Perhaps you are contemplating bread as a career or a business, or as an additional level in an existing catering firm? Perhaps you are restless for a lifestyle change and want involvement with a simple and honest calling – the “staff of life”?
Now PANARY has a themed course for you, where toothsome breads can be made in a fertile atmosphere as the participants discuss their aspirations and their plans.
Be guided by Paul Merry, a veteran baker who had his own bakery for over 10 years and, furthermore, often acts as consultant to “start up” baking concerns.
The programme will offer some choice, with both wholemeal and refined flours; large loaves will be made as well as rolls and flatbreads; and yeasted pastries will be offered. Tour the mill, observe the miller.
On the Three-day “Going Professional” course, Sarah Cobbold wrote in BBC Good Food Magazine, Feb 2010: “Paul Merry, an experienced and enthusiastic artisan baker, adapts each three-day course to the participants’ requests and interests. My class decided to focus on sourdoughs and the wood-fired oven.
There is a lot of teaching, but we were involved in every stage, calculating the quantities in each recipe, making up doughs, shaping the bread and firing the oven. The course was a fantastic confidence builder. We left with a real knowledge of bread, how it works, and how to adapt no matter what the situation.”
I would like to say how much I enjoyed the “Going Professional” course. The setting at Cann Mills provides a perfect environment for your relaxed and informal style of instruction.
The mix of experience and skills amongst the group was quite wide for such a small number, yet you managed to pitch the course at a level where we all felt engaged in each activity. I particularly enjoyed the free flowing discussions that accompanied the baking sessions, and your “blue chair” moments were a good way of dealing with specific topics.
I came away from the three days feeling invigorated, with a renewed enthusiasm for creating good and healthy bread for my customers, and an increased confidence in my skills and ability to develop as a baker.
Now I have just had my first baking session and markets since the course. The knowledge I gained regarding dough handling and table skills meant that the work load was actually easier physically. This weeks baking will start to show the improvement in the finished loaves.
The three-day courses do not have a set programme. Instead the programme is set by request, students being invited to choose from the following broad areas:-
- Every day breads to be made from:
- refined, white flour (industrial)
- coarser flours; & wholemeals (stoneground)
- Working with flours other than wheat
- rye & wheat & spelt
- nurturing leavens
- Overnight sponges
- English (“sponge”)
- Continental (“poolish”, “biga”)
- English bread types
- white traditional shapes
- granary, wholemeal, malt
- milk bread
- buns, Chelsea buns,fruit loaves, & dough cake & lardy cake
- French style breads
- Italian style breads
- Yeasted pastries
- Using the wood-fired oven
- It is possible to attend the three-day courses for only two days.
- The wood-fired oven can be used by request on any course.
Day one of all courses begins at 10am with subsequent days beginning at 9am. The day finishes between 5 and 6pm. Unless otherwise stated, all courses run at Cann Mills, Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 0BL
SPOUSES AND PARTNERS – are welcome to attend drinks in the bakery.
After attending your ‘Going Professional’ course in October, I have begun – in a very small way – to do just that. I now now bake once a week for a farm shop at a garden nursery. I bake sourdough loaves on Friday and get up early on Saturday to bake a range of yeasted loaves. I have been doing this for 12 weeks and the amount that I am selling is gradually creeping up. I am enjoying it a lot; it balances out the other work that I do. Although I had been baking for many years, your course gave me the confidence to develop it.
As I sit here eating our delicious semolina bread for breakfast, I wanted to send you a brief note for a truly wonderful three days at PANARY. For me, your course was pitched at just the right level. I loved the way we gradually became more confident and at the end, you were letting us ‘just get on with it’… (that’s how it appeared anyway, the mark of a good teacher!).