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The Home Baker – Brasserie Bread Workshop

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.

As routine develops into rhythm, the class form an impromptu percussion troupe, in the spirit of Tap Dogs, or the laborers toiling away in the Japanese film Zatoichi.

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.

Brasserie Bread
1737 Botany Rd
Banksmeadow NSW 2019
Ph: 1300 966 845

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{ 31 comments… add one }
  • linda June 30, 2010, 12:17 pm

    Oh man that looks awesome. What maakes it better is they give you a little take away bag. So bummed that I wasn’t able to make it to any of the sessions.

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 12:06 pm

      Pity you couldn’t make it. Maybe next time.

  • Iron Chef Shellie June 30, 2010, 1:29 pm

    i’d love to do that course, I really want to taste Schiacciatta con L’uva… should find one in Melbourne, doubt it will be as good though!

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 12:05 pm

      Melbourne has a decent Italian presence does it not? I’m sure that you could find something there.

  • Phuoc'n Delicious June 30, 2010, 1:54 pm

    Oh my goodness.. I’ve never seen this side of you before; ie, the baker. But well done on the gorgeous looking bread, I could imagine how wonderful it would be first thing out of the oven. YUM! I hate working with yeast at home, it’s a hit or miss with me.

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 10:09 am

      I haven’t either! I’m not much of a baker really. This class has certainly inspired me to try out more breadmaking at home.

  • Mark @ Cafe Campana June 30, 2010, 6:52 pm

    Very cool looking class. I how the smell of freshly baked bread permeates my house.

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 10:08 am

      Must be an awesome house to live in :)

  • Betty @ The Hungry Girl July 1, 2010, 8:50 am

    These workshops sound so good! I really want to pop down there and get some loaves of bread to munch on now :D And maybe a few tarts as well ;)

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 10:08 am

      It’s quite fun, not to mention all the hot, freshly baked bread you get to take home!

  • Maria July 1, 2010, 11:10 am

    Looks fantastic! Well done! :)

  • mademoiselle délicieuse July 1, 2010, 1:28 pm

    Such a simple combination of ingredients that makes for such a wonderful final product. What’s amazing is that bread has been feeding generations of people for eons and very little has changed about it.

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 10:07 am

      Totally agree. Glad that whoever did what they did to get bread to us today.

  • Helen (grabyourfork) July 1, 2010, 2:07 pm

    Their workshops are great fun, although trying to take photos in-between kneading dough and playing with flour is the bonus challenge! I’m surprised you didn’t include pronunciation instructions for the bread. lol.

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 10:06 am

      Was indeed a heap of fun. For me shooting while keeping the camera as clean as possible was my bonus challenge!

      Good point. I’ll have to bear that in mind for the next post with a complicated word.

  • Ellie July 1, 2010, 6:31 pm

    Great recap of the workshop. Bread making is such skill. Love the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven.

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 10:04 am

      Oh, the smell from the bakery was awesome!

  • Tina@foodboozeshoes July 1, 2010, 8:20 pm

    MMM, schiatcatta looks great – was that pillowy and soft too?

    Looking at the caramelised garlic one, I’m torn. I want to eat it, and I want to try and make it. Now.

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 10:00 am

      It was pillowy soft, if you pillow happens to have a cheap plastic pillow case that’s crispy :)

      Only wish we had learned how to make the garlic loaf! Eating it is what we had to settle for :)

  • Amy @ cookbookmaniac July 1, 2010, 10:23 pm

    I love making my own bread. However, I haven’t ventured pass plain white or chalah. Ahh, one day, maybe one day I will be brave enough to try something like this. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 9:58 am

      If you’ve done plain white, it’s not that far off. Just a little shaping. Adding some additional ingredients.

  • FFichiban July 1, 2010, 10:58 pm

    Omg I see a sexy XS of the garlic loaf aaahhhhhhhh!!! Looks likes heaps of good fun ^^!

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 9:54 am

      It was sexy, yes it was… :)

      Was a load of fun. Just wished we learned how to make the garlic loaf.

  • Sarah @ For the Love of Food July 2, 2010, 4:16 pm

    Sydney-siders have such a wealth of foodie classes to go to! This would be a great introduction for someone like me who has zero bread making experience (beyond using my bred maker – does that count :))

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 9:53 am

      I was in the same boat regarding experience and the bread turned out pretty good all the same.

  • Thang @ www.noodlies.com July 5, 2010, 9:39 pm

    Yum bread and wine…!

  • Forager @ The Gourmet Forager July 7, 2010, 9:55 am

    Looks like great fun – although tricky handling cameras whilst attempting to bake! Still – you’ve taken some amazing shots of the bread – they look very professional!

    • Simon August 5, 2010, 9:45 am

      Thanks! Yeah, still have some flour on the camera that is tough to get rid of.

  • Shanice August 21, 2011, 1:25 am

    Can I have the recipe for this bread? I would love to try it out, it looks awesome. Please and thank you! :)

    • Simon August 30, 2011, 12:03 am

      I’ll have to dig around for the recipe. Not sure if I’ve lost it. However, if you feel up to it, the class is a lot of fun :)

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