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WFO Bread Class - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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WFO Bread Class

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  • WFO Bread Class

    I'm just beginning to bake bread in my 42 inch Pompeii, which I finished this fall, and am working with the Forno Bravo e-book, and Jim Wills (Mary G's Bakery) book, "Tools Are Made, Hands Are Born." Both have been very helpful. I'd love to take the Jim Wills two day class, but it is a bit of a trek for me here in Northern Minnesota.

    So, I just finished a two and one-half day class at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota. We baked six different breads (2 loaves of each), including pita, focaccia, sourdough, challa, sourdough rye, a "baker's choice," and some crackers. All were done with pre-ferments. All the baking is done in an Alan Scott style barrel vault oven.

    I took my own FB Infrared Thermometer to check dome and hearth temperatures. We baked the various breads at close to the temperatures discussed in Jim Wills book. So, the class allowed me to see the results when breads are baked at appropriate hearth temperatures -- something I'm still trying to get a feeling for with my oven.

    The only downside of the class -- I came home ready to bake, but have 12 loaves of bread to eat up from the class. Actually, not really a downside because all the loaves turned out wonderfully.

    Anyway, North House Folk School offers a number of bread baking classes using the WFO. For those in the Midwest looking for a class, it might be an option. Here is the web site: North House Folk School - Traditional Northern Craft School, Grand Marais, Minnesota

  • #2
    Re: WFO Bread Class

    I would've gone to that!
    My oven (for now):
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f43/...ven-14269.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: WFO Bread Class

      Sounds like a great time. I went and took a class in Vermont at King Aurthur Flour with Dan Wing. He brought his mobile oven and KA had their own big WFO. It was fun and I learned much as well.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: WFO Bread Class

        Originally posted by davmorr View Post
        .....snip....So, I just finished a two and one-half day class at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota. We baked six different breads (2 loaves of each), including pita, focaccia, sourdough, challa, sourdough rye, a "baker's choice," and some crackers. All were done with pre-ferments. All the baking is done in an Alan Scott style barrel vault oven....snip.....

        Anyway, North House Folk School offers a number of bread baking classes using the WFO. For those in the Midwest looking for a class, it might be an option. Here is the web site: North House Folk School - Traditional Northern Craft School, Grand Marais, Minnesota
        Originally posted by Faith In Virginia View Post
        Sounds like a great time. I went and took a class in Vermont at King Aurthur Flour with Dan Wing. He brought his mobile oven and KA had their own big WFO. It was fun and I learned much as well.
        davmorr & Faithin Virginia, I'm jealous!

        I've been thinking about a class like these. Are there other classes available around the country? I'd like to find one more centrally located. If any readers know of a class, please post it for the rest of us....Thanks
        Lee B.
        DFW area, Texas, USA

        If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
        Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
        An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

        I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: WFO Bread Class

          Jim Will's class is well worth the trip. My wife and I took it last April, before we even had a WFO. His recipes work great in the home oven as well.

          Lee, Mike Avery has a sourdough class, well several of them, in Sanger TX. Unfortunelty they do not bake in a WFO, but could easily be done. I am thinking of taking one of his classes this spring.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: WFO Bread Class

            Originally posted by roobqn View Post
            Jim Will's class is well worth the trip. My wife and I took it last April, before we even had a WFO. His recipes work great in the home oven as well.

            Lee, Mike Avery has a sourdough class, well several of them, in Sanger TX. Unfortunelty they do not bake in a WFO, but could easily be done. I am thinking of taking one of his classes this spring.
            Please PM me with some details. Thanks (Our roots are in Nebraska).

            A facebook search reveals Mike Avery has no events scheduled for this year, not yet anyway.
            Last edited by Lburou; 01-21-2011, 08:59 AM.
            Lee B.
            DFW area, Texas, USA

            If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
            Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
            An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

            I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: WFO Bread Class

              While it would be nice to have classes actually bake in a WFO, most of the important class learning ultimately has to do with dough up to the point of putting it in an oven. You will tend to have to learn your own oven and sourdough (if you go that route) so I would suggest taking convenient classes whenever you can. Personally, I will be going to SFBI this summer for their Artisan I class - one week of nothing but baguettes! Though I know most of what will be taught there are facets of dough handling that cannot be readily learned by reading and video. The subtleties of loaf forming are far more evident in personal observation, experience, and critique than in videos or books.

              Hands on classes will help a lot - whether WFO or not!
              Jay

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: WFO Bread Class

                Man o man the SFBI looks good! I may just have to escape and visit the homeland for this. Now , which class to take!

                Looking at the directions - holy crud - I used to work down the street from where they are located. Glad it was not there when I lived up there!
                Last edited by C5dad; 01-21-2011, 12:08 PM.
                Jen-Aire 5 burner propane grill/Char Broil Smoker

                Follow my build Chris' WFO

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: WFO Bread Class

                  SFBI does look great. down side class =$998 flight =$480 room =$600 total of $2078 Ouch

                  KA in Vermont has a weekend class for $250 on shaping and scoring with Richard Miscovich and I can crash at my sisters house. I might try for that if it doesn't sell out before I make up my mind

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: WFO Bread Class

                    Hi Faith!

                    I have heard the KA classes are very good (not surprising!). SFBI is heavily targeted to professionals and aspiring professionals. Artisan I gets a reasonable number of amateurs but Artisan II on are almost exclusively pros - from all over the world. Cost is not trivial! But for me it costs to go anywhere and I would need a room, and I love SF so....

                    But good classes are so helpful. Peter Reinhart does great short classes all over the nation. I have been to his classes three times (as I recall). Last time my favorite pizzaria owner sat next to me and we simply looked at each other in awe at some of the dough manipulation he did. We both learned things I am sure few in the class noticed...but that is why you need to be in class in person IMO.

                    I have historically avoided baguettes for they tend to come out less than lovely and I want to fix that! For good!

                    Thanks!
                    Jay

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: WFO Bread Class

                      Hay Jay

                      I agree with you , If I had the time and money to spare I would be there in a minute. As a home baker with no aspirations to be the next Peter Reinhart the shorter and cheaper class will do me fine. I agree with your earlier post that bread in a WFO has much to do with dough handling and shaping.

                      I should contact Peter Reinhart. Johnson & Wales in Charlotte NC is about a two hour trip but the school does not advertise classes like that. I should check to see what and where he is teaching.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: WFO Bread Class

                        Hi Faith!

                        I am an amateur and intend to stay that way! I am treating the SFBI class as a vacation. While it is not inexpensive, it is cheaper than going fishing in Alaska! So with a bit of perverted logic I can figure I am saving money! )

                        Peter is on this site periodically now, but he is more easily reached via his web site and blog. I have visited him at J&W and I know they don't do a lot of classes but I think they do have some periodic boot camps for amateurs. Peter travels all over doing classes at grocery stores and such... If you email him he might be able to tell you when he will be near you.

                        Good Luck!
                        Jay

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: WFO Bread Class

                          Originally posted by Faith In Virginia View Post
                          ....snip
                          I should contact Peter Reinhart. Johnson & Wales in Charlotte NC is about a two hour trip but the school does not advertise classes like that. I should check to see what and where he is teaching.
                          If you get his schedule Faith, would you mind posting it here?

                          Lee B.
                          DFW area, Texas, USA

                          If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                          Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                          An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                          I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: WFO Bread Class

                            Jay, I do like your perverted logic. I own my own business so vacation for me is a weekend class. Unfortunately if I take more then a weekend off I get into trouble. I took 5 days over Christmas came home to find 1) I had 10K stolen, 2)I'm being sued, 3)I need to sue to try and get my 10K back. 4) a job that I was working got stolen. 5)I lost some people that work for me. Not to bad for a 5 day trip over the holiday.

                            So I don't even want to think what that vacation really cost me... LOL that's business I guess.

                            Lee, Yes I will post what I find out. Perhaps I'll ask him if he would put it up on his web site Pizza Quest.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: WFO Bread Class

                              A lot of great info and insights on bread classes. Both the Mary G and KA classes are now on my wish list. Maybe, someday, SF.

                              What was particularly helpful to me with the North House class was seeing what difference hearth and dome temperature make. Right now, I'm baking bread and learning my oven at the same time. I've baked the same bread formula over as much as a 150 degree difference, or more, in hearth temperature because the bread was ready (or my schedule didn't allow waiting) and the oven was too hot or had cooled a bit much. Among other things, the class just added to my experience about the effect of different hearth temperatures.

                              I'm more enthusiastic than ever to continue the journey with bread baking in my oven. . . but, we hit minus 25 degrees here in Northern Minnesota two days ago, so I'm waiting for a heat wave next week, with temperatures in the teens.

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