It was one of our Supperclub nightmares – a gluten-free guest! But I know now that we’d manage if it ever happened, because when one of the Walthamstowfoodies had to go wheat-free for a while, we decided to sign up for the gluten free and alternative flours bread-making course with the Hornbeam Bakers Collective at the Hornbeam Cafe in Baker’s Arms, Walthamstow.
At only £30 for an all day course including making three organic bread loaves to take home, the Hornbeam Bakers Collective courses are fantastic value.
Starting at 11am, it’s a lovely, relaxed Sunday spent with a knowledgeable tutor and a group of about 12 others in a friendly, community cafe atmosphere. After an initial introduction to the various types of flours and the problems with both digesting gluten and baking without it, we tried out a simple wholemeal spelt dough. At the end of the day we shaped this into a variety of plaits and rolls.
After a vegetarian sharing lunch, we also made a delicious rye sourdough loaf and a 100% gluten-free flax-seed bread using buckwheat, rice, corn and potato flours. We came away with loads of recipes and ideas, sourdough starter instructions and a jar of homemade sourdough starter . Unfortunately after only one fantastic loaf I’ve managed to kill this again – but at least I know how to make a new one now. You would not believe how proud we were of our efforts.
The Hornbeam Bakers Collective is part of the Real Bread Campaign. They also offer a basic introduction to bread making, bread shaping, sourdough bread and pastry courses. The exciting news is they are moving into their own new premises with a cob oven and cafe in Blackhorse Lane over the next few months. They supply fresh bread to the Hornbeam cafe, the Organiclea Saturday stall at the Hornbeam cafe and the Stoke Newington farmer’s market. Their bread is also available with the Organiclea veg box scheme. For more information and bookings: