Bread Baking Class: Carb Loading in Reverse

This past weekend, I renewed my love for NYC. Not that it needed to be renewed. But it’s just that ever since I moved across the river and spread out in a big ol’ house in the burbs, well…life has become, easy. I don’t carry my groceries up three flights of stairs. I don’t search for parking for 45 minutes on a Sunday night. And I certainly don’t sweat like I used to living on the top floor of a brownstone in Brooklyn.

Except for this weekend.

Saturday I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. If you are a runner in the area, this is definitely the race to run. A flat, easy course, fantastic cheering sections along the way and a big, Brooklyn-style party at the end, complete with beer drinking and Nathan’s hotdogs at 9:30 in the morning. Really can’t be beat.

Then Sunday was part two of the bread baking class at Le Pain Quotidien. Here’s the class description:

The perfect follow-up to our Bread Baking Basics class, Part II delves deeper into the subject of making artisan bread.  In this three-hour hands-on class, we will discuss the use of yeasted starters in bread-making and further explore the wonderful art and science of fermentation.  We will make a few different breads using different starters, and we will also use different grains, including rye and spelt, to make breads with heartier textures and flavors.  You will have the opportunity to sharpen your shaping skills and learn new scoring patterns.  And, as with all of our classes, you’ll leave with an abundance of beautiful breads to wow your friends and family. 

For three glorious hours, I got to pretend I was a bread baker in a sun filled bake shop on Bleeker Street- a fantasy I often have during those bad days at work. I left the class with an entire tote bag filled to the brim with different kinds of bread: focaccia, ciabatta, and whole wheat batards. Upon arriving home, I wrapped up much of the bread to save in the freezer, but I took one look at the focaccia which was just screaming to be made into a Spring flatbread.

And that was dinner: Spelt Flatbread with Roasted Asparagus and Goat Cheese. A glass of wine and fresh air. A perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Flatbread with Asparagus and Goat Cheese

This barely needs a recipe- you could use any pizza dough (just use a small amount) or pre-made flatbread.

If using dough, shape a small piece into a round, sprinkle some olive oil on the dough and place on a hot stone for about 7-8 minutes in a 500 degree oven. (Feel free to get tips on pizza here.)

Cut asparagus in half and toss with olive oil and one clove crushed garlic. On a separate sheet pan, roast sliced asparagus for about 8-10 minutes.

When dough is cooked through, remove from the oven, scatter with goat cheese, roasted asparagus and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.


13 thoughts on “Bread Baking Class: Carb Loading in Reverse

  1. So much goodness in this post.
    1) I LOVE le pain quotidien
    2) I love bread
    3) you left w a bag full of fresh bread
    4) you get to eat it all
    So jealous. Won’t you come bake some bread for me?! xoxo

  2. That’s some good-looking bread! And that asparagus-goat cheese flatbread…yum! I think you should move to L.A. to open a bakery with me.

  3. This has inspired me so much! Headed to the farmer’s market right now on my lunch hour — some springy vegetables will be coming home with me for dinner — I’m only cooking for myself tonight. Asparagus flatbread and wine, yes please!

  4. loved your story. i live in downtown jersey city and i’m having such a hard time moving to the burbs… does life really get easy? yeah, i could see that, not having to lug around groceries and all. but then it’s good exercise. i’m so confused. 😦

    1. I don’t blame you! We had a really hard time making the move. I have to be honest and say that it took us a good three years before we adjusted to suburban life. If we didn’t have kids, we’d still be in Brooklyn- but we have two kids and, yes, life is definitely way easier now for so many reasons- groceries are one of them!

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