#1  
Old 01-20-2011, 12:41 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Lutsen, Mn
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Default 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
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2011, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: WFO Bread Class

I would've gone to that!
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:38 PM
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Default 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.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:12 PM
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Question Re: WFO Bread Class

Quote:
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
Quote:
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
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:35 AM
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Default 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.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:54 AM
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Thumbs up Re: WFO Bread Class

Quote:
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.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:16 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default 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
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:03 AM
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Location: Gilbert, AZ
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Default 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!
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:01 PM
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Default 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
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:21 PM
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Default 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
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