Will Work for Bread

5th March 2011

In the railway arches of London Fields resides a bakery. I can’t remember how I heard about the E5 Bakehouse or it’s bread making classes but the idea of learning how to bake fresh organic bread was something I knew neither Sash or I could resist.

Ben owner of E5 was our teacher for the day, he’s a laid back kinda guy so it followed the course was very relaxed. Before we knew it Sash and I were in the swing of things kneading away whilst dancing along to the world music playlist in the background. The nature of bread making means there is a lot of time waiting around for things to rise and gases to form but the course was organised well and the day flew by. There’s quite a lot of science to it all, the interaction between all the different elements and the ‘refreshing’ of the ‘mother’ proved to be a little baffling. I’m sure if I stick at it though (which I intend to do) the penny will eventually drop!

Sash getting acquainted with some ‘mother’

Wholemeal seeded, ciabatta and Hackney Wild sour doughs

We made four different breads in total; ciabatta, a wholemeal seeded tin loaf, bagels and the signature Hackney Wild soda bread which we took home to bake ourselves. Call me nosey but I also really enjoyed the fact the class took place in a working bakery with business as usual going on around us. I found it fascinating and it really made me feel this is how it should be, everything hand made, sustainability focused and organic how can you argue with that?

Where the magic happens – Ben’s homemade wood burning oven made with and fuelled by reclaimed materials.

Pre-boiling the bagels before they go in the oven (yes, I didn't know they were boiled first either!)

Lunch is also provided and as you would expect of such a business, vegans are well looked after. We were prepared a simple yet comforting dish of couscous with roasted leeks and potatoes dressed in oilve oil and a salad with the most amazing dressing (thank you Meg!). Of course there was also fresh bread.

Whilst the others in the group where treated to fresh cookies, Sash and I were given free reign amongst the Happy Kitchen goodies another of the 3 businesses who reside there. Incidentally as well as being organic, seasonal and vegan all their products are also gluten and sugar free. Wahoo!

Happy Kitchen brownie (OMG!) and banana and walnut muffin

The most exciting bit was when all the breads came out of the oven, I couldn’t believe how much my ciabatta looked like the stuff you get in the supermarket, but why shouldn’t it?! As well as our freshly baked breads we were also offered the different mothers so that we can continue to bake at home.


The E5 Bakehouse will be featured in next Wednesdays episode of Great British Food Revival on BBC2 at 8pm, but if you can do go down to see the bakery yourself and say hi to Ben from me. 🙂

The course costs £65 and runs 11am-5pm for more details or to book yourself in email info@e5bakehouse.com

E5 Bakehouse on Urbanspoon

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