The nationwide lockdown is back for a second season. And all the usual scenarios from the first will likely play out again. So many of us will be back to gardening what little green space we have, walking for hours each day and baking like crazy.
The latter means the amateur sourdough bakers are coming back out of the woodwork. Some of us kept to bread making even when restrictions eased, but we bet even more abandoned the endeavour, killing off the all precious starter. And then there were those who didn’t even dare try to attempt making bread in the first place.
But now is the time to get on the bread train. Especially as online resources have done nothing but get better. And the E5 Bakehouse online courses have got to be our favourites – by a long shot.
This prestigious sourdough bakery is known worldwide, not only for producing some of the best artisanal loaves but for their sustainability ethos and wide range of other offerings. Fortunately, now anyone can gain access to the bakery’s behind-the-scenes action, by purchasing some super cheap classes.
Because, while some bread baking cookbooks are really helpful, being shown via a video is just so much better. Learn how to fold the dough like an expert and understand all the science behind it all. Plus, you can easily pause and rewind the online classes when you need to get the tricky bits right. This is a heaven send. Read through their offerings and see which you fancy most.
The real amateurs should start at the very beginning. Learn how flour and water can create an active starter that will naturally leaven bread. Knowing the basic scientific principles help you experiment later on as you decide to play with different flours, shapes and sizes. Master the basics and be introduced to these world-class bakers.
The Country Loaf
In this course, you will learn how to master a basic wheat sourdough, the Country Loaf. It is E5’s interpretation of the pain de campagne, which in the days before the baguette was the staple loaf throughout France. It is a robust, hand-crafted loaf which has that really crunchy crust while being fluffy and chewy on the inside. You’ll be Instagramming this bad boy for days to come.
The Seeded Rye
During this course, you will learn how to make a 100% rye loaf that has a gentle flavour and an unusually light texture. You will learn how to make a rye leaven, basic shaping and how to bake a perfect loaf in a metal tin. The skills you learn from this loaf can be used when playing with other grains like spelt or einkorn too. Tin loaves can be made of all sorts of grains, allowing you to be a bit more adventurous.
Jam, Butter and Pickles
E5 Bakehouse is far more than just a bread baking business. They do brunch, lunch, pastries and cakes, jams, pickles, fermented drinks, and so on. They even have their own farm where they grow fruit, veg and wheat. That’s why the classes reflect this – with this jam, butter and pickle class being right up there. They are perfect accompaniments to great quality bread. Throughout this course, pastry chef Kaat will teach you everything you need to know about how to make homemade jam, butter, and quick & easy pickles!
This semi-sourdough bun recipe will teach you about bulk-fermentation using the stretch and fold method. There is no shaping or scoring in this E5 recipe, making it a great way of gradually increasing your skills and perfecting techniques.
Semi-sourdough bagels are chewy, crusty and properly dense. Shaping and poaching are the technical focus throughout, making this a very approachable bagel recipe. You won’t be overwhelmed by these recipes (especially because they are all in video form). We can’t tell you how confused we got when trying to fold dough, when reading the instructions out of a box. Online classes like these will save so much pain and confusion. And all that doughy mess which comes from it.
Flatbread and Mezze
Inspired by the ‘mezze’ style of dining in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, this course will teach students how to make E5’s popular flatbread, along with several traditional mezze dishes. This is a perfect menu to share with friends and family and is inspired by the refugees who the bakery works with. Not only have they held free regular classes for refugees for many years, they now actively hire them at the E5 Roasthouse in Limehouse (where they roast coffee, bake flatbread and run a café). See how this diversity in staff has inspired and changed the E5 family for good – especially when it comes to the kinds of bread and lunchtime dishes they create.
This one is a bit of a stinker. The hands-on workshop will show you the magic and simplicity of fermentation. They will guide you through kombucha brewing, kimchi and sauerkraut making, and introduce you to water kefir. Lockdown 2.0 is the perfect time for you to embrace your inner hipster and hippy self by fermenting just about any fruit and veg you find. Your pantry will be full of ferments – ready for winter hoarding.