artisan-bread-school-kentucky

Artisan Bread School in Kentucky

We recently had a special opportunity to attend the Artisan Bread School’s course in Kentucky with Carl Shavitz.

This would be our second course with Carl and it offered us the chance to delve deeper into the crusts and crumbs of hand-made loaves & artisan bread recipes.

The class was held just outside of Louisville in a beautiful, relaxing location.

A gourmet (often wood-fired) lunch and dinner was provided for us each day.

There was ample time for Q&A sessions throughout the course schedule. In total, the perfect atmosphere for one to focus on learning.

3rd batch of Sourdough

Sourdough Loaves

Time & Technique

The focus of this course is not about trying to pack in as many artisan bread recipes as you can, rather it’s about understanding the key ingredient: time, learning techniques and building muscle memory.

As you can see from the photos, the sourdough breads the class made looked better and better as the course went on.

There’s definitely lots of information to absorb in a week but taking the course a second time really helps solidify our foundations having spent the past year practicing our skills.

The key ingredient in artisan bread is Time. (tweet this)

Organic Networking

Of course, it’s not all just about bread, it’s also about enjoying the diverse participants who’ve come from all over the United States to be here.

Much like our first class in Tuscany, this time around it was just as important to connect and learn from the other breadheads in the class.

From my experience the type of folks that attend such courses are usually:

  • Kindred spirits passionate about organic food
  • Home artisans looking to hone their craft
  • Budding entrepreneurs looking to make the leap
A Lovely Panzanella

A lovely panzanella… never throw out old artisan bread!

Sourdough Endings

We started with sourdough and on the last day of the course, we ended up baking these amazing sourdough bagels that were proofed in the refrigerator the night before, which we had for lunch with smoked salmon, cream cheese, etc…

Grocery store-bought bagels just don’t live up to what you can make yourself.

And, as Carl reminds us, “if it doesn’t have a seam, then it’s not a real bagel.”

Sourdough Bagels

Sourdough Bagels

Proofing the Artisan Bakery Concept

The dream of starting our own artisan bakery business is slowly “proofing” and it’s courses like this that really energize us.

Even after we have our business up & running, I know we will make time for courses like this and continue attending conferences like NOFA NY and the Kneading Conference because the knowledge and insight gained from the collective community of farm & food gurus is extremely valuable.

I’ll do it simply because I love learning (a geek at heart) but also because that knowledge will be shared with my customers.

Artisan Bread Oven