Bread Fundamentals I
$490 per person
Our Fundamentals classes are designed to give home cooks a solid foundation of skills for everyday cooking and baking. They will build your confidence, equip you with techniques, and provide you with abundant inspiration in the kitchen.
What You'll Learn
By the end of the class you will:
- Know how to mix, develop, ferment, and proof basic yeast doughs.
- Handle and shape doughs with bench skill techniques that professional bakers use.
- Know how to adjust an oven for better results with your home-baked breads.
About This Class
Our Bread Fundamentals Series are designed to help you build a foundational set of skills to both prepare and handle a variety of leavened doughs. There are two separate courses: Bread Fundamentals One and Bread Fundamentals Two.
These courses are designed to expand your technical knowledge of WHY bread baking works while improving HOW you develop, handle, and shape bread dough.
The class will meet once a week over three consecutive weeks. While Bread Fundamentals One is not a required pre-requisite for Fundamentals Two, it is highly suggested that this be the first course you take in the series unless you already have a significant level of bread baking experience. Students in levels Two will be expected to have a thorough understanding of foundational baking skills.
Bread Fundamentals One lays the foundation, covering core techniques, ingredients, and skills for working with basic lean, soft, and rich breads. You’ll cover kneading and shaping and learn how to tell when a dough has properly fermented and risen. Bread Fundamentals One is the best place to start for anyone looking to gain a more thorough understanding of bread baking technique. After mastering how to make and shape a basic bread dough, you’ll move into pretzels, pizza dough, and torpedo rolls.
Class Meetup Dates:
Session One: Yeast Bread 101
Learn the standard phases that all breads go through, all the time. Get your hands right into the dough and make Sandwich Bread, Dinner Rolls, and Focaccia. Start calibrating your hands to the feel of these different doughs and practice basic bench skills for handling and shaping dough.
Session Two: Different flours, different shapes
Vary the steps or substitute different types of flour in this session. Hands-on practice making authentic German Pretzels and Semolina Torpedo Rolls. You’ll make a rich Brioche that freezes well to fit your home schedule.
Session Three: Putting it all together!
Experience how pro bakers juggle mixing, shaping, and baking different doughs all in one session. Remember that Brioche from last week? It makes the most tender burger buns you’ll ever enjoy. Honey Whole Wheat bread and your hand-stretched pizza wrap up the night.
- Wine included
- Light meal served in class
- Work in teams
- Suitable for vegetarians
- Three-session series
- Ages 18+
All students must show proof of vaccine before entering school and will be required to wear a mask unless eating/drinking.
We understand and respect that lifestyle decisions during Covid are an individual choice. If you test positive for Covid while the class is in session, you will be asked to send a friend in your place until you have a negative test. Classes will not be rescheduled, credited or cancelled. Once the class session starts the class is non-refundable. This was our policy pre-Covid and continues to be our policy today. We hope you find this policy acceptable and understand that this policy is required for a small school like SFCS to operate and open our kitchens for great food experiences.
The average duration of our current cooking classes is 4 hours, which is predominately hands-on work. You will be standing for the majority of class, cooking at your work station as your instructor demonstrates techniques and walks around providing individual feedback. Most of the time you’ll be working with a partner or small group on a few different recipes.
Doors will open 10 minutes prior to class starting and we will begin promptly on time. Students will be asked to queue up outside the door of the school to have their vaccine cards checked the first week of class (these will only need to be checked once).
Please arrive at the school with your own mask on. New, disposable masks are available should you need to replace yours while in class.
Wear comfortable clothes and close-toed shoes (remember, you’ll be on your feet cooking). The kitchens at SFCS are fully equipped with everything else you need, including clean aprons.
You will sit down with your classmates to eat what you’ve all prepared, along with some wine. We do suggest you have a small snack before class as dinner does happen towards the end of each session.
Wear casual clothing you can easily move around in, and comfortable close-toed shoes. Long hair must be pulled back and masks are required while in the building.
Jessica Sullivan got her start cooking professionally with Paul Kliste at his Restaurante Fratelli in Portland, Oregon. After relocating to San Francisco in 2004, she worked as executive pastry chef at Nancy Oakes’ Boulevard Restaurant, and later at Prospect. In 2012, she accepted the position of executive pastry chef for Craig Stoll’s Delfina Restaurant Group. Today, she is a full-time Pastry Arts instructor at San Francisco Cooking School and serves on the board of non-profit Sprouts Cooking Club.
Michael Kalanty is an author and artisan baker. He speaks on craft bread baking at industry conferences and teaches professional classes in the San Francisco Bay Area. His professional artisan baking course is offered through the Pastry and Baking Program at the Art Institute in San Francisco.