I love Autumn! It is one of my favourite seasons! I love the scenic views and colours that you get when you are out walking in the fresh air! The change of weather is what reminds me that you need to keep warm and cosy at home! These are the moments you yearn for yummy soup recipes to prepare at home to enjoy with a good crusty bread, just baked from the oven! Of course, this is not something I personally would prepare at home because cooking is not my skill but my hubby Nick has the skills and has surprised me on occasion with fresh soups and oven fresh bread!
I was invited to the #AutumnalBaked event organised by Curry’s PC and Hotpoint at The Jamie Oliver Cookery School in Westfield London Shopping Centre. I was going to learn how to make focaccia & crusty white rolls, how to make the perfect baked goods for the colder weather as well as getting delicious pumpkin soup & fondue recipes to help us make the most of our bread. I was looking forward to attending this event and passing the tips, tricks and recipes onto Nick and all of you of course. I am always up for a challenge and every time I do, I surprise myself with the results! Maybe I am not as bad at cooking as I think I am! 😉
Despite Westfield London being my nearest shopping centre, I had no clue that there was a Jamie Oliver Cookery School located at the back of Jamie’s Italian restaurant! This was a surprise for me because I have visited this restaurant several times but I guess it is easy to miss it as it is right at the back, so you wouldn’t normally go that way if you are visiting the restaurant to have a meal.
The Jamie Oliver Cookery School is amazing! It has everything you need to learn how to cook or if you are a good cook already, you can perfect your skills with new techniques and lots of new recipes to prepare! They have lots of different cooking lessons, so if cooking is your passion, this is the place for you! It is nicely decorated and has a fair amount of workstations fully equipped with the latest Hotpoint ovens.
The event was about #AutumnBakes, so the cookery school was decorated with an Autumn theme with colourful leaves everywhere. It was a lovely atmosphere. Everything was ready for us to listen to a lovely lady called Gaby who was our chef for the event. She told us all about bread baking, kneading and proofing! She made it all so easy and simple but I was sure that when my turn arrived to try it myself, things were not going to be that easy, LOL!
We were taught every step of how to prepare fresh bread rolls. You really need to work the dough very well! I really enjoyed learning how to prepare different styles of bread. The plated one was my favourite. I felt that each type of bread had a little bit of an art to it. It was very interesting.
We then learned how to prepare focaccia and how to make our own focaccia dough. I love focaccia so I was very interested to learn the process involved in preparing it.
Preparing the dough needed a lot of movement and patience! You have to keep kneading and kneading constantly until you get the perfect texture. We were taught a few tips to perfect our kneading! We also learned about dough proofing and how long it should take.
After listening to Gaby, it was our turn to do the same! I was so nervous because as I said cooking and baking is not part of my skill set, LOL! We were provided with some dough to begin shaping the bread.
I made 3 different styles of bread: a bread roll, a plated bread and a baguette. We then had to add some glaze which means adding some egg to make it shinier or milk to obtain a matte look. Gaby suggested that we could use an oiled knife to do some long cuts along the baguette which can make it look even better. It was a lovely experience! I actually quite enjoyed shaping the bread. It was then ready to put inside the Hotpoint ovens, which were perfect for this type of baking.
While we were waiting for our bread to be ready, we were given the ingredients to prepare our focaccia dough. This was a tricky one. It needed a lot of kneading to reach the perfect consistency! I actually found the kneading therapeutic, LOL! After a little while, my focaccia dough was ready. We were able to take this dough home to prepare it in another moment.
We were also provided with a focaccia dough ready to be decorated and baked there to take home too. I added some tomatoes and rosemary which I crushed using a granite pestle and mortar. I didn’t manage to try my focaccia there because I had to leave early but they kindly sent me my baked focaccia and we tried it at home. It was delicious! Nick also put the focaccia dough I prepared in the oven. We really enjoyed eating this at home with the girls.
I did my best with the baking and I was pleasantly surprised with the results! What do you think?
Following this, we were taken to another room to taste a lovely pumpkin soup and a fondue with our freshly baked bread! I had to leave at that moment to attend a school event so I didn’t manage to try them but OMG it looked very tasty! I am so annoyed I missed it, but I did get to take my freshly baked bread home where we all enjoyed it with some butter! It was lovely!
You can read more about this event and find some cool recipes from Curry’s blog post HERE.
Do you like baking? Have you baked bread rolls and focaccia before?
*Disclosure: I was invited to attend this lovely event organised by Curry’s PC and Hotpoint for the purpose of this blog post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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