Focus on hearth-baked sourdough breads in this 5-day course with Muddy Fork’s founding baker and teacher Eric Schedler. Eric is a working baker, responsible for mixing, shaping and baking Muddy Fork’s 300+ loaves and 600+ pastries every week. A former high-school teacher, he is also an inviting host and patient teacher, and has taught over 50 baking workshops.
We host this course in our production bakery, where we mill all our whole-grain flours on a stone mill, and bake in our 7 1/2 – foot deep brick, wood-fired oven. Each day, we will make 70 to 100 loaves together.
Registration for the course is limited to six students, includes lunch and includes an invitation to shadow our weekly production and baking on the 6th day.
Who is this course designed for?
This weeklong course is for home baking enthusiasts, budding professionals, and business owners wanting to add bread to their repertoire. We are sensitive to the needs of the group and will adjust the focus based on participants’ interests.
Course Overview by Day:
- Medium and high-hydration doughs based on mostly white flour
- Whole-grain wheat and spelt doughs; baguettes
- Whole-grain kamut and heavily seeded doughs; croissants
- Rye breads
- Participants’ choice: revisit challenges & design a bread
- learn to control the natural fermentation process of sourdoughs
- learn to mix doughs to proper development made from a variety of grains, including wheat, spelt, rye and kamut
- gain experience with shaping doughs both in flour and water
- learn to score loaves of different shapes
- learn to load and unload loaves to the hearth using a traditional wooden peel
- learn about wood-fired oven management & safety
- gain experience using a rolling pin to laminate, roll and shape croissants
- gain experience using commercial bakery equipment, including an 80-quart dough mixer and a reversible dough sheeter
- learn to work in baker’s percentages and baker’s math
- learn about the business side of operating a bakery
A typical day will start at 9 am with a short gathering to review the previous day’s activities and preview the upcoming day, answer questions and take input from the participants. Then we will bake the bread prepared the previous day, which has proofed overnight in the cooler. We will prepare dough for the next day’s bake. Over lunch we will dissect the bread from the morning bake and calculate recipes for the following day. After lunch we will continue with the dough mixed in the morning, shaping it and pushing it into the cooler for the night. We will mill flour for the next day’s dough and prepare a starter to ferment overnight. We will end class around 5 pm each day.
Weather-permitting, we will have lunch and discussions in our outdoor garden space.
Cost for the weeklong course is $900, which includes all ingredients, materials, recipes, starter to take home, lunches and as much of the baked product as you can take with you. It also includes the option to stay for a sixth day to shadow our weekly production of bread and pastries.
We have one scholarship available per course, a need-based waiver of up to 2/3 the registration fee, which is intended for individuals with a strong interest in pursuing a baking career.
Dates & Times:
The fall 2019 course will run noon to 6 pm on Sunday, October 6, and 9 am to 5 pm October 7 through 10, with the option to shadow our production between 8 am and 5 pm on October 11.
Muddy Fork’s weeklong baking course was a wonderful experience. I appreciated the opportunity to bake so many different breads as well as croissants, bagels and pretzels. I loved the chance to work with the oven directly and to make large quantities of bread all week. A highlight is the focus on diverse grains and on how to build recipes. I feel much more confident in myself as a baker, and I understand artisan bread in a whole new way. This course has helped me get started on my journey as a professional baker in my community. –Andy, fall 2018
This course summed up many years of trial and error amateur baking into 5 days, solving all of my perennial hangups in the realm of whole grain, hearth bread baking! Also, the massive quantity of bread we worked with allowed for a great familiarity with many types of dough, leaving me with invaluable texture and feel memory, which shall serve me for many years to come. I can’t think of a better 5 days for the passionate baker! plus, you get to eat as much as you want… dangerous when its croissant bake day. –Jeff, fall 2018
Muddy Fork’s Artisan Bread Weeklong Workshop was absolutely fantastic! I highly recommend this class whether you are a home baker, you aspire to work professionally or you currently work professionally. Eric is a phenomenal teacher because of his in-depth skills, his ability to explain instructions and baker’s math, and his committed patience. We made around 18 types of flavorful artisan bread including croissants, pretzels, spelt, kamut, seeded, rustic, ryes, ciabatta, challah, etc. This was truly a baking production experience by making 70-140 loaves per day. Eric and his family’s enthusiasm is contagious. A hot croissant and pretzel fresh out of the wood oven is a rare and absolutely delicious experience. We were able to take home plenty of bread for family and friends. Also, Eric provided delicious lunches everyday. For the cost, this workshop is definitely worth it. For the experience, this workshop is very thorough and full of information so that now I feel confident to bake with success at home. This workshop was stellar way beyond my excited expectations. –Kelly, spring 2019
For anyone wanting an intensive exposure to the techniques involved in making naturally fermented artisan breads using brick ovens, this class is a must. Recipe formulation, fermentation, proofing, bread shaping, scoring and baking are all covered in a helpful friendly setting that will give you more hands-on experience than you would get in 10 years of baking at home. –Clay, spring 2019