Check out the culinary program upstairs @ Whole Foods on Bowery. Just took a baking class there which was amazing! Sarah Copeland, a most charming and informative teacher, taught us hands on dough making skills. Or rather, displayed her rather impressive ability to transform flours, butters, oils and sugar/salt into gorgeous flat breads, pie crusts, etc. It was truly a sight to behold, particularly when I tried my hand at the pie crust and ended up with a hot, melty mess. Rare for me to fall that flat, I have made pie dough and other doughs that need to be rolled out before. For some reason I was a hot, melty mess much like my pie dough. So I’ll state that my problems pretty much point to the fact that Sarah was a rockstar. A baking-yummy-things rockstar.
We started making the aforementioned pie dough first. Not my fav. In fact I realized through this experience that i’m not a huge fan of that flaky dough. Croissant dough, hell yeah. Pizza dough, duh. General bready dough, absolutely. But flaky pie dough, maybe not so much.The advantage was stuffing it with ground lamb and mashed potato or plum preserves. Now that was fun.
Next up was my favorite, the whole wheat flat bread. A blend of flours with olive oil, sugar, yeast and salt. Simple. Elegant. Rustic. Homey. And bloody amazing. It was a brilliant dough to make, very easy. But the real delight was that first bite. She served it with ricotta, pea shoots (meh), red pepper flakes, sea salt and olive oil drizzled atop. I still crave it. I am thankful that I have that dough in my freezer waiting for me to pull out, let rise and bake.
And the final final was the sourdough pizza. An amazingly wet dough. And seemed like you can rip it easily. But produced something that was quite ethereal. crispy. delighful.
The class was a supreme value given the fact that you pay to learn how to make these things and then get to eat them. And if you are lucky, you may even have something to take home (in my case it was my flat bread dough and a 90 y.o. sourdough starter from wisconsin named bernie).
If only I had taken pictures.