Baking for Community Course

Baking for Community Course

Bread Matters Baking for Community Course

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[We have changed the way we offer Baking for Community courses to make them more accessible to budding community bakers. We are offering a package of training and support through Scotland The Bread – a not-for-profit community benefit society that finds and breeds better local grains and help communities feed themselves better with the resulting bread. There is more detail on the theory and practice of community-supported baking here. If you are interested in Baking for Community in 2017, please tell us about your plans and needs, either by email or by ringing us on 01968 660449.]

Something extraordinary is happening in British baking. Up and down the country people are coming together to bake bread. They’ve got more than a gut feeling that factory bread doesn’t do you much good. They know that the only way to be sure of what goes into your food is to make it yourself. And they often start with bread – naturally. Though the dominant, over-centralised, additive-dependent way of baking is clearly unsustainable, it’s still capable of turning out cheap pap, so opening a bakery to do things differently needs courage as well as knowledge. But when you do it with some friends and with the support of the community, there’s every chance of long-term success.

Baking for Community, devised by Bread Matters in 2008, has played a modest part in launching what is rapidly turning into a movement: community-supported baking (CSB), modelled on, though even more varied than, community-supported agriculture (CSA). As practical baking alternates with business sessions, you’ll learn from the leading organic artisan baker and campaigner, Andrew Whitley, whose long experience of starting and running a small village bakery is revealed in a wealth of advice and encouragement to everyone seeking to bring real bread to their neighbourhood. There are now several CSB projects in the UK that can act as case studies, including one, Breadshare Community Bakery, which began life in the Bread Matters kitchen and now operates from Portobello in Edinburgh.

This course is for:

  • people planning to bake bread for sale who are considering the best way to establish a viable operation 
  • members of existing (or emerging) social enterprises who are looking at breadmaking as a possible addition to, or focus of, their community work
  • those who are already baking for their community who want to make better bread and who need advice on scaling up recipes, bakery equipment and workflow, product costings and regulatory standards (like organic certification)
  • anyone interested in community-supported baking who would like four days of intensive breadmaking to broaden their knowledge and product range, together with discussions on the ethos and practicalities of this exciting new way or working.

The course lasts

Four days: 10 am to 5.30 pm; 9.30 am to 5 pm; 9.30 am to 5 pm; 9.30 to 4 pm.

You will learn

  • the essentials of baking real bread for sale, i.e. the ‘how’ of making it happen and the ‘why’ of meaningful work, social inclusion, community enrichment - in short, health
  • basic recipes that are straightforward to produce and can be adapted into many variations that are guaranteed to appeal
  • about the emerging network of community-supported bakeries, with actual cases studies to demonstrate what works
  • a great deal about the practicalities, including funding options, ownership structure (cooperative, community interest company etc), machinery (especially stone ovens), production planning, recruitment, costings and more
  • innovative marketing and distribution strategies to ensure that your bread reaches as wide a public as possible

    You will take home
  • some of the many breads that you have made 
  • a signed copy of Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley
  • a copy of Knead to Know, the Real Bread Campaign’s indispensable handbook for commercial and community bakers
  • a workbook of information, exercises and resources to help plan your community-supported bakery

You will also get

  • coffee, lunch and tea each day (all organic, with much of the food grown on the Macbiehill smallholding)
  • a three-course dinner on the first evening (partners or friends can come too, for an extra charge).

“Provided a real insight into both the technical skills and the science underpinning the course content. Andrew also personally shares his own evident love and deep understanding of all aspects of breadmaking and the meaning of bread which is both generous and inspiring.”

“This really helped me to realise – or actually just crystallise what I already knew – that this is what I want to do:
I can’t imagine not working in a bakery somehow.”

Detailed Information
Venue Macbiehill Farmhouse, Lamancha, near Edinburgh
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