Baked Sourdough Bread in East London

Our Christmas present to each other this year was a sourdough class at the E5 Bakehouse in East London. I've wanted to learn how to make sourdough for ages, but never had the confidence to try. Charlie makes his own bread, and I make pizza dough, but I was terrified of sourdough. Mostly of killing the starter, actually.

Coffee, bread (of course) and our workstations greeted the 10 of us on the Saturday morning. Note: these classes are EXTREMELY popular so when we booked in December the next available slot was in May!

Ben, our teacher, has been working at E5 since it started, and is not only passionate about sourdough and baking in general, but is an excellent teacher. He explained the science to us, as well as the various factors that can influence the bread (types of flour, water content of the dough, vitality of the starter, etc).

Here I am with what I think is bagel dough (not sure at this point).

Lunch was provided and was exceedingly delicious.

I made bagels. Because BAGELS.

This was our farmhouse rye loaf in its proving basket:

Afternoon snack. Baking is hungry work. (The 10 of us shared, don't worry.)

My bagels in their boiling-water bath, after proving and before baking:

Charlie in action:

SHUT UP. No, those were not swapped in by the professional bakers - those were the rye sourdough loaves that we made.

We were even given little pots of starter to take home with us. Mine is now about to celebrate its 3-week birthday and is doing very well thank you. The "mother" is 7 years old and has lived at E5 since the beginning.

The bagels were amazing.

Ok, fine. More pictures of bread.

This was all the bread we made, except the Hackney Wild loaves, which we took home and baked the following morning. 4 ciabatta, 4 bagels, a rye farmhouse, and the Hackney Wild. SO MUCH BREAD.

I've made bread at home since the class, and it was delicious. It takes a few days from start to finish, but the active time is really short. Most of the time the sourdough yeastie beasties are doing the work for me. Thanks, sourdough beasties!


  1. Wow, that looks a great day and some really professional looking breads that have me salivating. So much bread - what to do!


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