Bread Fundamentals (3 class series)
$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, shape, and bake a wide variety of breads
- Develop basic professional bench skills for bakery items
- Understand how to achieve a great rise, and crust, on home baked breads
About This Class
This three consecutive evening series (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night) will teach you a set of bread-based recipes, each one with the ability to become many additional variations. We will focus on natural starters for most of the bread, inspired by recipes from Tartine, Josey Baker, and Sullivan St. Bakery. By learning these foundational recipes, you will build an intuitive sense of how things work in the world of bread baking.
You’ll learn how to use a variety of yeasts, as well as baking powder/baking soda leaveners. As a class, we will make a natural starter that you can take home to use in future bread baking. Different flours, including cake flour, all-purpose, bread flour, and whole wheat will be introduced and we will explore enriched doughs like challah, Parker House rolls, and sticky buns. Forming loaves, both freehand and in pans, will also be a technique you get to try many times.
You will leave Bread Fundamentals with master recipes for levain, baguettes, soft pretzels, white and whole wheat sandwich bread, parker house rolls, challah, pizza dough, English muffins, sticky rolls, baking powder biscuits, scones, and more. You’ll be amazed at how many creative ways you can transform these recipes into your own signature baked goods using each of these foundational techniques.
And yes, you’ll be able to take many of your breads home with you!
Session One: Master Craft Bread Formula and Pâte Fermentée
You’ll learn the formula and techniques for a master dough, then focus on your bench skills as you transform that dough into baguettes, rolls, and knots. You’ll learn all about pâte fermentée for next week’s breads.
Session Two: Rustic French Breads
Using pâte fermentée, you will make and bake French Country and Olive & Rosemary Breads. You will learn about biga, an Italian-inspired starter, and use it to make a variation on pizza dough.
Session Three: Rustic Italian Breads
Using the biga pre-ferment, you’ll make and bake Ciabatta and Potato & Roasted Garlic loaves. Wrap up the course as you advance your pizzaiolo skills with biga-based pizzas to enjoy for dinner.
- Wine included
- Light meal served in class
- Work in teams
- Suitable for vegetarians
- Three-session series
- Ages 18+
The average duration of our current cooking classes is 2 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.
Due to COVID-19 regulations, we can not have students congregate in the building before class starts. Doors will open 5 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, safely distanced (sidewalks are clearly marked) and will be let in the school just before class begins.
Please arrive at the school with your own mask on. You will be given a new, disposable mask to wear in class to ensure what you have on hasn’t been contaminated prior to entering SFCS. We will have extras available should you need one while at school.
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.
Due to COVID-19 regulations, we will not be serving food or drinks during class, We will, however, be sending you home with both ingredients and finished food items so you can enjoy them later, and practice as well.
Wear casual clothing you can easily move around in, and comfortable close-toed shoes. Long hair must be pulled back and masks, provided by SFCS, are required while in the building.
If you can’t make it to a class in a three, five or six-week series, you are welcome to send a friend in your place. Please notify us if a friend will be taking your spot.
Unfortunately, due to the small size of our classes, we do not offer make-up classes for missed sessions in a series.
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.