Andy Tyrrell

Sourdough and Wild Yeast Baking

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $99

    Learn in an online classroom with no more than 20 classmates. More

Course Description

River Cottage baker Andy Tyrrell teaches you the art of sourdough and wild yeast baking. You'll be baking as you learn.

Choose Expert option for personal feedback from Andy on your sourdough creations.

Wild yeast is all around us, the joy of foraging into flour and water to create your natural starter can be a life-long journey. Looked after correctly, your sourdough starter will provide you with the fantastic reward of your own sourdough creations for years to come.

A sourdough loaf is so different from what often passes as bread these days. In fact, it is the antithesis of the industrial factory loaf – that soft, structureless, flavour-lite bread that is produced in such huge quantities in this country.

Sourdough, by contrast, is bread with immense character, with presence – bread with a point.

This sourdough baking course offers a superb introduction to the magical world of sourdough and its versatility.

Learn all about using natural yeasts and levans to make deliciously flavoursome country loaves, pizzas, baguettes and brioche.

Whether you have tried sourdough bread-making at home and the results have disappointed, or you are yet to venture into making sourdough, this course has something for everyone.

You’ll learn the foundations that you can really impress friends and family with, then with practice become a master yourself.

Course outline

  • Starters, a simple loaf, and zero waste

    Creating your starter, is where the whole process begins. It is really just a flour-and-water batter. Well, perhaps not "just". Because it will also contain, invisibly but crucially, the spores of wild, airborne yeasts – the ones that happen to be native to your own kitchen. These will begin to feed and multiply and, as they do so, all sorts of interesting things are produced: bubbles of gas, flavoursome alcohol and the acids that give sourdough its characteristic, slightly tangy taste.

    During this lesson you’ll be shown how to make your starter, and we’ll do them together to make sure you get your timings right, then you’re ready for off! We will show you a simple loaf to bake as your first and give plenty of ideas of what can be made from the excess ‘discarded’ starter.

  • Knead and no-knead techniques and a range of country loaves

    In this class you’ll follow the natural process of allowing the dough to develop slowly. You’ll learn about folding the dough and master the method of making country sourdough which can incorporate different flours and varying levels of hydration to suit your taste and skill. These are the lovely rustic loaves that we often think of as ‘sourdough’ and this method is what you need to get you started.

  • Expanding sourdough baking: pizza, baguette, focaccia, brioche and more

    In this lesson you’ll learn two very adaptable recipes. First a hybrid dough where we include a tiny pinch of yeast that helps us to create baguettes, focaccia, pain rustique and pizzas. For the second recipe we’ll make a complexly naturally-leavened brioche dough that we’ll turn into a classic loaf and a chocolate, almond babka. A great way to extend your repertoire.

  • Sourdough for life – upping the health benefits with wholegrains, nuts and seeds

    Natural fermentation is the key to unlocking the natural goodness found within the grains we use in baking. When we use more wholegrains you’ll also create the most delicious bread. We’ll look at how to increase the wholegrains in your sourdough, incorporate them successfully and ways to make them more digestible. We’ll use a variation of the country loaf technique that will ensure success. We will also be focusing on a delicious Danish Rye using ale and malted grains, that will be welcome in any kitchen.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Andy Tyrrell

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 4 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 4 assignments marked by Andy Tyrrell
    • Certificate of completion
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
  • The Peer option

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 4 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more

Why choose Learning with Experts?

  • Online classroom

    Start anytime and join a class of no more than 20 students

    Start anytime and join a class of no more than 20 students
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with assignments after each lesson

    Practice what you learn with assignments after each lesson
  • Personal tuition

    Exclusive assignment feedback from Expert Tutors

    Exclusive assignment feedback from Expert Tutors
  • Share

    Share ideas with classmates from around the world

    Share ideas with classmates from around the world

Meet Andy Tyrrell

Andy Tyrrell - Food & Drink
Andy has a lifelong love of baking and has over time developed a particular passion for bread and sourdough. Andy began his career in London at a time when the farm to fork movement was just gaining momentum. As a young Head Chef he was inspired by the quality, flavour and variety that could be found when you started to build relationships with local producers and put a face to the food you buy. It’s a philosophy that has served him well and led him happily to River Cottage HQ in 2012 where he worked his way up to Head Chef. Leading a wide range of courses, teaching apprentice chefs and baking many loaves along the way.

Andy is committed to seasonal eating and cooking and now teaches courses around the country and online, whilst keeping locals well fed at his popular supper clubs.

His ability to combine technical knowledge and skill with good humour and achievable recipes has inspired countless people over the years to change their life through food. “It gives me the greatest pleasure to hear that someone is still making that recipe you taught them years ago or has built on it and is now teaching others”

Frequently bought as part of this collection

  • From $799Up to $2,499

    The River Cottage Cooking Diploma

    11 courses

    The River Cottage Cooking Diploma - Food & Drink

    The River Cottage Cooking Diploma

    Master the entire subject and SAVE 26% when you buy this collection

    11 Courses • 9 Expert Tutors

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage HQ has long been a power-house of culinary ideology – a hub bringing together an inspiring and talented team who all share a commitment to seasonal and sustainable eating.

    "At River Cottage, we believe there are few things more important than education. And food! And so our aim is to teach and inspire you to grow, source and cook food in ways that enhance your life, increase your wellbeing and connect you more closely to the natural, sustainable and ethical sources of food.

    I believe that delicious, healthy food has never been more vital in helping us all to stay well during this global pandemic, and making those choices in a sustainable way makes the health of our planet a priority too. This opportunity to learn online in social groups provides a sense of togetherness and mutual support. It's not just a great way to learn, it's a great way to stay connected and foster a sense of shared endeavour in what could otherwise be a very isolating time in our lives."

    – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

    Who is the course for?

    Whether you want a career change, you're already working in the food or hospitality industry, or you are an enthusiastic amateur who'd like to gain a certificate, this course is suitable for all food enthusiasts.

    What you will learn

    Through this collection of 48 cookery lessons, Hugh and the team will demonstrate, teach and guide you through their specialist subjects, setting you assignments and offering feedback along the way.

    Our experts will demonstrate a range of skills including vegetable cookery, fish filleting, and shellfish preparation with a focus on ingredient provenance, sourcing and seasoning. From baking your own bread, sourdough and pastries to making your own pickles and kombucha, this course will delve deep into a wide range of useful kitchen skills. Forage for local delicacies, combine exotic spices with delicious home-grown and local ingredients, cook meat and veg in the wild with fire and go gluten free without compromising on flavour – this collection covers absolutely everything you need to know to be at the top of your cooking game.

    In order to gain the River Cottage Cooking Diploma with a signed certificate from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, you will need to complete all courses within the collection. However feel free also to pick and choose the areas that interest you if you simply want the pleasure of learning from the top chefs at River Cottage.

    Learn more

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