Sourdough 300 Series Workshops 2020

Sourdough 300 Series Workshops 2020

1,600.00 1,800.00

Do you require extra specialist skill to make better sourdough bread on a semi or fully 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? 

Do you have an existing bakery and would like to get better sourdough coming out of your ovens?

The Master Baker Skill Sessions (Sourdough 300 Series Workshops) are based around real world artisan bakery practice, and they cover each area of sourdough bread production in detail. 

They are held over four days, in an 'intensive style',  based in a real world production bake. Each day is focused on singular aspects of the sourdough process - we start by looking at the entire process, and gradually drill down into each aspect of it.

The intensive workshop is held from Tuesday to Friday at our new special facility at Wallarobba in the Hunter Valley of NSW. 

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 this intensive workshop series will really extend you, whether you are a keen amateur baker or seasoned professional. And, you will receive customised advice specifically for your situation.

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Day 1: Practical Prefermentation and Production Theory - held on Tuesdays.

The Sourdough 301 Workshop covers the process behind creating authentic Artisan Sourdough Bread for a small scale production. We start with an overview of the sourdough process we are learning, and gradually build into it with a series of useful pieces of the process being expanded and examined carefully. Warwick gives us the theoretical and practical baker's toolkit so that as the week progresses, we can understand exactly what is going on, and why. We incorporate a hands on pre-fermentation session, as well as the beginnings of building our production plan, into the day.

The 'sourdough sponges' we make will be cultured and then built into dough the following day.

You will learn the basic principles of true artisan breadmaking, as applied to small to medium scale bakery production practices. These suit one person, home or even 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. Warwick is committed to assisting you to translate what you have learned into your specific situation, and as the week progresses, he will add a layer of specialised support, tailored to your own individual requirements.

Day 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. Today, you will receive your own, small production volume chunk of Warwick's almost thirty year old sourdough starter. This can form the backbone of your new enterprise. Or, you can choose to use your own - nonetheless, 'Papa' is yours to keep.

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.

Day 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 on our 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 take the doughs we made yesterday through to their middle proof, readying them for the bake. We will assess the ripeness of each dough, and process each as our judgement calls dictate.  We will develop our hand skills, and bakers will learn a variety of new rounding and dough handling techniques.

You will learn that the middle proof is critical to the success of any sole baked bread. You will learn hand skills, and various hand work options to suit each dough, whether it is soft or tough.

In addition, there is time allocated in this session for individual bakery discussion. Often, this will involve working through real word production schedules, based on your proposed bakery product range, or working these types of products into an existing kitchen or bakery setup. These discussions can often involve the other participants, as we all learn from each other, and gain from each others' expertise.

Day 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 focused 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.

We will be firing up Warwick's woodfired oven, and as the day progresses we will work through the dough we have processed earlier, forming, finishing, and finally baking. Students get a total, hands on experience of this very important and challenging part of the baker's craft.

Things can go wrong at any stage of the process; today, though, is the final reckoning. The sum total of the slow fermentation process can be calculated, as each loaf comes out of the oven. We will see the effects of the many variables we have encountered through the week - the effect of the seasons, the way we have gelled as a group, and so much more.  This is real world stuff, and I can tell you that in the real world, stuff happens. The best bit about this workshop is that you will learn from our mistakes, as well as our triumphs!

Today, we learn how to assess and evolve our practice. Each student takes away much more than a few loaves of super fresh, woodfired sourdough bread. They take away an experience they will never forget. 

Details and Itinerary: 


Check the drop down options box for dates


Wollarobba, near Dungog. About an hours' drive from Newcastle. Detailed directions will be provided before the day via email. Call on the number below for local accommodation options.


Times vary slightly according to local conditions.  Generally we go from 10am to 4 pm, with a later finish on Thursday and Friday.


Each day is a different length, ranging from 6 to 10 hours. 

What to Bring: 

An apron, a hand towel, a notepad and some sort of camera or camera phone. Something to nibble on as the day progresses. We don’t stop for lunch, rather we snack as we go, so bring snacks or things to put on bread. Home made things are always well received by the group.


Liquid refreshments and (often) bread.


The region is blessed with many and varied accommodation options - from family friendly, to resort style, to budget basic room. We are 15 minutes from Dungog and also Clarence town. There is also an excellent local caravan park with onsite cabins, as well as other camping choices. Contact us for options. 

Please feel free to call Warwick on 0409 480 750 for more about the workshop series.