Season after Season:
Wood-Fired Workshops at Mary G's Artisan Breads
We’d like to extend our thanks to the many people from all over North America and beyond who, year by year, season by season, have attended our wood-fired bread baking workshops. Participants have come from as far west as New Zealand, Australia, Montana,Texas and Edmonton, as far east as Halifax and Quebec, as far south as southern Texas, and as far north as Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. By far, the greatest numbers have come from all parts of Ontario and border states.
We've had one record breaking season after another, from March in the snow, June in the sun and December in the snow. Through it all, the mountains of bread and pillars of pizza, we have been continually struck by the camaraderie, the humour, commitment to learning and the constant amazement about how well wood-fired ovens really work. The days are long and intense, but the spirit never falters.
Among the many positive comments we’ve received about our courses, a few really stand out:
This baking thing is not for the faint of heart. But it is also extremely satisfying. There is something very primitive, very visceral, about making bread. The leavening, the kneading, the baking, speak to the very core of our existence, to our collective human heritage. From "So You Think You Can Bake Bread," by Tracey Coveart, The Scugog Standard, July 20th, 2007
By lunchtime our olive boules and ancienne baguettes are ready to eat. Served with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, the olive-rich bread is remarkable. The baguette is unlike any I’ve ever eaten, with a softer crust and a more complex tasting crumb. Article in Explore Durham, by Betty Zyvatkauskas, April 4, 2008.
First, I need to tell you that the weekend was everything we expected and
more. The lessons/tips/tricks on baking were invaluable plus all the
information on the oven was certainly an added bonus. I'm sure I will get a
lot more out of my oven based on your knowledge. Charlie C, Ottawa, August 2008.
Thank you so much for the informative, fun and delicious workshop. It was an experience I will remember forever. I love the bread. And, that pizza was the very best I have ever had. It truly is all about the crust....yum! My head is spinning, wondering what I should do next? Jo-Anne M, Peterborough, November 2008.
Upcoming Workshops, Fundamentals
Dates are somewhat adjustable, but our two-day Artisan Bread Fundamentals Workshops are held just about every weekend from late March to early December. This is the course with the broadest base and widest range, the one most often taken. The other workshops listed below are usually based on demand.
The Saturday begins at 8:30 and runs to about 5:30. During this day, we focus on ingredients, measurements, dough theory, hand techniques and the preparation of two-day breads. The Sunday begins at 8:30 and runs to about 5:00. This day sees most of the actual baking, including wood-fired pizza. Group size is limited to a minimum of two and a maximum of four to take full advantage of the hands on nature of wood-fired baking. Each dough has been carefully chosen to illustrate particular aspects of bread baking, so substitutions are not normally permitted.
The cost is $500 for each participant. All course materials, ingredients and equipment are provided. A gourmet lunch is included both days (please inform us of any dietary restrictions). Each member will take home one loaf of each bread we bake, as well as a portion of Mary G's sourdough starter to propagate. Do come prepared with comfortable footwear and casual clothes that don't mind a flour coating.
For detailed curricula, driving directions for this and all our workshops, accommodation recommendations or general information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
French Regional Breads
There has been considerable demand over the last few years for more specialized workshops that focus on particular regions or themes. In this course, seven different breads are made, from Crusty Gruyère Loaves to Pâte
Fantasie Bâtard. The emphasis here is on country-style breads. Start and end times, as well as class size and cost, remain the same as our Fundamentals Course.
Italian Regional Breads
Again, attention is given to regional country loaves, from Pane
al Pomodoro to Pane
al Asiago and Roman-style, rectangular red pizza. The time-frame, format and cost are the same.
This is the most advanced course we offer, because it does assume a certain amount of experience to get the full benefit from it. Most participants have take the Fundamentals Course first, or have baked in a professional setting. The seven breads include Pain à la Bière from Alsace to Poilâne Miche from Paris. Both transitional and 100 per cent breads are made. Terms are the same as all our workshops.
International Breads, New in 2013
There are many fascinating breads from different cultures around the world. This workshop is devoted to lesser known loaves and flatbreads from North Africa, India, Armenia and Greece, including Lavash, Simit and Medfoona. The terms and time frame are the same as all workshops.
New for 2014, Pizza Nights
This is a one-evening fun event for those who want to lean how to make, and eat, authentic pizza.
905 985 8957 to reserve. Cost is $45 per person.
on instruction indoors and then we take our pizzas outside to the wood-fired
oven. Imagine different types of Neapolitan and Roman authentic pizzas cooked
to perfection in 90 SECONDS!
to worry, we'll tell you how to bake your pizza in your home oven or on your
bbq. BONUS: 10% discount if you would like us to build your own wood-fired
your friends together or join a group . BYOB, and we'll put a great evening
together for you!
Faces at Mary G's Workshops
It's not possible to show every single person who has attended, but here is a representative selection. The participants have backgrounds as varied as finance, medicine and technology, restauranteurs, highly experienced home bakers, beginners, and wood-oven afficianados. All share a keen interest in learning how to make real bread.
Ros came all the way from New Zealand to attend in June 2007. Since then,
she has installed her own wood-fired oven at home and makes both pizza and bread in it.
Brenda, on the left, came from the farthest . She lives in
The Edmonton contingent.
Making Portuguese Masa Sovada.
Potato, Cheddar, Chive Batard.
Wood-fired pizza on Sunday, including Tina's burnt offering that still tasted good.
Forming Ancienne Baguette. Results are what count.
From Rochester to Pennsylvania.
The Saskatoon brigade.
Roger and Chris return to join Adam.
Refel, on the right, came to us from Texas.
for a course in Italian breads.
No one ever said that artisan bread baking doesn't get messy from time to time. It's all about hand work.