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BBC Good Food: Sourdough at homeTaught by Barney Desmazery

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Recipes and techniques that will vastly improve the way you bake today

  • Basic baking tools

  • Making your starter

  • Shaping dough

  • Make pizza bases, sweet buns and pancakes


BBC Good Food

Study under BBC Good Food’s Food Editor at Large, Barney Desmazery, in this highly popular course on sourdough bread. Barney will guide you towards making sourdough a part of your life: from the basic equipment needed right up to what to do with leftover, stale bread. You will learn the key terminology associated with sourdough preparation: including levains and starters, the differences between the two and how to treat them.

The first lesson will also ensure you are well grounded in the different types of flour and the importance of measuring. From here, you will study the no-knead method, and the role that temperature and the environment play in making sourdough. Lesson two will ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of baking, scoring, and fermentation.

You will then learn how to shape and flavour your sourdough, creating boules and batards using an array of grains. This course will also give you the skills to transform your sourdough into pizza bases, sweet buns and even pancakes. By the end of this four-week course you will be able to wow your friends and family with your own variety of sourdoughs, thanks to Barney’s brilliant guidance.

The Curriculum

  • 1. Making and maintain your starter, understanding the process

    The basic equipment you will need and the importance of measuring. What sourdough is, why make it, why his prefers it to commercial bread. Basic baking tools, what to buy for your first attempts, what to leave until you are sure you want to make sourdough often. Terminology: everything you might come across from levain to hydration. What is a starter and how it’s made – the difference between a starter and a levain. The different types of starter and flours.

  • 2. Basic sourdough loaf

    The no knead method and why it works. Step by step to make a basic loaf – making a levain. The role temperature and the environment plays Autolyse explained - why it’s a game changer and how to use it to your advantage. Adding salt and more water. Folding rather than kneading, the action of folding and what you are trying to achieve. Bulk fermentation – temperature. Bench rest and tight shaping. Second prove – and your options. Baking and scoring – why the pot method is best and alternatives. Cooling and storing, my way. Schedules and timing, how to plan sourdough into your life, what to think about when time planning, making a basic schedule and finding a rhythm.

  • 3. Sourdough next steps

    Varying hydration, shaping doughs into classic shapes including boules and batards, how to score. Adding different flavours and grains and when to add and how other flours will affect your bake and learn how each will change the outcome of your bake.

  • 4. Beyond loaves and theory

    How to replace yeast for starter in other breads. Bakers maths and scaling up or down. Use sourdough to make pizza bases, sweet buns and pancakes. Make frying pan pizza. Using sourdough and yeast together. Make the most of your learning to move beyond slicing loaves to other types of bread recipes you eat often. Sourdough leftovers, what to do with stale bread and recipes using bread. How to plan sourdough into your life.

Meet your expert tutor

Barney Desmazery began his career as a chef working all over the world, in Australia and France as well as the UK.. During this time he picked up a wide variety of culinary skills, recipes, and ingre...read more

Why you'll love learning here

  • Exclusive: Be coached directly by Barney Desmazery

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