Breaking Bread with Lauren Hambleton
A few weekends back I had the amazing opportunity to take part in a sourdough bread and pie dough making workshop at the picturesque West Avenues Cider farm. This two-day workshop includes all materials and ingredients, which is amazing if you are not much of a baker. We also got to keep our recipe booklet, that includes step by step instructions on how to make these recipes again as well as a few other goodies!
I loved getting to know Lauren! She is really amazing, she worked as a pastry chef for a winery in Niagara-on-the-lake and also worked as a culinary teacher. Who is so passionate about the healing powers of food and art of baking. I really enjoyed her discussion about her experiences and travels with food and it was really nice getting to know her.
Day one began in the amazing century barn on West Avenues property, surrounded by barrels of cider, this cozy setting is so rustic and fitting for making such a homey and cozy treat. We begin with getting our dough together for the sourdough bread, following easy to follow steps demonstrated by Lauren. Once our dough was setting we began to work on our pie crust. Again following step by step instructions from Lauren, we began making our sourdough pie crust, this was surprisingly easy. The really cool thing about the pie crusts is that we packed them up and were able to freeze them, I am planning on using mine at thanksgiving and am very excited to do so, I think that they will taste amazing!
After a morning of working, we broke for lunch! Lauren made the most delicious pizza and watermelon salad (which was amazing! I am so going to make this next summer) and we also got to have a little cider tasting! West Ave Cider is my favorite cider they are all so delicious and trust me even if you don’t like cider, this cider will definitely turn you on to it! I was no cider fan but now I am hooked on West Ave.
We returned to our work station in the barn and began shaping the dough, which is the last step before letting our dough rest overnight before baking. This process was a little tricky but Lauren was very helpful, she took the time to make sure that everybody’s dough was in good shape before leaving for the day. Once the dough was shaped, we transferred it into baskets (bowls in my case) and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I was unable to make the second day of the workshop, but thanks to Lauren’s guidance, I was able to bake my bread at home.
On day two, the group made their starter, which is a key component in making bread. The starter can be kept for years given the proper care and feeding routine. It was also on this day that the group bakes their bread, I was able to bake my bread that evening and even though I was a little uneasy turning my oven up to 500 degrees (I didn’t even know it could get that hot!), the bread turned out AMAZING! Although it is a bit of a process, I would love to make my own sourdough again. If you have ever been curious about bread making or if you have wanted to taste the freshest bread possible, I strongly suggest you check out one of Lauren’s workshops.
You can find Lauren’s upcoming events here. Her next workshop is on October 7th at West Ave Cider.
Peace, Love & Carbs
The Hamilton Hippie ✌🏾