September 10 2017 Sourdough 101 Workshop

Common price: AUD215.00 Our price: AUD195.00 each

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Sunday, September 10th, 2017

What's the Sourdough 101 Workshop all about?

The Sourdough 101 Workshop is an easy hands on tour through the entire sourdough process, from sourdough starter to beautifully baked bread.

There will be lots of tips and tricks too, so you will be able to make really good bread, really easily, at home.

You will make a 'sourdough sponge', or pre ferment; you will see how easy it is to make dough by hand; you will learn to 'rough round', to 'form', to 'finish' and, of course, bake your own sourdough bread.

This full day intensive sourdough breadmaking class allows you to experience the entire sourdough process, from start to finish.

You will learn the basics of how to set up your oven at home, so you can 'sole bake' effectively and inexpensively. Warwick also has lots of tips and tricks about using your oven for bread, no matter whether your oven is old, new, gas or electric, or even a backyard barbeque!

Students get to bake bread on the sole of our custom designed and handbuilt woodfired oven. Once you have experienced the bread baked using this old fashioned method, you will see why artisan bakers the world over prefer to bake this way! 

We have a bread appreciation session at each workshop, where we experience true sourdough breads. You'll gain a greater understanding of quality bread, and leave the workshop satisfied both in mind and body!

The Sourdough 101 Series of workshops are held in the Hunter Valley Region of NSW. The Gypsy Woodfired Bakery Experience is a bakery on wheels, so that you can experience baking on the sole of our woodfired oven in an authentic and unique way. It is a day of total immersion in real woodfired baking that you will never forget!

The workshop will cover in some detail  the three main areas of home breadmaking:

  1. Hand Doughmaking - sourdough starters, pre ferments, autolyse (automatic leavening), as well as two great hand kneading techniques - 'slap kneading' and the 'baker's turn'
  2. Proofing, Moulding and Finishing - the three proofs; dough handling techniques including rough rounding and how to do an intermediate proof, as well as retardation and temperature control, moulding and shaping made simple, knife work, and finishing techniques
  3. Baking Bread - oven set up, sole baking, using a peel, steaming, crusting, and working with 'hot spots' in your oven  

The Sourdough 101 Workshop is experiential, and is full of useful 'real world' practical information, as well as tips and tricks to make genuine sourdough bread at home, including:

  • How to use and maintain a sourdough starter.
  • How to knead and turn dough by hand (easily and relatively cleanly) using the delayed salt (autolyse) method.

  • How to make a classic 'vienna' (or 'batard') shaped sourdough, including hand forming, proofing, dusting and slashing, ready to bake.
  • How to bake on the sole of the oven, without purchasing expensive and obscure equipment. 

  • How to use a baker's peel

  • Tips and tricks on how to make bread at home easily and cleanly and professionally,

  • Understanding Australian flours, the different types of milling, and where the best flour can be located.

  • Essential home breadmaking utensils and equipment, and  demonstrations of how to use these invaluable yet inexpensive bits and pieces.


This workshop will be held at Mooladhara, a bushland property on the foothills of the Watagan Mountains in the Lower Hunter Valley. It's about an hour's drive from Newcastle, or two hours from Sydney CBD. Exact location details will be supplied before the day via email. 

Places are limited to only 12, and they usually fill fast, so make your booking now to reserve your day of truly hands on authentic sourdough breadmaking.

You'll get to see and use our very own woodfired oven, made in conjunction with Craig Miller at Aromatic Embers

As a special bonus, you get to take home the dough you made at the workshop to proof and bake in your own oven. There is also a complete series of workshop notes emailed after the class, which are valued at $10, yours for free. 

And you'll bake and take home your own loaf of bread on the day...

Also available:

There will be our special 27 year old sourdough starter available for purchase for the special price of $20. Our starter is guaranteed, so you don't need to wait six weeks to culture your own from scratch!

In addition, we will have a limited stock of a variety of fresh Wholegrain Milling Company flours, which have been certified 'Sustainable', meaning they are chemical free and milled in accordance with the ASP standard. These flours come in 5kg bags and are available to purchase for $17.50 each.

We will also have printed copies of Warwick's new series of 'Mini Guides', which are in black and white and sell for $10 each.

Here's what a participant said about an earlier workshop:  

"I'm enjoying the sourdough bread that we made during the course today. It was one of the best things I've done this year. A lot of butter and a glass of wine, life can't get much better!" - Gillian

And another participant's review:

" It was an awesome course, great relaxed teaching, Excellent breads. All round top stuff! " - Gareth

Cheers Warwick! And thank you for a wonderful day on Sunday! We all loved it! My mum was so stoked and I don't think I could've picked a better birthday present for her so thanks so much for that! We are just about to bake our loaves!! Fingers crossed!! :-) Hope to share bread again with you in the future!! " - Lucy 

" Thanks for the notes and thanks for a great workshop, Just smelling your starters was a big lesson as I have mucked around on and off for years and was never sure if my starters were ok, now I know they were to much viningery smelling ! I'm keen to do the wholemeal 101 if you ever do one. " - Michael

Details and Itinerary

Date: Sunday September 10th, 2017

Arrive: About 8.45am. Basic refreshments are available, but you may want to pick up some espresso on the way. Ellalong General Store has the basics and is about 10 minutes from our place.

Gypsy Bakery

What to Bring: As the property is ten minutes away from the nearest village, it's adviseable to bring a packed lunch - though the local shop does some takeaway. Also bring an apron, possibly a notebook and pen (though comprehensive notes will be emailed after the event); and cash if you wish to purchase Sourdough Starter. Your camera or smartphone will be useful for pictures throughout the day. 

Start: 9am

Finish: About 5 pm.

Location: Mooladhara, near Ellalong, NSW

For more information, ring 

0409 480 750.

Bookings can only be made online.

Our customers' and our own research has shown us that our sourdough workshops still represent the best value for money available in Australia at present. We welcome your views. Please contact us.

Cancellation Policy: 

We require 28 days notice for cancellations. We offer a refund if cancellations are made by this time. We also allow transfers between workshops if you need to reschedule - all you need to do is email us to arrange alternate dates.

We occasionally need to reschedule workshops. If this occurs, we will attempt to provide you with at least a weeks' notice. In the event of something out of our control, such as inclement weather or natural disaster, we will endeavour to reschedule as close as possible to the advertised date.

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