The Learning Loaf
Time Out says
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The Learning Loaf is a social enterprise that runs a range of bread making classes out of the kitchens of a primary school in Charlton. But that doesn’t mean these courses are for kids – 'This is better than sex!' declared one keen baker midway through the Introduction to Italian Bread class, and she wasn’t the only one having fun.
The classes are led by Maxine Room and Graham Penn, who between them have plenty of baking experience and knowledge but also an enormous passion for it, too. And it’s seriously infectious. Graham described to us in detail the way he likes to wrap parma ham around the grissini we were making before dipping the whole lot in oil, and by the time he was finished not only was my apron covered in saliva but I’m pretty sure my kneading technique had improved as well.
We also learnt how to make focaccia and Panmarino breads, but the focus here isn’t on achieving perfection, it’s about enjoying the process and building the confidence to give these recipes a go at home. Still, care was taken to slow things down and focus on specific concepts and skills when needed, and the friendly atmosphere meant that no one felt embarrassed to ask a question.
There are other courses at The Learning Loaf, including an Advanced Sourdough class for those who already know their bannetons from their boules, but whatever your level of expertise you’ll get something out of these classes, even if it’s just tips from Graham on how to make the most of a breadstick. Alex Plim
Charlton Manor Primary School
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