Did you know you can travel around Italy—from Puglia to Genoa to Sicily—all without leaving Ann Arbor? Well, in this case, your taste buds can at least. In BAKE!'s Mambo Italiano: Italian Breads hands-on baking class, we’ll take you on a bread-making tour across Italy. You’ll experience fresh baked Italian breads made from scratch, including Zingerman's Bakehouse Paesano, Rustic Italian, Focaccia, and Sicilian Sesame Semolina. Go home with eight loaves in all. And they taste even better when you've made them yourself!
Let's meet the breads:
Paesano—This bread hails from Puglia, the heel of the boot of Italy. The name itself translates to “villager” or “countryman.” It’s a rustic peasant bread we make with nothing but organic wheat flour, water, sea salt, and yeast, along with an organic cornmeal-dusted crust.
Rustic Italian—This bread is delightfully uncomplicated, kind of dreamy really. It’s a classic Italian white bread with a mild crumb and a thin crust. What makes ours better than the Italian bread commonly found in every store and bakery? We use nothing but organic wheat flour, water, sea salt, just a little yeast, but a lot of time.
Focaccia—A tender flatbread with garlic and olive oil in the dough topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano® cheese.
Sicilian Sesame Semolina—The entire loaf is rolled in unhulled sesame seeds before baking. The natural oil in all those seeds that cover the dough gets slowly roasted in the oven, contributing an intense flavor and aroma, not to mention a lovely little crunch. And that’s just the crust! Inside there’s a firm, rich, and almost cake-like crumb made with golden semolina flour yielding a beautiful yellow interior. The same flour is often used to make pasta.
Our Mambo Italiano: Italian Breads class is a full eight-hour day of Italian bread baking guided by our experienced baking instructors. You'll cover all the essential techniques, including finding out what in the world a poolish is and why you need it to make these breads, how to handle yeasted doughs, proper kneading, shaping your loaves, finding out when your loaves are ready to bake, and more. You'll get plenty of hands-on practice. While your loaves are rising we'll sneak into the Bakehouse to see breads being made on a larger scale. We'll also enjoy a great Bakehouse lunch together mid-day, included in your class price.
After our baking experts demonstrate how to successfully execute these recipes before your very eyes, you'll try your hand at making them yourself. And our classes are small, 12 or fewer students, so our instructors can answer your individual questions. After practicing in that rich learning environment, you'll have the skills to bake these Italian breads at home any time you want. It could satisfy your cravings for both a fresh warm loaf of Italian bread and an Italian holiday at the same time.
You'll leave BAKE! with Zingerman's Bakehouse Italian bread recipes, the knowledge to recreate them at home, two loaves of Paesano, two rounds of Focaccia, two loaves of Rustic Italian, two loaves of Sesame Semolina, a poolish to make more bread at home later and great coupons. Not to mention a full tummy from a great Bakehouse lunch and bread sampling throughout the day.