Breadtopia Visits The School of Artisan Food

Eric & Denyce’s Excellent Breadventure

Life got particularly good for us a few months ago when we paid a visit to The School of Artisan Food in Nottinghamshire England. Nestled in Sherwood Forest (yes, that one) we found a bit of artisan food heaven. It was pure joy and a privilege to spend time with Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, veteran baker and author of How to Make Bread, and the rest of the talented staff.

The school offers an extensive course of study for those who want to make baking their profession, plus day or weekend workshops for home bakers who seek to improve their skills. The School of Artisan Foods has an illustrious staff of masters in their particular craft, be it baking, brewing, butchering, chocolate or cheese making. They have gathered the best in their fields from around the globe to ensure that these important food production skills are kept alive and vibrant.

Besides providing instructions in their varied disciplines, the school features an onsite brewery, The Welbeck Abbey Brewery, Stichelton Dairy and cheese making facility, and The Welbeck Bakery, a production bakery that supplies the nearby community with fresh baked crusty artisan breads and handmade pastries.

I’ll be forever grateful to Emmanuel and the school for their warm hospitality and generosity. Emmanuel is the kind of guy who would give the shirt off his back to a person in need. I know this first hand as I left a bag with my clothes on the Underground train in London where we met up with Emmanuel. Fortunately, we’re about the same size and I recovered my bag intact on the way home, so it all worked out.

Thanks to Denyce for the fine editing and narration job for this video tour.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

stu k July 7, 2012 at 12:28 am

I recently made an interesting discovery: A sour dough starter can be made in less than 4 or 5 days. Where I live there is currently a heatwave, with daily temperatures or over 35 C (that’s 90F). I began a new starter, and after 36 hours it looked ready for use. I saved 1/2, but allowed the other half to mature at room temperature for another two days. To my surprise, the later half turned bad, while the “quick” starter which sat only a day and a half at room temperature was healthy.

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Bobbie July 7, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Interesting . . . . where do you live? It’s hot here, too, but we have the air conditioning set at 78 degrees, so it probably wouldn’t work . . .

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Michael May 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Hay!

I got your Live Sourdough Starter in the mail Friday. Outstanding! I did the first feeding according to your video last night. Fed it this morning. It has already doubled and bubbling frothy joy! I’m going to try using it tomorrow morning.

Thank you for the fun,

Michael

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Cookie Z April 3, 2012 at 10:02 am

Hi. I just ordered the large and small size Danish Dough wisk last week and they arrived within a few days. They look great. My husband, who is a carpenter was impressed with the construction, and the sturdiness of them.
He was concerned with the hole at the base of the wire, so he’s going to put some hot glue in there so we don’t have to worry about bacteria, then we will put mineral oil on the handle, and away we go. Thank you. Your prices and delivery was exceptional. Have a great day! Cookie

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David April 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I am fairly new to your site, but do love it. I have a question regarding the tensile strength (?) of bread. I would like to make a bread that has the tear and chew consistency of the baguettes that are made by the Panera’s chain of bakeries / restaurants. Can that type be made with the No Knead Process? If not, do you have any suggestions on where I could get a recipe that would duplicate that type of bread?

Thank you.

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Cookie Z April 3, 2012 at 10:31 am

Hi David, I just received this recipe from my sister and I can’t tell you how good and easy it is. She didn’t knead it before putting it in the pans, but I did. It is chewy. The dough is very sticky, but it was so easy, I’m sure it is going to be one of my favorite recipes.
Now that you talked about baguettes, I would take this dough and shape them into a baguette. You’ll need to flour your bread board a bit more because of the stickiness. Bet you could’ve figured that out by yourself. Give it a try. See what you think? I think that I will too. I buy baguettes all the time at Trader Joes’s and freeze them. It would be great if this could be their replacement. Have a great day! Cookie

English Muffin Bread.
5 1/2 cups warm water
6 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or three 1/4-ounce packages)
2 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
11 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose)
(I buy my flour at a flour mill and it is the consistency of talcum powder)

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix just until incorporated. You can do this with a big electric mixer using the paddle attachment or in a big bowl with a nice, big wooden spoon.
You want all of the dry ingredients to become wet. Don’t worry about lumps, (I worry about lumps, can’t help it) only that it is all mixed together. You are going to end up with a very wet, sticky dough.

Just leave the dough in the bowl and let it rise until double in size. (About 1 hour) Cover with a wet towel.
Divide into four; knead into loaves, and put into four well-greased loaf pans. Allow to rise in the pans until the dough reaches the top of each pan. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown

. Ten minutes before done, brush with melted butter.
Cool on rack
Caution: The temptation will be great to eat this bread right out of the oven, slathered with butter and jam. You should wait, however, until it has cooled before cutting. Yes, you should. And so should my husband! Because this bread is so moist with all those nooks and crannies, it can get squishy if you cut it too soon. By the way, these loaves freezes well.

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David April 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Cookie Z: Thank you so much for the quick comeback. I will try this this weekend along with trying some Easter Holiday Bread. I have a few to look at and hopefully will find one like my Russian Grandmother used to make. It is so sad that I never got any of her or my mother’s recipes. I was just too young then. Now that I am in my seventy’s I am compiling what I can to leave to my boys. Hopefully one of them or a grandchild, if I get some, will be interested.

Thank you again.

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@chrisco March 31, 2012 at 7:02 am

Nice video (or should I say “another nice video”!)!

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Jesse March 30, 2012 at 8:36 am

Thanks for the video . Maybe I’ll take up baking classes, no I’ll just watch your videos ….

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Larry Schaller Sr March 30, 2012 at 5:59 am

It sure looks like you two had a great time. Did you bring any bread back to share with the rest of us?
That’s OK, thanks to your web site I can make my own.
Thanks for sharing your trip.
Larry

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Michael Gale March 30, 2012 at 12:36 am

I envy you your visit and thankyou for making the video and sharing it with us. It’s nice to know that such places exist and that the desire to create artisan bread is spreading. And thankyou for your contribution to the cause – it is much appreciated!

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Bobbie March 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm

OMG! That lady with the glasses looks just like Jane Curtin!

Great video. Wish I were there . . . .

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David Carter March 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Hi Eric and Denyce,
Thank You Both for Your wonderful video.
It was a very great pleasure to meet with You on Your visit to SAF at Welbeck. It is a truly magic place to be and to work at.
Very kind regards

David
Bakery Coordinator
The School of Artisan Food

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Marianne March 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Great video!

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