Today I ended up doing something I wanted to do for over 4 years!!! My friend Pat started doing Artisan Bread workshops in order to raise awareness and money for Seva Canada. This was way back in 2012. I was up in Pangnirtung seeing all Pat’s Facebook posts about making awesome bread in Winnipeg—even though I couldn’t smell it drove me crazy!
Pat decided to combine her love of baking and teaching by giving something back to people that need the gift of sight. Seva has been working to do this…and a $50 donation can help change someone’s life! It blows my mind that something so simple can totally change a life… anyways.
In the fall of 2014 Pat put out a Facebook message to her friends to see if they wanted to donate to help her reach a fundraising goal at that time. I decided after researching a bit more about Seva it was something I wanted to support so did an online donation. Pat so far has raised $18, 290 for SEVA by offering workshops! She promised me a bread making workshop the next time I was in WInnipeg…
I was so excited to join 3 other friends to learn how to make bread. Pat did not disappoint!! We were Pat’s 58th bread workshop and numbers 211, 212, 213 and 214 that have baked in Pat’s kitchen.
Pat had pre-made dough to make a seeded oat bread. She started off with the teaching… how to slash bread, why we need to do that (to let steam escape) and then how to ‘throw’ a loaf into the oven onto the stone… (3 different ways)! At times I felt so overwhelmed with the information…but Pat was there step by step to reassure and help us out!
Cloaking the dough was another new term I learned—basically it’s getting handling your dough ball to get all the gluten lines in a row.
Perfect dough… now to flatten it out to make Focaccia. So yummy… or as Pat said, “Pizza dough without the cheese and sauce!”
Throughout the workshop we all took turns doing different steps of the process. When it was my turn to ‘cloak’ the dough it was quite the experience. I was nervous—because you shouldn’t handle the dough too much… and it was too sticky…(I didn’t put enough flour on it). But I got through it…with Pat’s calm help and guidance and ended up with a perfect dough ball.
It was fun when we moved onto the tasting portion of the day!!! OMG-this bread is so yummy… I can’t wait to get back to my own kitchen to make some more bread.
It was an awesome 4 hours of talking and learning… something that was well worth the wait!
UPDATED (July 12th):
I thought that the workshop might be the end of my baking journey…but as luck would have it one of my assignments in my classes was to “learn something new”. I talked with Pat and went over to her house to bake in her kitchen again. She was gracious enough to take these photos of me baking a 1lb loaf and an orange-cranberry swirl from the master dough recipe!
It was so awesome to see that I had remembered a lot of the steps. If I had a question Pat was quick to help out…but for the most part I proved to myself that I could do it!
Making the master bread recipe… 4 ingredients…so easy!
…this danish dough whisk is awesome… I need to get me one of these bad guys!
After it’s all mixed up it had to rise for 2 hours in the bucket…then you can bake with it….OR keep it in your fridge…the older the dough is the more ‘sour-dough’ taste it gets!
…it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3… when you have an excellent Bread Mentor and teacher! Once you have the master bread made…you can do so many things with it!
The Cranberry-Orange Swirl is such an amazing bread…
…you just have to add the extra stuff.. then roll it all up, then let it rise for an hour! Then pop it into the oven.
Thanks again Pat for your help and opening up your kitchen for me. You have such a huge heart and I’m so glad I can call you my friend. If you are in Winnipeg and interested in a workshop let me know…I can see if Pat’s available!