Making Bread, Naturally

As part of their bi-monthly series of Potluck Sunday Dinners, Slow Food Seacoast hosted a Bread-Making Class that accompanied a meal focused on “Bread, Yeast & Beer.” I had the pleasure of attending, and learned  from baker Paula Marcoux how to work with a dough sponge, develop and feed the leaven, and how to shape a roll expertly. For some scenes from this very hands on class on making Vienna Bread, Cheese and Scallion Rolls and Pain au Levain:

In addition to teaching and writing, Paula is also an historian. Her latest project is surveying existing historic ovens — if you or know of someone who has an existing bake oven, you can help by filling out this quick survey: Historic Oven Survey — Documenting our baking past, one oven at a time…

Later this summer, Paula returns to New Hampshire, giving those who missed her class another chance. The class at Canterbury Shaker Village will focus on making some examples of historical breads:

Historical Baking: An Archaeological Perspective
Canterbury Shaker Village, Canterbury, NH
Instructor: Paula Marcoux, editor of Edible South Shore
Thursday, August 25, 6–8:30 p.m.

Drawing on archaeological information and her own oven-building experimentation, Paula Marcoux will discuss the types of ovens and bread used by the very earliest French and English colonists in North America (1540–1640). Learn about making and sample historical breads such as “cheate bread” from England, “pain brié” from France, and the international treat, “ship’s biscuit.”

Take home recipes and leaven (sourdough starter) to bake these breads at home. Fee for Class: $50/non-member; $45/member.

For more information about Paula’s upcoming class at Canterbury Shaker Village, visit: Slow Food Seacoast’s next event is their annual Down-on-the-Farm Picnic on Sunday, July 24th at Touching Earth Farm in Kittery — save the date!

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