From kneading loaves of artisan bread to making the shiniest macarons, SoGlos has whipped up a hot list of 13 of Gloucestershire’s very best baking classes – a baker’s dozen, no less.
Perfect if The Great British Bake Off (on Channel Four from Tuesday 21 September 2021) has inspired you to don your apron, get a little expert help in the kitchen and become a baker worthy of that coveted Hollywood handshake…
The family-run Hobbs House Bakery boasts five generations of baking heritage. Baking courses are taught by experienced staff, including The Fabulous Baker Brothers – Tom and Henry Herbert, with children and adults learning how to make loaves, classic British cakes and more at the Chipping Sodbury Cooking School.
As well as being home to Cheltenham’s dreamiest desserts, Edible Art Patisserie in Montpellier offers regular masterclasses for artistic cooks. Ran by Damien Wager, courses include chocolate and macaron making, teaching different modern patisserie techniques.
Carolyn Denny runs all sorts of themed cooking demonstrations at Winston House School of Cookery near Stroud, covering everything from classic puddings to showing budding bakers how to make the perfect bread, lemon drizzle cake and shortcrust pastry in her Bake Off inspired session.
Set in a Forest of Dean location, Harts Barn Cookery School believes in classes that are accessible, affordable and fun. Try your hand at making macarons or baking artisan sourdough bread, while the kids can have a go at developing their own chocolate creations, with seasonal baking classes too.
Professional chefs are on hand to offer advice, while students take advantage of the organic farm’s produce to make some spectacular creations at the Daylesford Farm Cookery School, near Kingham. Focusing on simple dishes, classes are designed to spark a beginner’s passion for food, with more advanced classes, including artisan bread making, for the more ambitious.
Located on the private estate of Colesbourne Park near Cheltenham, Foodworks Cookery School helps budding bakers reach professional heights. Expect to learn how to create delicious desserts and sumptuous savouries, with its introduction to patisserie session teaching Bake Off fans how to make choux pastry, Italian meringue and more.
Welcoming bakers of all levels into her kitchen in nearby Shipston-on-Stour, Susie offers laid-back classes for small groups, teaching guests how to make everything from American-style bagels to traditional Portuguese tarts – with dedicated workshops on how to create vegan-friendly treats, too.
From hot cross buns at Easter to festive mince pies, Alice runs seasonal cookery workshops from her Cotswold kitchen in Beckford, for experienced cooks and newbie bakers alike. She’s not running her usual face-to-face sessions at the moment, but budding bakers can enjoy a selection of online sessions in 2021.
For something a little different, groups can head to Cheltenham’s Vanilla Pod Bakery for the chance to battle it out, splitting into teams for a cake decorating showdown. The bakery also offers private cake tuition sessions with founder Pia Cato, where guests can learn how to create the most Instagrammable cakes.
Having trained in France, professional breadmaker Danielle Ellis shares her extensive knowledge during bread making classes at Severn Bites in Gloucester. Using mainly local ingredients, students can learn how to master everything from sweet doughs, pastry, bread and seasonal treats too.
Head just over the border to Worcestershire to brush up on your baking skills at Eckington Manor’s state-of-the-art cookery school where you can create show-stopping desserts, learn how to make your own pastry for pies and puds; while there’s also the chance to pick up tips on cooking using an AGA.
Located on a Cotswold country estate, Thyme at Southrop specialises in cooking courses, demonstrations, tastings and hands-on baking days. Both novices and master bakers can learn the secrets to success from an expert chef, harvesting their own ingredients straight from Thyme’s kitchen garden.
For those pursuing a serious career as a catering professional, Gloucestershire College has a number of courses that fit the bill perfectly. From a diploma in professional cookery to an introduction to patisserie and confectionary, there are plenty of opportunities to hone your skills and unleash your inner Prue Leith.
By Annabel Lammas
Monday 20 September 2021
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