Scour the internet and you’ll find all manner of bread making courses across the UK, but you won’t find many that are actually held in a bakery. The location was just one of the reasons that Peter Cook’s weekend sourdough course in Ludlow was such an exciting prospect to me. Another was an article I’d read a few months earlier which discussed those foods to make and those to buy. Sourdough was firmly placed in the latter category due to the unpredictable nature of the sourdough starter.
I decided to take the plunge and enrolled both myself and my husband on the course, we’d done a quick bread making session at the Aldeburgh Food Festival last September and the other half had become quite taken with the process. Held over a Saturday and Sunday a) to allow the bread time to proof and b) to allow participants the time to enjoy this wonderful town, we set off.
There were five us on the course, surprisingly no one from Ludlow, two from the Bradford area and three from north shropshire.
Over the two days Peter took us through the steps for making each bread and we also got a fascinating insight into the life of a baker. I’m not sure I could cope with the topsy turvy hours and the heat in the summer!
Like I said though one of the major plus points of the course is being at the bakery. We were surrounded by giant mixers, decades old but still working perfectly well, traditional wooden paddles (which we got to use to put our bread in the oven); row after row of traditional proofing baskets and fresh local ingredients which go into their speciality breads. It was a great atmosphere.
Being a director of the Ludlow Food Festival its not a surprise that Peter is an advocate of sourcing local produce wherever possible, such as Old Henry beer from Hobson’s Brewery, cider from Dunkertons, flour from Bacheldre Watermill, bacon and sausages from the butchers of Ludlow and olives from local supplier The Olive Press.
A simple but amazing white sourdough
A quick soda bread which we all took away from the first day and demolished with family and friends that evening
Green olive and pumpkin seed bread and rolls
Pain au Levain
Borodinsky, a Russian rye bread
And the best bit of all – because the two of us had gone on the course, there was twice as much bread to take home. Literally a flour sack full.
If you’re visiting Ludlow a great time to do it is in September when the annual food festival takes place. Price & Sons is on Castle Square in Ludlow and is owned by Sheila Barnett, her daughters, Wendy and Deborah, and Deborah’s husband, Peter. The business has been run by the family for the last 72 years with Deborah and Peter moving back from London in 2000 to take up the helm. Details of Peter’s bread courses can be found on Price & Sons website.