felt we were in a friend’s kitchen rather than a shop – brilliant hospitality. No one was made to feel inferior skills-wise, although with such clear instructions and guidance it was pretty hard to fail. My step-son refused to believe we’d produced such immaculate looking loaves – charming!
We mixed the ingredients, kneaded the dough (in a totally different way to anything I’ve done before), we were told all about different types of flour, the proofing process and how to prepare and seal the dough prior to backing. The most exciting bit, we learnt how to remove sticky dough from our hands by rubbing flour into them, the result is baby-soft skin – life changing.
Then we loaded our paddles with dough and slid them into the oven in the kitchen – something I’ve always wanted to do and luckily neither of us dropped any. To be honest, a lot of the scientific stuff went over my head, as much as I tried to retain the information, there is just not enough spare space in my head right now.
Whilst our bread was doing its thing in the oven, we popped upstairs to the mezzanine level for some rewards in the form of much needed wine, great charcuterie and of course, bread. Our host bought us up some loaves as soon as they were ready, deliciously warm and crunchy – you just cannot beat freshly baked bread.
It’s a long course (which you’d hope for £75 a head), certainly for serious bakers only who will go home and follow through with what they’ve been tought. We came away armed with enough freshly baked bread to feed an army (or to leave on our neighbour’s doorstep), the dough we’d made, plus some sourdough to ‘feed’ and even some fresh yeast.
For £75pp you get the following:
- A welcome drink
- All ingredients provided, weighed out for you in advance
- A limited edition PAUL Baker’s Apron
- Charcuterie and Vegetarian Platters with Drinks to enjoy whilst your bread is baking
- An exclusive PAUL Baker’s Kit including recipe booklet, PAUL Bread Masterclass Certificate and a PAUL Sac à Pain to carry your bread home
- Your own freshly baked bread and the dough to practise at home.
We attended as guests of PAUL, this does not affect our review in any way.
We always write with complete honesty.