Sweet & dark breads, slowdoughs & sourdoughs at the Bertinet Kitchen

On March 22, 2014 by battenburgbelle

The last two days of the Bertinet Kitchen course were awesome. It’s all a bit of a blur as we packed a lot in, but I’m doing my best to remember it all.

A selection of day 5 delights

A selection of day 5 delights

We made the lightest brown breads I have ever made. My table got in first and chose rum-soaked prunes (we LOVE those prunes) and cardamom for our filling, while the others did apricot & oats and multi-seed bread. They were all delicious – the multi-seed table added some smoked flour to their loaves, which gave a really lovely flavour.

With our sweet dough we made some cute little fruit loaves and pain viennois – I remember eating these on my French exchange visits many years ago, filled with several squares of chocolate – mmmmmmm.

Richard tested our dexterity with these little plaits and stars – plaits easier in my opinion, stars got better with perseverance.

Brown breads

Some brown breads, including little stars to test our patience

Then Richard asked our table whether we wanted to make our brioche dough by hand or in the mixer. In a moment of extreme enthusiasm, Gilda and Peter voted for hand making, while Moira and I, taking a more pragmatic approach, suggested there would be no shame in using the machine. Gilda and Peter won, much to Richard’s amusement. Around 45 minutes later, with much working of the dough (Moira and I did join in), it was ready to rest in the fridge overnight. We didn’t make any in the machine to compare and contrast, so I can’t be sure that the extra effort paid off, but I can confirm that the Battenburg family shared a couple for breakfast this morning. So light and gorgeous, with added butter and jam, just to make sure they were rich enough.


Brioche for breakfast

We also made sourdough loaves and some more baguettes to practice our moulding (getting there on that) and slashing with a lame to get the perfect cuts for crust (definitely a work in progress, although I did get a “very good” from Richard on the last batch). Our collective inability to understand Dan’s plan for making sure we each took our own sourdough loaf with us was shocking, but the bread itself is wonderful.


Spectacular sourdough

I’ve never eaten so much bread in a week before, but I learnt a massive amount and the lunches were amazing, with roast lamb on day 4 and Richard’s scrumptious tartiflette to finish the week off. A truly fabulous week.

Next week I think I will report on revisiting the 5:2 regime…

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