If there’s anything we’ve learned about ourselves in lockdown, it’s that there is no limit to the amount of bread-baking we’ll do if required to stay indoors.
From sourdough starters and focaccia loaves to banana bread and strawberry covered pancakes, spending most of our time inside our homes has got us feeling ready to star in next summer’s Great British Bake Off.
If you’re looking to go beyond your usual bakes or simply want a bit of guidance perfecting your next recipe, try an online baking course. Led by the pros, it’s a great opportunity to try making something new.
Here are some of our favourites to join.
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Every day on its Instagram page at 2pm, Bread Ahead, a bakery and baking school in London's Borough Market, will be sharing live baking lessons with followers, so you can extend your lockdown baking skills beyond any loaf-shaped bake, and also learn how to whip up carrot cake, brioche, ham and cheese croissants, sourdough pizza and more.
Details of the dishes the team will be baking and when can be found on its website, so you can get ingredients prepared and schedule in what you want to join in individually, with friends or even for a lunch date with a partner you’re not living with them.
If you’re craving something sweet, join American pastry chef Christina Tosi, who you might recognise from the first episode of Chef's Table: Pastry, the TV show's first baking series in 2018.
She's created a series called Baking Club, where every day at 7pm (UK time), she concocts delicious treats using ingredients that you’ll probably already have on hand.
Get your sweet tooth fix from oat cookie bars, cereal meringues, brown butter Nilla wafers, hot fudge and soft pretzels.
If you’re lucky you may even get a glimpse of her appropriately named dog, Butter, in the background.
Founder Olivia started her vegan, gluten-free snack brand, Livia’s, after being diagnosed with severe food intolerances while at university. She was inspired to create indulgent, plant-based sweet treats such as million squares and chocolate flapjacks.
Every Friday afternoon on her Instagram page, you can follow along with the live baking sessions.
So far recipes have included no-bake brownies, chocolate banoffee cups and chocolate chip cookies. The ingredients you’ll need are posted on Instagram stories so you can be prepped and ready to go. Don’t forget to check regularly to find out what time the tutorials will be each week, as they may vary.
Pastry chef Maria Mayerhofer typically leads classes to help her students expand their recipe repertoire across cakes, pastry and bread.
However while her kitchen remains closed, she has taken to Instagram to lead live bake-a-longs every Sunday at 3pm, with the ingredients and equipment you’ll need posted a few days before.
As the pandemic has put a stop to Martha de Lacey’s sourdough and food fermentation workshops, she has set up #TheMuffKitchen online.
Through her website, she is offering recipes, tutorials, live Q&As, tips and tricks on making all things sourdough based, from pizzas to traditional loaves.
You can join for a one-off membership fee of £60 or a monthly direct debit of £5 or £10, depending on how much you decide.
Ravneet Gill, pastry chef and founder of London bakery Puff, is offering a set of masterclass tutorials on perfecting your baking skills.
You can sign up for an eight-week baking course via her website starting from a one-off payment of £85 or £48 a month for two months, in which you’ll discover everything you need to know about making pastry through a weekly Q&A, video tutorials, exclusive recipe cards and course materials.
However, if you don’t have the budget, she is also running cook-a-longs on Instagram Live sporadically, so keep an eye out for the next one.
Recipes so far have included carrot cake and double chocolate cookies, which we’re sure will go down a treat, even if it's just you eating them.
Pastry, baking chef and French food lover Maud is the brains behind the Mauderne Baking School, which aims to teach students to master baking no matter how inexperienced you may be.
As all its classes have now been put on hold, it will be offering free macaron making tutorial on its Instagram page, the next one is 23 May. All you need to do is message Maud on Instagram for the Zoom link to get involved.
Ingredients and tools are posted on its Instagram feed a few days before, too. We think making a box of beautifully handmade macarons would make the perfect gift if you have to celebrate a birthday two metres apart.
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