A few weeks ago, I took my very first bread class at The King’s Roost in Silverlake! It was Alex’s super thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift to me, and I was both excited and nervous because I wasn’t sure if my skills were “advanced” enough. Turns out, there was nothing to be worried about and I can’t wait to go back and learn something new.
My class started at 1PM, and I arrived a couple minutes early to get situated. I brought my 12 qt. plastic bin that I’ve been mixing my dough in and a notebook with questions. The entrance to The King’s Roost is in the back, and there’s a small parking lot for easy access.
As soon as you walk in, there’s a small storefront full of breadmaking tools, flours, grains, mills, and other homemade goods. There’s also a long table where my classmates and I set our stuff down, and a kitchen and countertop where the class was hosted. My class was relatively small (5 women including myself) and we immediately started getting to know each other. Many of them were semi-familiar with breadmaking and grew up with a love for cooking, but not necessarily sourdough experts. One woman didn’t even realize she had signed up for an advanced class! But Roe was such a great teacher and so supportive as he answered our questions and walked us through the process.
My biggest takeaway was Roe’s deep knowledge of grains and flours and even deeper appreciation for all things handmade. As soon as the class started, he started telling us about his DIY tilapia pond, aquaponics setup, and his colorful experience with sheep herding, beekeeping, soapmaking, and of course breadmaking. As he told us more about his background, he toasted 2 loaves of pre-made bread for the class to munch on and served us coffee.
After about an hour, he started teaching the class and showed us his techniques for mixing a fresh batch of dough from start to finish. Then he brought us to the storefront and explained the uses for hard white flours vs. soft white flours, locally grown whole wheat grains, ancient sea salt, and more. Finally, we milled our own flour and started mixing our dough alongside him.
As we wrapped our dough to bring home and finish rising, Roe’s loaf was fresh from the oven and ready to enjoy. As he was slicing into it, he also whipped fresh butter on-the-spot with whipping cream and this really nifty Chef’n butter-making gadget. It was the most wholesome, fresh experience that made me love bread even more than I already do.
As class concluded, we took home some of Roe’s bread and sourdough starter. Each of us also purchased something from his store and exchanged contact info to coordinate taking classes in the future together. If you’re a maker or a baker, you must take one of Roe’s classes!