Another day, another loaf…….
We began bright and early this morning with breakfast, tea and coffee at E5 Bakehouse while slowly getting to grips with new names and faces. Eight women were present to begin a 10-week training in sourdough bread, with optional pickles, butter and jam making as the course progresses. Alongside the bread product, the women will have the option of completing their level 1 health and hygiene certificate which will allow them to work and volunteer in other commercial kitchens in the future.
From all corners of London, in fact, all corners of the world, we began to get to know new people and come to terms with new skills, using our hands as much as our brains to work out how to handle dough, knowing when it has proved long enough through gently touching it and what hollow sound to listen out for when it has been fully baked.
Passing round the sourdough starter, we smelt the strong acidic smell of the yeast busy at work eating up the water and flour which, of course, is the key addition to making the bread rise and build height as well as structure.
Mariana, one of the core bakers at E5, was our wonderful instructor for the day. She slowly introduced us to the layered world of grain, milling, wild yeast and careful fermentation blending the crucial scientific aspects of sourdough with the more intuitive touch which is key to creating the perfect loaf.
The women left the bakehouse with one baked loaf which they had shaped and baked this afternoon in the E5 ovens, and one dough ready to put into their ovens at home and experiment with using the new steam and temperature system which they had learnt about today.
On other news, we are also excited to announce that we will be offering a wonderful 4-week subscription for those interested in sampling what we make and, of course, massively supporting the project so that we can continue running and sharing skills with more refugee and asylum seeking women in the future. We will be starting from the 10th of January 2017 and distributing bread on Tuesday evenings in different east London locations so please get in touch via the E5 or Just Bread website if this is something for you!