Sourdough Baking in the French Loire Valley

Duration: 5 Days

Price: £400

Run by: Sam Palmer
at Retreat to the Farm


La Guimarderie,

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About the Course

This immersive 5 day course offers the rare opportunity to dive deep into a holistic and practical understanding of the bread making process. Bread has been a staple food in our society for thousands of years; through baking together we will tap into ancient traditions and explore deeper questions around food, farming, the natural world and our place in it.

At the heart of the course will be multiple opportunities to experience the entire life cycle of a sourdough loaf, gaining a deeper understanding of the wild yeasts and fermentation that transforms raw dough into truly nourishing bread.

In a society that can often feel relentlessly hungry for faster and cheaper food, and with more and more people opting for a gluten-free diet, it is clear that we are being fed with bread that no longer nourishes us. Together we will explore why modern wheat is making us sick, what this means for the way we grow our food, and how we can all be part of the movement that makes it possible to feed ourselves in a way that brings us joy and nourishment without our planet or other beings paying the price.

All while dropping into the tranquillity and sustainable ethos of The Farm, allowing for plenty of time to rest and relax.

We will mainly focus on regular wheat and rye sourdough breads, as these demonstrate some of the most nutritious and natural ways of baking, with an introduction to the world of heritage wheats, their advantages and how they affect the baking process.

You will even learn how to make wonderful sourdough pizzas and bake them in the newly built wood fired cob oven (which can also be used for our loaves)! Kate is passionate about making all of these baking techniques inspiring and accessible so that they can be joyfully incorporated into even the busiest lives.

Your teacher will be Kate Marton, who is a self-confessed sourdough fanatic, having trained and worked for some of the top bakeries in the U.K including the award-winning Brickhouse Bakery and E5 Bakehouse in London. For the past year, Kate has been the Head Baker at the centre for sustainability and leadership, Embercombe. Here she designed and delivered sourdough courses for people of all levels. She empowers people to roll up their sleeves and take the art of bread making into their own hands, grounding this ancient tradition within a broader philosophical conversation of what it means to make our own food.

If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

An immersive 5 day experience of baking set in the beautiful Loire Valley, with 4 nights accommodation in a beautiful 14th century farmhouse, private heated swimming pool included!
Beautifully prepared meals throughout your stay, and more fresh bread than you could dream of. Experience making sourdough pizzas baked in a our very own outdoor wood fired oven. There will also be additional excursions to local markets, towns, and chateaux. You will also receive your own sourdough starter and recipe booklet complete with an overview of everything that we will cover.

Your travel to and from the retreat is not included. There will be optional excursions throughout the week so please bring additional euros for extra drinks, meals outside of The Farm, chateaux entrance tickets etc. French wine and beer will be available at the venue, although at an extra cost (there is an honesty chart on the fridge which is paid for at the end of your stay).

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Course Start Dates

Monday 20th August 2018

Browse all UK Baking courses, Bread making courses, and Rural crafts courses

  • Accessible by public transport
  • Accommodation
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Suitable for events & groups
  • Teen friendly

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