Schiacciatta con L’uva, a rustic grape studded flat bread of Tuscan origin, was recently featured on a MasterClass episode of Season 2 of Masterchef Australia.
During this MasterClass, Michael Klausen, CEO & Director of the popular artisan bakery Brasserie Bread, demonstrates the process of making this flat bread to a couple of the show’s contestants.
Watching how it’s made on television is one thing. Being shown how to make this delightful flat bread by skilled artisan bakers during a workshop at Brasserie Bread? Well, that’s another matter entirely.
The Home Baker Workshop is the latest course among the several that Brasserie Bread offers to the general public. As the name of this three hour course implies, the workshop teaches fundamental bread making skills that can be employed by the home baker.
Boris, our friendly and knowledgeable instructor for the evening, guides us through the process of not only making the Masterchef featured Schiacciatta con L’uva, but also a number of other loaves as well.
There’s something special about that ethereal combination of flour, yeast, salt & water. From four basic ingredients comes an infinite horizon of possibilities.
We begin the workshop with the preparation of the Schiacciatta con L’uva dough. The aforementioned ingredients along with the addition of olive oil are combined in a mixing bowl until all the ingredients comes together.
Now the fun begins.
The dough is placed onto the counter, and kneaded in a very systematic manner. Stretch, fold, rotate, repeat.
As the end of one cycle transitions into the beginning of the next, the dough is lifted off the counter and swung down with a satisfying thud, stretching the dough during the process mid-flight.
The repetitive kneading of the dough in this fashion is therapeutic and rather entertaining. Though, we may need to work on the routine somewhat if we ever decide to take this show on the road.
The dough for the Schiacciatta con L’uva is placed to one side to allow the dough to form a complex web of gluten and pockets of gas. While we wait, we move onto forming various other loaves of bread with some pre-prepared dough, picking up additional skills along the way.
After some time, the Schiacciatta con L’uva too is ready to be formed, studded with sweet grapes and a generous coating of raw sugar to form a crunchy, caramelised crust.
While we wait for our various loaves of bread to bake, we bide our time with an introduction to the comprehensive range of artisan loaves that Brasserie Bread have on offer.
Various loaves from the ever-popular caramelised garlic bread (my personal favourite) to a multitude of other loaves. Some that are sour dough-based. Some that are yeast based. Some savoury, and some sweet.
An antipasto platter of sorts is also served with prosciutto, a couple of soft, creamy cheeses and some other dips and bits.
Our workshop is fortunate enough to have David Lloyd, winemaker & proprietor of the Eldridge Estate, as one of the class participants, who kindly provided an assortment of red wines from his vineyard.
Time passes quickly and before we know it, our loaves of bread are out of the oven, crusty and piping hot.
The heady fragrance of yeast, as well as the sweet aroma of baked grapes and caramelised sugars, were utterly sublime. The first bite of freshly baked bread; the crunchy crust; the pillowy soft core – priceless.
If it wasn’t enough that we had our freshly baked loaves to take home but we were also provided with a goodie bag containing a recipe handout and a complimentary loaf of bread. The plastic bowl scraper that was provided for use during the class was likewise complimentary.
The Home Baker Workshop is a three hour long course covering the basics of baking bread at home. The cost for the workshop is $130 per person at the time of this post. For more information, or to register for the workshop, check out the course web page.
A special thanks to Mei from Brasserie Bread for taking some of the photos for this post.
Participation in The Home Baker Workshop was complements of Brasserie Bread.
1737 Botany Rd
Banksmeadow NSW 2019
Ph: 1300 966 845