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Recommended by our reviewers

The Sourdough School

Member offer:

Free copy of Vanessa’s cookbook Prepped when you attend a course at Sourdough. Please mention you are a member when you book your course on 07707 480336 and show your card on arrival.

The Sourdough School was founded by Vanessa Kimbell, currently studying towards a PhD in Nutrition & Digestibility of Bread. Vanessa is both a student and a sourdough specialist, baker, award-winning author of the best-selling book The Sourdough School & regular contributor to BBC Radio 4. The school is situated in rural Northamptonshire.

What is The Sourdough School?
“A centre for sourdough research & education. We are deeply passionate about sharing knowledge and empowering people to bake bread that is both delicious and that nourishes.”

What do you do?
“Our courses go far beyond just learning to make sourdough. They are about understanding every aspect of the process. From the soil to the milling process, the nutritional value of wheat, the history of bread, to the specific actions of the microbes. We also cover how fermentation transforms flour into a more nutritious bread, and how this bread nourishes not just us, but our gut microbiota.”

What do you teach?
“At The Sourdough School you learn how to make nourishing, delicious, open-crumb, nutritious, fermented bread, with a burnished crust & a classic soft wheaten sweet-sour flavour.”

“You also learn about the microbes, from baking to digestion. Sourdough is the most ancient craft: it is about understanding the role of microbes from those you culture to make sourdough, to optimising the levels of nourishment for the microbes in your gut… known as the gut microbiome.”

What levels do you cater for? 
“We welcome all levels of students, from complete beginners wanting to make their very first loaf, to doctors, health-care practitioners, and seasoned bakers who simply want to expand their repertoire or further develop their skills.”

How do you teach?
“Most of our teaching is online, but we do run a small number of tutorial-style three-day and seven-day diploma classes each year. They are run from Vanessa’s kitchen.”

Vanessa says: “My philosophy at Sourdough is to have time to chat and to learn. A warm, friendly, relaxed environment is the best place to absorb new sourdough-baking skills, and that’s exactly what my kitchen-classroom offers. I believe bakery courses should be fun. You will learn so many new skills, but also make new friends and laugh a lot.”

To find out more, visit The Sourdough School website.

For more Northamptonshire recommendations, click here.

Useful info
Pitsford village, Northamptonshire
07707 480336

Customer review for The Sourdough School

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  1. Avatar SALLY FORDYCE says:

    Vanessa runs a variety of courses from her home in a purpose built annexe that makes you feel as if you are in a French kitchen and you can go along whether you are an absolute beginner who wants to learn how to start making sourdough or more advanced and want to learn new techniques. I have been on a couple of her courses now and the latest was hosted by a guest international baker. There are never more than ten on a course so you get the opportunity to really learn and it is a very hands-on day – you will come away with lots of lovely breads and a pot of sourdough starter. Vanessa is very generous with her knowledge and you learn so much – it is also easy to ask questions to help you to bake delicious bread of your own. There is lots of food to eat throughout the day – samples of bakes and Vanessa also provides a lovely lunch of local products. Your journey doesn’t stop when you go home either – you will become a member of the Sourdough Students’ Club where you can continue to get help and support from Vanessa and other students and also have access to recipes. I can’t recommend the courses highly enough so take a look at her website and book yourself onto one soon – you won’t regret it.

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