Our Employability Project is proving to be a great success

Bakery Course- 04/05/2022

Our Employability project continues to offer a wide variety of opportunities for our members to learn skills and knowledge in real-life working environments.

Recently, an amazing one-day course opportunity had arisen to work with the local SRUC college in Cupar to develop our groups baking skills. Our course was designed to cover as many baking techniques as possible. The chosen group were so enthusiastic and excited, the energy on the bus towards Cupar was tangible.

We began the day with an introduction to bread making. Our first mixture was a white bread recipe using fresh yeast which some people had not used before. After all the measuring and weighing, everything was kneaded by hand. There are definitely some aspiring Paul Hollywood’s in our group! One of our service user’s, April had never made bread before and said she didn’t realise how easy it was!

Whilst our white bread dough was proving we moved on to our second dough of the day, wholemeal. This dough was slightly different with the addition of treacle. Our host, Wullie showed us how to keep utensils clean while measuring treacle- the secret? Use fat and flour as a coating! After all the hard work of kneading, our first loaves had risen. We learned that yeast creates carbon dioxide as it eats the sugar in the dough and causes the bread to rise. Wullie showed us how to knock back and shape the dough and we used fresh herbs in one to create a focaccia. After shaping our brown bread into baguettes and hedgehog loaves it was time for lunch.

With the smell of baking bread in the air, our next task was upon us. A dozen scones, using different techniques once again. Rubbing in ingredients and cutting out the scone dough was messy fun! After cleaning the workstations once more, the last bake to complete was a chocolate fondant.

For this scrumptious pudding we used a bain-marie (a bowl over hot water) to melt some delicious chocolate and butter. We also needed to line out fondant pots with butter and cocoa powder so we could make sure we get the pudding out. Fondants are notoriously difficult as anyone that watches Masterchef knows, however each of our group had perfect, soft centred puddings. A major achievement! One of our service users, Ryan said that the chocolate fondant was beyond delicious.

This was a busy and fun filled course that taught everyone so much. From the importance of accurate weighing and measuring, to the need to always have a clean workstation. Options in Life loved working with SRUC and we definitely hope to go back for a longer course. The support and attention to detail was superb. Each of our group members said how much they loved the course and would be keen to do another one, proof of a successful employability group.

If you like the sound of this course or would like to find out more information about our Employability project, please contact the Project Coordinator or go to the Employability page