A travelling workshop that makes sourdough bread
An introduction for all ages in making sourdough bread, with the setting and tools consisting of a mobile wood fired bread oven and a large table around which the know-how is shared and bread is broken together!
The workshop will be travelling and independent, it can be brought anywhere: from schools to community centres, retirement homes, parties and festivals, to private homes and to companies in Belgium, France and wherever the road takes us.
Lightheartedness, humour with a hint of theatre!
Different methods will be proposed based on the number and age of participants
In the style of a "traditional bakery" the workshops will take place against the backdrop of a real wood oven.
In the foreground, the old traditional mixer, a sort of large wooden bowl into which the ingredients will be added one by one, in a specific order and pace.
Initially, armed with a gloopy mess of what can only be described as bubble bath, through a succession of kneading and pauses, we arrive at a beautiful, big ball of dough.
The wood fired bread oven is assembled outdoors. As a function of the set-up of the location, the workshop will unfold in a tent, opposite the oven or it could be foreseen in the premises of the host.
The notion of time will be straight away called upon. The dough will be waiting in the mixer - beside the oven – covered with a cloth.
During the dough's rising, a number of different activities will be offered:
- Flour discovery workshop: mill and sieves. A cake is made from the sifted flour.
- A more technical workshop around the methodology involved in sourdough bread-making.
- A theatrical tale from the world of bread, led by Jeannine Gretler in which all the audience participates
- Activities centred around the wood fired bread oven: cutting wood, lighting the fire, managing the temperature and the humidity
- Information related to flour and bread.
After these activities, we will divide up the dough and learn how to form the bread: in iron moulds or baskets and then by hand, decorating the bread according to the seasons...
Then to baking and of course removing it from the oven, the loaves are then ready!
We use organic local flour freshly milled on stone.
Making bread connects us to simplicity, to our essence, to ourselves and to others.
Following the broadcast of several programs denouncing the bread sold in large supermarket chains, even organic bread produced on an industrial scale, it is now commonplace to see people take pride in making their own bread, with, admittedly, not always with compelling results! But the step has been taken, those who prefer their own home-baked daily brick over a big air-filled industrial sponge!
Through the act of making bread, we would like to contribute to raising awareness of the whole spectrum of this act. How can doing something this simple make us so happy?
In the past, the land as provider was important and occupied a real place in people's minds. Today, there are large supermarkets that take care of feeding us. As our friend Pierre Rabhi has said, we are a race no longer having real contact with the earth.
Through this workshop, we would like to open up avenues of reflection on our relationship to food and its origins that elude us.
Getting to make your own bread is an act that children consider "magical"! Extremely reassuring ("I can make something as important all by myself... I can be independent and feed myself" ...), uplifting ("I'm doing just like a baker does"), kneading and baking are intimately linked to the history of humanity. There is something essential at play which cannot be understood except by participating in this process...
Already used from the time of the Egyptian empire, it is a mixture of water and flour that will form after several days yielding a fermented dough to be used in bread making to give it its volume by creating small or medium cavities depending on how it is worked.
It is a veritable natural little factory, working for us at no cost, sourdough requires far more diligent supervision than working with yeast. In fact, in order to maintain its properties, the sourdough needs to be respected and refreshed accordingly, adhering to temperature also forms an important part of the process. Let us not be afraid to declare that with sourdough, we work with that which is living.
Sourdough needs time. Yeast, meanwhile, could be described as the symbol of modernity and the rat-race, it puts pressure on the dough.
Moreover, sourdough bread is much more digestible, can be kept for much longer and retains many other benefits that are addressed during the workshop.
- Jean-François Piazza bread making
- Jeannine Gretler - theatre
Jean-François Piazza, part-time employee at Tanneurs organic market in Brussels.
It has been 8 years that every Friday on a farm, he makes sourdough bread for his loyal customers.
"Bread and I are not an old love story. I was not introduced to it from a very young age, dear no... It's far less romantic. My parents, good average Belgians - well rather, an average Belgian mother and an average Sicilian father – both dreamed of freedom and large chain supermarkets. Our home picture: five children, me the third born, all around the table, with white bread in the middle of our table. Good white bake that was already, for the time that was in it, a beautiful version of the industrial sponge that we have come to know today.
The taste for real bread came to me much later in life."
By strengthening his connection to nature and participating in one of the first collective gardens of Brussels: l'oasis du ginkgo, he came across Pierre Rabhi and a rural baker who taught him to make real bread.
For this project he has teamed up with Jeannine Gretler, an actress who trained at the Lassaâd International Theatre School, Brussels. With her company Orange Sanguine, she opts for travelling theatre accessible to all, based on movement, invention, clown and music.
For the past 20 years, she has led workshops for children and adults in acrobatics, Chuan Tai Chi, theatre, clown, movement, music...
Since October 2014, she also teaches at the International School of Theatre Lassaâd.