Do you require extra specialist skill to make better sourdough bread on a commercial scale? Would you like to learn the craft from the ground up to start your own bakery specialising in making true artisan sourdough bread?
The Master Baker Skill Sessions are based around real world artisan bakery practice, and they cover each area of sourdough bread production in detail.
You can select any one of the four parts of the sourdough breadmaking process listed on the other pages in this section of the website, or purchase all four together, to learn in comprehensive detail at our small production bakery.
By purchasing all four together, you will save $180 on the full purchase price of four workshops individually.
The choice is yours.
Each Master Baker Skill Session has more than enough information to keep your heart, hands and head buzzing for quite some time - I guarantee that each session will really extend you, whether you are a keen amateur baker or seasoned professional. And, you will receive customised advice specifically for your situation.
Typically, a keen home baker will try one session on each subject area over a period of time, and then return for special extension material when they have tried everything out in their kitchen or bakery and need to take in more.
I am happy to provide follow up sessions as required, or further on site consultation.
More experienced bakers will gather enough from just one session in their chosen area to take their craft to the next level.
The sessions are designed to cover the four main subject areas of breadmaking, individually, or as a group of four. If you choose to do them individually, check available dates listed on each page. For all four, here is a summary of what is covered in each:
1. Practical Prefermentation and Production Theory - held on Tuesdays.
The Sourdough 301 Workshop covers the theory behind creating authentic Artisan Sourdough Bread for a small scale production with a hands on prefermentation session. The 'sourdough sponges' we make will be cultured and then built into dough the next day.
You will learn the basic principles of true artisan breadmaking, as applied to small to medium scale production practices. These suit one person, home or commercial kitchen based bakeries. The techniques and formulations you learn can be scaled up to substantial volumes, for operations with the right equipment and infrastructure.
2. Doughmaking, Desem and Production Management - held on Wednesdays.
The Sourdough 302 Workshop moves into the practicalities of Artisan Sourdough Bread for a small scale production run. We focus on Doughmaking, as well as how to look after a dough starter, or 'Desem'. We also lay out the basics of Production Management, which focuses on consistency of production and production planning.
We will create up to ten doughs for an actual production bake, as well as perform weekly maintenance on sourdough starters.
This practical session covers in detail the most important part of the production process - the manufacture of high quality dough.
A good bake is the most satisfying thing - but it can only come from well made and well managed dough.
3. Production Processing and Proofing - held on Thursdays.
The Sourdough 303 Workshop shows you a typical production processing routine and middle proof process for Artisan Sourdough Breads in an actual small scale production run.
We focus on scaling off, rough rounding and dough storage for the second proof, as well as proofing and retardation options.
This workshop adds to your Production Management skill set, achieving consistency of production through correct procedures and temperature management.
We will process up to ten doughs for an actual production bake, and set these cut dough balls into their second proof.
You will learn that the middle proof is critical to the success of any sole baked bread.
4. Final Proof, Finishing and Firing - held on Fridays.
The Sourdough 304 Workshop takes you on the last part of the production journey - from final moulding to finished Artisan Sourdough Bread, in an actual small scale production run.
Here is where we get to experience the timing and judgement skill necessary to run a bake successfully from start to finish, taking up to ten different types of sourdough bread through to their final firing in our very special woodfired oven.
This workshop, while focussed on the finished product, adds immeasurably to your Production Management skill set, through learning to assess how and when to set in motion the final processes before the bread is baked.
The Master Baker Skill Sessions will also show you handy pieces of equipment to have in your bakery, as well as tips and tricks used in artisan bakeries around the world. I teach a specific method which can be easily modified to suit individual bakery requirements for very little or no cost.
The techniques I demonstrate fit with the method I teach - I am aware of other techniques, as you may also be - but the principles have shown to be universal, no matter where you have trained. The techniques you learn have the advantage of being very flexible, and when properly applied result in very consistent bread.
It's more than simply techniques though - so much of the success of a good Artisan bread production bake relies on thorough 'bakery administration'. By this I mean good record keeping in regards to times, temperatures, volumes and wastage. You will learn the basics of this as well.
I discourage the use of additives and bread improvers, as well as commercial yeast, even though these things may be part of your existing routine. In short, these chemicals are shortcuts, and compromise nutrition, flavour and digestibility. We don't want to be killing our customers, do we?
Individual requirements are addressed and accommodated as part of the sessions. Because of the flexibility inherent in the method, bakers using it actually get to have a life, rather than work ungodly hours, as was the case in the past.
Each session is based around a regular small production bake, which is why they happen on specific days of the week. This gives you first hand experience of retail bakery volumes, while also allowing ample time for detailed learning, as well as some specific consultation time during the day.
You will need to bring your own apron or baker's whites (if you choose not to use an apron), and it's a good idea to bring a notepad and camera (or phone camera). Blackboard notes are given throughout the day. As we have limited catering facilities, and we try to squeeze a lot into each session, a packed lunch is handy. Coffee will be provided at regular intervals.
Once you have purchased this group of four sessions, simply ring the number below to arrange dates. You can also email me. Should you require local accomodation, I would be happy to refer you to a number of local providers, according to your budget and specific requirements.
If you would like further information in regards to these sessions, please free to call during business hours on
0409 480 750.
'Warwick taught me the nitty gritty of sourdough mixing , proofing & wood fired oven use - all the stuff that the books NEVER tell you.' - Michel the sourdough bread nerd. (QLD)
'I'm currently working an office job and have dreams of opening a micro bakery in my home town. With no experience in the baking and hospitality industry I was struggling to figure out exactly how to get my bakery vision off the ground and teach myself a trade bakers spend years refining. I could make a decent loaf of sourdough but I couldn't quite comprehend how to increase my production and manage production run around working full time, to consistently deliver a quality product. After a late Saturday night waiting for my bread to finish I read Warwick's story from start to finish was inspired by his own sourdough rollercoaster ride. Within a week I had backed myself to make the trip from WA to spend four days learning the art of sourdough, Warwick Quinton style. The master class series was everything I had hoped for and by the end of the week I had a clear idea in my mind as to exactly what equipment I would initially need to get going, and how I could manage a small scale production run around my job. Warwick helped me see how to do this with very little capital investment to start with and then to expand as my business developed. He is a fantastic teacher, a wealth of knowledge and has provided me with ongoing support and advice since I finished the course. His passion for his trade is evident and even though his experience is extensive I was impressed at how willing he was to take on and explore new ideas with an amateur baker like myself. I would highly recommend the master class series to any inspiring baker, it was worth every dollar I invested in the trip and i see the course as a cornerstone in realising my own bakery dreams. Right now I'm a week of finishing my 44 gallon drum oven (warwick's design!) and I'm waiting for my mixer to arrive. I hope to be at my local markets by the end of November and one day be a full time baker! Watch this space!' - Tiff (WA)
'The Master Baker Class was the best training I received in a long time. Warwick has a wealth of knowledge about bread and is willing to share it, with great enthusiasm. A truly memorable experience with an amazing guy. Well worth the interstate trip !' - Arnaud (WA)
'Your blog gives an insight into who you are and meeting you I found that you were the same person open, friendly, honest and down to earth …From maintaining a sourdough starter, to a bakers turn and onward to shaping ,proofing, dusting and slashing this all happens in an idyllic bushland property setting in the foot hills of Watagan Mountains in the Lower Hunter Valley.There is no doubt you are a maestro of artisan sough dough bread making ,your passion shines through in your relaxed mentoring style and the added conversation was a pleasant diversion. For any true lover of sour dough bread I can’t think of anybody better than you Mr Quinton to guide and share your knowledge about The King Of Breads. I think the future of sour dough baking is safe in your hands and for other would be adventures into the secrets of the best sough dough making in Australia and maybe the World .. Thank for the opportunity to share a momentous time that has sent me on my own journey of producing amazing sough dough bread .' - Richard (Phillipines)