Real Bread Revolution – sign me up!

We took some time out this afternoon to reminisce on a #BreadMonth Saturday Bread Day from two years ago ahead of our next Bread Workshop on Saturday 11th March…

In Cooks Academy we’re celebrating Real Bread with #BreadMonth this April.  So what does it mean, how does it taste, who makes it and where can we buy it?

The main focus of our bread classes in Cooks Academy is to give people the opportunity to make their own bread with fresh yeast. Once made, the dough can be used to make bread, buns, focaccia and pizza.

We have a 1 day course on the April 11th where new bakers can come and learn how to bake bread from scratch using fresh yeast. On completion they will have the confidence to bake homemade artisan bread to wow their friends.

To celebrate we are offering a 30% discount, just use the code TwitBread415 when booking. Click here for more information.


Not so long ago I had the entire team on a mission to search for the ultimate brown scone.  I modelled my taste memory of the ‘perfect scone’ from the batches my Auntie Joan used to bake. While recipes for brown scones are few and far between let’s just say I developed a preoccupation for finding the best one to serve at our saturday workshop as a ‘healthy’ alternative to a white scone.  Easy? not so.  As frequently happens I deferred to Tim’s mum for her recipe and she pointed to a tiny page torn from a cookbook (Theodora Fitzgibbon) cellotaped to the inside of her press.  We worked from there but I was not quite regaining my taste memory.  Why can’t we make it taste like ‘letsnotmentionanynames’ cafe’s scone (a small eatery around the corner from us).  Oh, said my pastry chef – they buy in a chemically enhanced scone mix! …..- POW – I discovered a cause. In our September certificate course we delighted in a marvellous duo named Greg and Brenda who enrolled in our 4 week certificate course.  They live in an Eco Village in Cloughjordan and we were so taken by their description of this unique community of like minded eco neighbours that we organised a field trip for our 8 week students to Greg and Brenda’s village.  Not 100 metres from their front door, we visited a community garden; a biodiversity farm and lastly a bread school, owned and run by Joe Fitzmaurice called ‘Riot Rye’   Listening to Joe, changed the way I buy bread.  Now, I am more aware of the mass produced breads pumped with artificial additives and undeclared processing aids.  It all makes sense to me.  Rye bread is low GI, so I was always a fan, but Sourdough is the King according to Joe.

Plaited Loaves
Plaited Loaves


We also have a more advanced bread workshop which we designed for students attending our 8 week course.  The week before the class, there is always a comical flurry of ‘who has the starter dough, who’s minding it in their airing cupboard’ (this is the fermentation bit -the new culinary buzzword!).  Of course once we get started, we make Sourdough bread to such a high standard, I often feel like opening a bakery. Sigh….

Artisan Bread


Nicola's Bread  Rye bread benefits from an acid dough (Sourdough).  The king of Ireland’s bread basket is Sourdough and if it is being produced by an artisan ‘Real Bread’ baker then there is a good chance that a) it is good for you; b) it is supporting local community c) the jobs created per loaf are far in excess of the mass market loaves.

The first week of our 4 week certificate course features a ‘bread day’  I see it as a fun day for the students and I am always struck by how exhausted they are after a day making bread.  You give your entire self to it (perhaps it is like minding children, it is so intense)!

Oh, and I’m still working on that brown scone recipe (feedback on the recipe below welcome).

A good day’s baking


Serendipity ensured that a few month’s after meeting Joe Fitzmaurice, Riot Rye, I happened to speak with Keith Bohanna, the founder of ‘Real Bread Ireland’.  We’re thrilled to begin a series of events beginning 27th April 2015. Click here for more information and to sign up!


 Meet the Producers Series: Meet the Bakers, Monday 27th April 2015 at Cooks Academy Cookery School Dublin.

The first in a series of Meet the (Food) Producer events in which Keith Bohanna from Biabeag explores their stories, their passions and their food making. Celebrate the launch of Real Bread Ireland with 3 of Ireland’s leading artisan bakers. Join in the discussion with the bakers, food bloggers, industry movers and opinion formers and find out the latest trends, tastes and techniques in the world of quality bread baking.

Real Bread Ireland

Thibault Peigne, Tartine

William Despard, Bretzel

Eoin Cluskey, Firehouse Bakery

Real Bread Ireland
Real Bread Ireland is a network of craft bread bakers (both craft and small scale bakers) and consumers whose aim is to encourage us all to eat better bread, whether we buy it or make it ourselves.

Stay tuned to Cooks Academy for details of future dates in the Meet the Producer Series.


Makes 15 medium scones
300g Wholemeal Flour
300g Self-Raising Flour
1½ tsp bread soda
2 tsp salt
100g Butter
1 Egg, lightly whisked
425-450ml Buttermilk
1 Egg, for egg washing tops of scones
  1. Sieve together the wholemeal flour, self-raising flour and bread soda and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Rub in the butter until bread crumb stage.
  3. Add the egg and the buttermilk into the scone mixture and mix in EXTREMELY lightly so as not to overwork the dough.  Once all the buttermilk is incorporated, turn out onto a floured surface.
  4. Use a scone cutter to cut into rounds.
  5. Brush the tops of each scone with egg wash.
  6. Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 180°C for remaining 10-12 mins.


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