I thoroughly enjoyed my staty at Old Home Cottage where the Artisan Bakery is located. I enrolled for the gluten free baking one day course and absolutely enjoyed it. Penny and Dragan are wonderful. I also ate at the Treby Arms down the road, a Michelin rated gastropub. It doesn't look it but once you see the menu you are in for treat. They are closed Mondays and Tiesdays so luckily I had Sunday to enjoy the evening. Monday was baking day after a leisurely and abundant gluten free breakfast. Penny had all the grains, rice, seeds, beans, etc. on a slate board both ground up into flour and also in their dried state. She explained the kinds of leavening yeasts used, the items used to create a bouncy feel to the baked goods to substitute for gluten: psyllium, ground flax seeds or chia seeds as well as stabilizers and other items to add such as apple cider vinegar, salt, spices, etc.
She had a wonderful binder for me with loads of recipes and I got to make six different kinds of baked items. The book has lots of recipes that we didn't have time to make such as pizza dough, cookies, etc. but I will definitely try these at home. On my arrival she had a tray full of tea and coffee as well as almond gluten free cookies that tasted like shortbread and was delicious. The room was very comfortable if you are staying overnihg - I was in the Garden Room with ensuite bath.
Penny is a great teacher, she had everything ready for me and it was a matter of simple weighing of the ingredients (don't be afraid of grams if you are from America - it's more precise and will yield a better product than measuring cups. We made sourdough boule, yummy rolls with sesame seeds, black poppy seeds and rice flour dusting on top - moist and bready in flavor not like the cardboard taste that gluten free from the store often tastes like. We made a white sandwich loaf for toasting or use in sandwiches, from a brown flour mix we made orange + coriander bread and then fig + fennel bread. For lunch we made a savory soda bread which can be made sweet, plain or other kind of savory.
I enjoyed the day very much. Sparkwell is a taxi ride away from the nearest train station if you traveling that way (Plymouth station) and costs between 12.10 and 16.60 British pounds. The Dartmoor Zoo is 1/2 mile walk up the road and well worth visiting after your baking day which is around 4 hours start to finish.
Dragan has been building wood burnig ovens outdoors so that is an option to learn as well. Thank you both for your hospitality and for teaching a teacher something new and useful!
I had a lovely day with Penny who was very knowledgeable on gluten free products. We made a wide range of breads & pastries, Penny was able to introduce me to a wider range of flours & mixes. I am a coeliac of 18 years & have come away from the course with a new inspiration to use a wider variety of flours & new recipes. Oh & my pizza was scrummy! Thank you Penny & Dragan
I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in furthering their skills in Viennoiserie or for those who just want a really fun relaxing day making scrummy pastries in a wonderfully friendly environment! Penny is a brilliant teacher and has a lot of patience for those of us who are new to this area of baking. Both my mother and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and couldn't speak more highly of this course! Thanks Penny.
If like me you really love the idea of making your own bread, with more natural ingredients - but the results so far a a bit all over the shop. If you bought a book and still... meh... Then this is the answer. Dragan and Penny are both the most welcoming of tutors, their home is idyllic, the bakery a sympathetic extension of their kitchen. Dragan is patience and thoughtful in ensuring you understand each step of the way. And quickly identified where my problems lay as a baker. I'm too Jamie Oliver, and need to be more Mary Berry. More than this though learning to knead properly is something I now value so much. Understanding how to play with quantities, temperature and time to get far more consistent results, and fit into the time you have, is a bit of a revelation. And some weeks later and I am both a little surprised, and delighted, to turn out results at home that pretty much match those on the day. Dragan's son joined me on my workshop, and the day simply rushed by in learning, chatting, laughing, and ended up with me thinking I was with friends more that teachers. I was going to a wedding locally so stayed overnight with them - Penny also runs one of the finest B&B's I've stayed in - and have reviewed the accommodation too on TripAdvisor - with photos of the bread, go look, I'm still impressed. And all this in a beautiful part of the world to visit, so it is well worth combining a course with sleeping in the most comfortable bed ever, in a nurturing environment, with charming people and a real injection of happy memories and great skills. Simply put, I loved it.
I had a great time and learned a lot, mostly these "little" things which make all the difference when you are setting up your own bakery.
The accommodation is lovely and peaceful, just what you need when you have to work hard for two days!
Penny and Dragan are the best teachers going and have a real sense of humour which definitely helps.
And on top you will enjoy the most delicious dinners prepared by Penny with lots of attention to detail.
No need to go the local Michelin star pub.
Thanks to Penny and Dragan I am confident in making my loaves now and most important, my customers are very happy with the result.
Thank you, Penny and Dragan!
I thoroughly enjoyed my baking day. I am a sourdough baking novice, although I love to eat it! Dragan and Penny are excellent teachers with so much talent and enthusiasm. I baked baguette, which I enjoyed with the excellent home made lunch, spelt, malted wheat (granary by any other name) and a fig and caraway rye loaf. I came away with all this wonderful bread, my sourdough starter (which I have named Doris) and my homework which I will endeavour to make into an acceptable loaf. I have wanted to learn how to bake sourdough for a while and am so pleased that I was able to start my journey with the help and support of Dragan and Penny and their excellent books. I would recommend them to anyone.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our day spent baking with Dragan and Penny - it was great fun and we learnt a lot. The course is very hands-on and we made loads of tasty sourdough bread to take away, including baguettes, white, brown and granary loafs and two kinds of rye breads.
Penny and Dragan really know their stuff. It was especially useful to be able to get advice and be shown and practice techniques such as proper kneading, shaping and scoring. We covered a lot during the course but the eBooks provided help you to remember all the information when you get home.
As well as being suitable for beginners, this course would be good if you've got a bit more experience. If you've experimented with sourdough breads with slightly hit-and-miss results, then this course is ideal for understanding where you might be going wrong and the best techniques to use.
We'd like to say a huge thank you to Dragan and Penny for a wonderful weekend.
Spending an entire weekend immersed in bread baking with our two expert hosts filled our heads with baking knowledge. Dragan and Penny passed on a wealth of advice and tips based on their experience of baking over many years, from techniques and theory, to advice on how to fit bread baking into a busy life.
In addition to learning so much we also had a wonderful, relaxing stay in Devon. The cottage was beautiful, in an idyllic location, and all our meals were mouthwatering.
We can't speak highly enough of this course. If you want to kick start your bread making skills, this is the course you need.
What can I say 'WOW and a HUGE Thanks', the course was fantastic and Dragan and Penny were absolutely perfect hosts and teachers. Their approach and methods were inspiring and the days were both insightful, fun and educational (great banter). I have come away feeling very enthusiastic (even confident) and feel like I have the knowledge to take things further. Not sure were this journey of new skill will take me but it will certainly involve some dough!
Most courses have a rigid format, but this one; flowed beautifully at the same time adapting to my needs and questions. Adapting so I could practice on the items I felt I wanted to grasp a little more whilst still having guidance all the way. The free e-book is also totally amazing and has the same clear non technical explanations, guidance and tips. With all great skills comes the very understanding of the craft your learning, without those foundations you cannot grow your knowledge and skill. You will learn this and so much more from this course, stop reading this and book now!
I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in developing their bread making skills.
From the moment I arrived I was made welcome, and it wasn't long before we got baking...starting with delicious pizzas and baguettes and as the weekend progressed, we made lots of different artisan breads as well as making brioche and focaccia.
But the course offers so much more than a sack load of bread to take home. I learned many tips and techniques that have transformed my bread making. The course itself is very well paced and allows time to relax and enjoy the location and Penny and Dragan's wonderful hospitality.
I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend with Penny and Dragan at their lovely home in Devon. Both are more than hospitable, providing us with truly delicious food and warm and comfortable accommodation.
As a complete newcomer to bread making, I learned such a lot over the weekend.
We experimented with Heritage low gluten flours besides regular white and brown organic flours. I learned about sourdough and how to work with "The Mama" :-))
My family and friends, with whom I shared my bounty, were thrilled to pieces.
I can't recommend the Artisan Bakery School enough!
No matter what your need, both Penny and Dragan will tailor make a bespoke and memorable experience, which will be treasure for a long time.
Will be booking the Gluten Free programme soon.