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My first loaf was a basic sandwich bread. I added too much flour the first time and patient Pat allowed me to start all over again.
My first loaf was a basic sandwich bread. I added too much flour the first time and patient Pat allowed me to start all over again. This bread is probably best known as weekender in Jamaica, much better that hard dough in my opinion.

I spent last weekend learning how to bake bread. No, I spent last weekend actually baking some delightful breads. When I signed up for a three-day class at Hains House, I anticipated a lot of lecturing and theory but from the moment I entered the classroom, I had my hands in flour, and I continued to learn by doing for the entire weekend. Forewarned to come with comfortable shoes, the few breaks we took were for delightful meals at the farmhouse table prepared by our industrious instructor-hostess, Pat Hains. I hauled home nine large loaves of bread and several smaller buns crafted by my own two hands, scones and even some hard-to-find fresh yeast that our master instructor was willing to share.

Farm-fresh eggs give a boost to the color of brioche.
Farm-fresh eggs give a boost to the color of brioche.
I elected to add fresh rosemary to my batard
I elected to add fresh rosemary to my batard
Pull-apart rolls from the very versatile brioche dough
Pull-apart rolls from the very versatile brioche dough
Butter for brioche!
Butter for brioche!
We even made bagels
We even made bagels
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Pane Francesa
My batard has been formed in the banneton, scored and ready for the wood oven
My batard has been formed in the banneton, scored and ready for the wood oven
Lovely rosemary loaves
Lovely rosemary loaves
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Margherita toppings
My chewy batard with pumpkin seeds
My chewy batard with pumpkin seeds
Fresh out of the oven
Fresh out of the oven

We are still going through all the bread I made this weekend (lots of bread pudding and french toast are on the horizon) but I am already gathering the tools to bake some loaves at home – I even made a little bread nook in a room adjacent to the kitchen. Thanks, Pat, for this immersion into the world of artisan breads and the courage to go forth and bake!

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