Whether you are in London for 2 days or 3 days, I highly recommend doing a cooking or baking workshop. There are plenty of places now offering them. You can learn how to make bread like I did, or you can learn how to make doughnuts, as well as some offering to each you how to make the many amazing desserts in London on offer.
Like many during the lockdown, we found refuge in the dough to pass away the time during the stay-at-home orders. My husband taught himself to bake sourdough bread. Through YouTube and online blogs and plenty of trial and error, we managed to get many decent and tasty loaves for breakfast.
In addition to that, we also had our trusted breadmaking machine which got plenty of use considering the hunting I had to do to find bread flour over the pandemic.
With all that was going on, I thought I would branch out to other types of bread and treats. Considering my love for Italy it was only natural that I look into Italian bread making near me.
Luckily Borough Market which is only a short walk from me has a Bread Ahead. They have a baking school right above their Borough Market bakery.
Baking Plans Ruined
Like everything, the time we were in and out of lockdowns, meant that my baking classes were postponed 2-3 times. I was so glad to have found a class so close by which meant that I wouldn’t have to take the bus or underground, at a time when everyone was scared to be in close proximity.
I booked and paid £90 for the class only for it to be cancelled again because of a newly announced lockdown. They had offered to run the classes online but I wanted an in-person session so opted to wait until when the lockdowns ended.
Ready Steady – Get Baking! Baking Italian Bread
I had booked the half-day 3 hour Italian baking workshop in Borough Market with Bread Ahead. Because all the fears of around Covid and people mixing and all that, the workshop was slightly altered.
The tables were distanced and the workshop participants were smaller. Also, we had our starter mixes or sourdough started already mixed and ready for us.
We were going to be making ciabatta, focaccia, and grissini bread. There’s something about Italian bread that is completely irresistible. The rosemary, the olive oil, the sea salt – what’s not to like?
If I remember correctly we had two members of staff in the room with us and all were very lovely. Knowledgeable, in the equipment, the recipes, and their various combinations you could do at home and with varied ingredients.
We were taken step by step with how to knead the dough for the perfect focaccia that was light and fluffy. The result? Perfect rosemary focaccia that was fragrant and just a delight! Its crazy just what amazing things you can do with flour.
I am used to baking muffins and banana bread at home where the mix tends to be a lot thicker. With many of the Italian bread mixes, the dough is a lot lighter. A touch intimidating if I might say.
We also made some lovely ciabatta and some breadsticks that I took home with me. We were also given our very own sourdough starters which didn’t last long at home as I couldn’t keep up with the maintenance.
I learned so much during the workshops, the instructors were excellent, friendly and approachable. We had coffee on the house while we waited for our goodies to bake in the oven. I would highly recommend it.
If you are looking for a cooking or baking class in London, I highly recommend Bread Ahead.
Other Baking Workshops In London From Bread Ahead
Bread Ahead workshops are also run in Wembly and Chelsea in their Pavilion Road bakery. You can find workshops for baking French pastries, Japanese baking, British baking, sourdough baking, Middle-Eastern and Eastern European.
In addition to the festive workshops with the baking of festive treats from the UK, Italy, and Scandinavian.
I bought a workshop voucher for my niece to learn how to bake their famous doughnuts and she absolutely loved the workshop as well as the doughnuts she walked away with.
Free Baking Recipes
On the wall, as you go up to the Bread Ahead Baking School, they also have free baking recipes on the wall for cakes and other desserts. You can also purchase one of their books for additional recipes.