Bread Making

Tuesday, April 11, 6:30-8:30 PM
Peggy Doran

Peggy Doran from Margaux’s Table in downtown White Bear Lake will teach students how to make a classic slow rise French country loaf of bread as well as a baguette and focaccia from one recipe. Please bring an apron to class.

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Build a Portable Brick Oven

Saturday, May 6, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
David S. Cargo

Join award-winning baker David S. Cargo to learn how to build a portable stacked-brick oven. The oven is built from stacked bricks that are not mortared together and can be moved after the oven is built. Learn how to build a small oven by yourself and go from bare ground to cooking pizza in about 4 hours. Class discussion covers some of the differences between these portable brick ovens and more familiar designs such as Alan Scott ovens, Forno Bravo Pompeii ovens, and cob ovens such as those made popular by Kiko Denzer. The class covers siting the oven, preparing the ground for the oven, and then the practical techniques for construction. Everyone will get a handout with plans for three different sizes of ovens, their bills of materials, and recipes for use with the oven. The oven is built to demonstrate the techniques used, and the plans that show how the ovens go together will be read. While the fire is heating the oven up, David demonstrates how to make dough for pizza, bread, naan, and pita bread. Later in the afternoon, the dough is formed into the proper shapes for baking, and some dough is formed for a loaf of bread. Finally, the pita bread, naan, and pizzas are baked (and eaten) and then the loaf of bread goes into the oven.

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Paella Valenciana

Tuesday, May 16, 6:30-8:30 PM
Peggy Doran

The Paella is the pan used to cook this legendary dish, and Valenciana refers to the region of Spain on the shores of the Mediterranean where it originated. It is typically cooked outdoors in the countryside on a dry wood fire. The Paella must be set at a suitable height to be surrounded by flames during the first part of the cooking, and the fire must be kept burning at the correct strength. Generally, good Paella depends not so much on the quality of the ingredients as on combining all the components in the correct proportions. The five basic elements – oil, water, rice, heat, and cooking receptacle – need be balanced with an almost mathematical precision. The experience and personal touch of whoever is in charge of the cooking are also of utmost importance. The preparation of Paella in the countryside is a ritualistic, festive occasion which can sometimes turn into a gastronomic debate! The relaxed, lighthearted atmosphere is punctuated with jokes and comments on the progress of the food. The experience culminates when the Paella is deemed ready, removed from the fire and carried to the table. Paella Valenciana has Bomba rice, rabbit or pork, green beans, chicken, snails, tomatoes, paprika, and saffron. Peggy’s version of Paella Valenciana will use seafood, pork, chicken, beans, chorizo, and Bomba rice. That’s a mouthful! Bring an apron to class.

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