"The warm complex aroma of a freshly baked loaf of bread can be an utterly tantalizing experience" - Convent Bakery
I was at a luthiers exhibition a few weeks ago at the Abbotsford Convent. I went to the Bakery for a coffee. Seeing a class in progress in the actual bakery made me sign up there and then. Making one's own bread is such a pleasure and I hadn't made bread in a while. I first read about the Convent's bread baking classes 2 years ago but at that time, they were booked out. Their classes include bread making, pastry making, nougat and panforte, brioche, danishes and croissants.
The Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne, was built in 1901. There are 11 historic buildings and gardens spread over 6.8 hectares on a bend of the Yarra River. It is surrounded by the Collingwood Children's Farm and parklands and is approximately 4 kilometers from the CBD.
The Convent Bakery in the kitchen annexe played an integral part in the self-sustaining life style of the Sisters of Good Shepard. The magnificent wood fired masonry ovens still stand today after 108 years and are used for baking wood fired bread and pastries. The bakery is open seven days a week for a full breakfast and lunch and Friday nights at the Boiler Room for wood fired pizza.
I arrived early in anticipation of a great day. I wasn't disappointed. The day started with a lovely cup of coffee and croissant while I waited for the other participants to arrive. The class was taken by Dan Thyer.
First, we made Aussie style scones for our morning tea which we had with raspberry jam and cream, and the rest to take home.
Then we made pizza for our lunch
And we made 2 types of bread:
White sourdough and rye sourdough
Another Great Day!!!!
- 400 gm self raising flour
- 30 gm sugar
- pinch of salt
- 40 gm butter
- 250 ml milk
- 500 gm plain flour (or wholemeal flour)
- 10 gm salt
- 25 gm sugar
- 60 ml olive oil
- 15 gm instant yeast (25 gm for wholemeal)
- 320 ml cold water
- 500 gm baker's white flour
- 10 gm salt
- 85 gm levain (sourdough culture)
- 30 ml olive oil
- 10 gm instant yeast
- 1 small pinch vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
- 300 ml cold water
- 700 gm white baker's flour
- 300 gm rye meal
- 20 gm salt
- 200 gm rye levain
- 70 ml olive oil
- 20 gm instant yeast
- 1 tiny pinch vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
- 650 ml cold water