WCB course at Lesaffre Baking Centre in Lille France

Yet again this was a great course organised by Lesaffre and run by Sara Autton, there were eleven candidates on the course which was held from the 23rd  to the 26th of October.

The course was a very full programme and covered a range of products, mainly based around sour doughs using both spontaneous sour dough fermentation and Lesaffre products.

All the candidates where involved with all stages of the production of the products.

On the first day having arrived at the centre at about 3.00pm they were all involved in setting down starters for the next day’s production and weighing also for the mixes for the next day’s production.

The evening meal was taken in the hotel that we were staying at, giving them all a chance to get to know each other.

The next day was taken up producing a wide range of baguettes using different methods from traditional to using Lesaffre products. All the candidates were given a chance to use different methods, and practice in moulding, proving and cutting the products. This was a full day, starting from the hotel at 8.00am returning at 6.30pm in the evening. It was then a quick change and off to a very nice restaurant for a meal and sampling some nice beers.

Wednesday was taken up by producing a range of French breads, Boule a Levain, Pain au Levain and Pain de Compagne, using different methods. They also made Ciabatta, and Focaccia. The afternoon was spent making Brioche and laminated doughs producing Croissants. Again we were out in the evening  to another very nice restaurant in the centre of Lille which specialised in beers, a very enjoyable time was had by all. 
Thursday consisted of all the candidates working in teams to produce their own initiative products, which produced some nice products ranging from an orange and cinnamon brioche to chocolate and walnut sour dough.

All the candidates were involved in all aspects of the course, Sara kept them all very busy there was no time for slacking and one can see from all the photos the wide range and volumes produced.

Sara worked very hard on keeping all very busy and passing on a lot of knowledge and skills, I explained at the end of the course how lucky they were to have such an experienced professional crafts person to help them on in their careers.

All the candidates were a credit to the industry and to the Worshipful Company of Bakers, and I am sure most will be in the industry for years to come.

Last but not least a big thank you to the Lesaffre Company for allowing us to use their excellent facilities.

Henry Jefferies