Breaking Bread with Tom Rodgers
We will lead a course looking at fermentation with expert chefs and bakers, whether it is bread making, wild yeasts from the vineyard, or using the Potentino vinegar mother.
Continuing our study of Yeast and Fermentation, we will be hosting a course looking at bread with expert chefs and bakers. Looking at grains, dough, hydration, proofing, shaping and baking, the course will include visits to the local flour mill, a chestnut drying shack and a panettone making session on the Monte Amiata which has an age-old culture of bread, flour and baking.
Bread is one of our most ancient staples and an essential part of human community. The word company comes from ‘con pane’ or ‘with bread’ and this indicates the importance of its convivial role in the evolution of civilisation. Yeast and bacteria are the fundamental transformers of natural elements into the edible. This course will explore all aspects of their uses – from sour dough to pizza, sweet breads and ciabattas.
About Tom Rodgers
Tom Rodgers stumbled into working as a chef while researching a PhD in Anthropology on Restaurants and Chefs at UCL. He subsequently worked at places such as Hedone and The Clove Club in London where he was in charge of developing and baking all the breads. Following a couple of pop ups as half of Kemble Rodgers, he has moved to Sardinia where he is exploring local breads and flours.
Friday 31st March
Transfers from Pisa airport at 17:30
Wine tasting and introduction to the Castle followed by dinner in the castle’s vaulted medieval dining room.
Saturday 1st April Morning – The Anatomy of Grains
Tom will discuss the different grains and varieties, looking at the qualities and strength of flour. Dough will be prepared to bake in the afternoon.
A light lunch will be prepared by the team at Potentino.
Getting to know your Dough
4pm- 7pm Tom will take you through Hydration, Proofing and Shaping the dough made in the morning. This will be followed by pizza dough prep for Saturday’s dinner.
We will cook up a traditional local recipe Zuppa di Pane served with the new oil from Potentino’s olive trees.
Sunday 2nd April- Flour Day Morning
8 a.m. Baking Baking session and breakfast with bread fresh out of the oven and freshly churned butter. 9:30 a.m. Milling On Sunday we will head out into the Val d'Orcia to the Mulino Val d’Orcia where they use stone milling to make flour and pasta from a range of organically produced traditional and old variety grains.
We will go up Monte Amiata to a chestnut drying shack to see chestnut flour being made in the traditional way.
We will visit Roberto Rossi’s Michelin-starred restaurant Il Silene where we will learn how to make the traditional Italian Christmas bread, Panettone with a sour dough starter.
We will make some pizza from the dough made the previous day in the castle’s wood-burning oven.
Monday 3rd April Morning – Baking and Theory
9:30a.m. Tom will take you through sour doughs and baking with pre-prepared doughs. The course finishes after lunch with take away bread and starter to begin baking at home with all your newly acquired skills.
Guests depart to Pisa
Or optional extra night at the castle (not included in course fee). Guests depart.