Andy Tyrrell

Sourdough and Wild Yeast Baking

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $75

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

Course Description

River Cottage baker Andy Tyrrell teaches you the art of making sourdough bread with wild yeast. You'll be creating a starter and baking your own sourdough bread as you learn.

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

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 makes for years to come.

Sourdough is bread with immense character, with presence – bread with a point. A sourdough loaf is so different from what often passes as bread these days. It is the antithesis of the industrial factory loaf – that soft, structureless, flavour-lite bread that is produced in such huge quantities.

This sourdough bread making 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.

You'll learn

  • how to gather your own wild yeast and create a sourdough starter
  • which flour to use
  • kneading and proving techniques
  • recipes for sourdough bread, bread rolls, pizza and brioche
  • how to increase the variety and healthiness of your bread making with additional wholegrains, seeds and nuts

Time to complete the sourdough bread making course:

Every student is different but in general we think the whole course will take around 13 hours 5 minutes to complete including:

  • Video lesson: 2 hours 5 minutes in total
  • Course notes: 15 minutes per lesson
  • Assignment: at least 2 hours per lesson
  • Interactive classroom time: 15 minutes per lesson
  • Tutor feedback review (Expert level): 15 minutes per lesson

Note the sourdough starter takes several days to develop, and proving your dough takes several hours (and can often be done overnight). But it will be worth it when you taste your soughdough makes!

You'll need:

All the ingredients are in the course notes, but at first you'll be creating your starter using flour and water. You will need a loaf tin and a dough scraper is helpful.

This course is suitable for bakers at all levels - whether you have tried sourdough bread making at home and the results have disappointed, or want to get started or are a professional looking to boost your sourdough making skills.

The course includes:

  • 4 on-demand video lessons - presented by Andy Tyrrell
  • lifetime access to the video, notes and recipes and interactive class
  • flexible classes - join and learn when and where you like
  • downloadable lesson notes
  • practical (optional) sourdough making assignments
  • access on your mobile, PC, Mac or laptop
  • small interactive online classroom chat online to students from around the world

Ready to get started?

Just add the course to your basket above - choose the 'Expert' option for personal feedback from Andy on your starter and sourdough baking.

Any questions? Contact us by clicking on the orange speech symbol - we'd love to hear from you.

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

Food & Drink classroom - how it works

  • Start anytime

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments
  • Personal tuition

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors
  • Share ideas

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

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”

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Awards & Accreditations

  • Good Web Guide
  • Red Herring Winner
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Education Investor Awards 2021 - Finalist
  • CPD Accredited (provider 50276)