Sourdough Baking 101: A Journey Into The World Of Wild Yeasts & Microbes

When:      Saturday August 20, 10 PM - 4 PM
Instructors: Heike Meyer
Level:       All levels, min. 4 max 8 participants
Costs:      $140
Where:     Brot Bakehouse School and Kitchen, 38 Meade Rd. Fairfax Vermont

Humans have used microbes for production of baked leavened goods since the onset of agriculture, about 14,000 years ago.

With increased interest in sourdough use by artisanal and home bakers in the past years, we will look at the history, use and possibilities of baking with a natural starter culture. By understand the assembly of microbial communities in sourdough and their impact on bread baking, your home-baked bread will rival any professionally baked artisan bread and has amazing flavor and digestibility.

In this workshop we will cover history of baking with sourdough, look at starter refreshment techniques and - of course- bake bread!

Every participant will go through the complete process of baking a sourdough bread with local grains and flours from scratch; from hand-mixing, to folding, proofing, shaping and finally baking and tasting. We will cover both the classic wheat based country style breads and the Nordic style breads made with rye, whole grains, and sprouted grains.

We will explore the possibilities to use the starter in bread and pastries, and talk about different methods of baking, shaping and proofing used around the world. After this workshop you will go home with a solid foundation about baking with bread starter cultures, plus receive many recipes and ideas to continue the baking adventure at home.

The workshop concludes with a sensory tasting of the breads we baked with locally made condiments and Vermont artisan cheeses.

All participants will receive a starter culture to take home.

Instructor: Heike Meyer





What we will do: 

- go into the alchemy of sourdough fermentation
- mix and shape a simple country bread together which we'll bake off in a wood-fired oven and a home oven
- discuss specialty grains like spelt, rye and gluten frees breads and who to work with them in sourdough baking
- have a Q&A session and a sensory bread tasting at the end of the class
- have all your questions regarding sourdough answered

Topics discussed in this class include:

  • Start, maintain, refresh and look after your starter
  • How to control the flavor of sourdough bread
  • How to make a classic sourdough country loaf
  • Variables affecting the fermentation
  • How to get an open crumb structure
  • Understanding shaping & scoring techniques
  • Baking in different ovens
  • Baking with different grains
  • Nutrition & digestibility of sourdough bread


PLEASE NOTE: The class will be inside and outside, weather permitting. Please bring layers. The bakery space is well-ventilated and equipped with an air quality monitor system and air purifier. Coffee, tea, snacks and refreshments are being served throughout the workshop.

sourdough starter
Event Date
Cancellation Policy

Please be aware of our class & cancellation policy:

  • Full Payment is due upon registering for a class. We understand that there will be circumstances whereby you will need to cancel your course or change the date. Given two weeks or more notice we are happy to offer a full refund.

  • If we need to postpone or cancel a class either a full refund will be given, or you can use your payment as a credit towards any future class.

  • If you need to cancel last minute - one week or less of the class date -  a full refund will be offered if we can refill your booking. Otherwise no refund can be issued, but we can offer a class credit; valid for 3 years.

  • No refund if cancelled less than 24 hours before class date.


COVID-19 Pandemic Safety Notes Summer 2022

This is an in-person class which will be mostly inside in a well-ventilated bakery and outside (tastings), weather permitting.

As with all classes, we will place the safety and well-being of all attendees first. At this time we have the following steps in place to ensure everyone can have a safe and pleasant experience baking with us.

In addition to having a maximum number of 8 participants in the classes, and we want everybody to feel comfortable in class, so face coverings are optional. To protect yourself, your family and our shared human community from becoming infected with the virus we ask that you stay home if you are feeling sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19.

We will always follow the rules and guidelines of the Vermont Department of Health when holding our classes. This could mean travel restrictions for people arriving from out-of-state, or new quarantine requirements before class starts. We reserve the right to cancel any class should it be deemed necessary. In this case, a full refund will be given.