Artisan Bread School Opens Third Year in New Home: Four Star Resort in Heart of Tuscany

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Artisan Bread School (ABS) will be holding its third year of classes in Italy at a new location -- the four-star Fattoria degli Usignoli resort, 28 km (17.4 miles) from Florence. ABS founder Carl Shavitz will teach two five-day in-depth artisan bread baking classes on May 3-7 and May 10-14 at the resort's cookery school

Teaching people how to make bread is both exciting and exhausting

Artisan Bread School (ABS) will be holding its third year of classes in Italy Artisan Bread School at a new location -- the four-star Fattoria degli Usignoli resort, 28 km (17.4 miles) from Florence Artisan Bread School. ABS founder Carl Shavitz will teach two five-day in-depth artisan bread Artisan Bread School baking classes on May 3-7 and May 10-14 at the resort's cookery school.

"I am thrilled about ABS' new home in Italy," said Shavitz. "Our move to Fattoria degli Usignoli is a perfect fit, allowing people who want to learn how to bake Artisan Bread School artisan bread Artisan Bread School on vacation with the opportunity to enjoy typically Tuscan surroundings not far from Florence," he continued. "Now, our students will not only learn how to bake delicious bread, but also have a wide-range of activities available to them, their friends and families."

Fattoria degli Usignoli was originally built by Vallombrosan monks around the 14th century and sits on 11 hectares (27 plus acres) of panoramic grounds not far from Tuscany's Artisan Bread School great art sites. Accommodations are all en-suite. Amenities available include beautiful gardens, two swimming pools, tennis, table tennis, mountain biking, billiards and a large riding school. There is a separate pool for children.

Students on both sides of the Atlantic have raved about their experiences at ABS classes:

  • "Carl Shavitz's breads are some of the best I've ever tasted."
  • "I really enjoyed the class. It was exactly what I was looking for…I received hands-on instruction and was able to get a feel for bread making that I haven't been able to acquire through cookbooks."
  •     "Thank you very much for a brilliant course…You've opened a door for me that I never really appreciated existed."
  • "I find it amazing that so little physical effort can produce such great bread. You have truly inspired me."

The five-day classes will take place at the Fattoria degli Usignoli cookery school, which is outfitted with a professional kitchen and marble top work benches. Breads will be baked in wood-fired ovens.

Classes will cover:

  • Working with sourdough, fresh yeast and an overnight sponge.
  • Starting and maintaining sourdough leavens.
  • Fermentation, mixing, kneading, folding, shaping a loaf, proofing and retarding.
  • Temperature and humidity control.

Over the five days, students will make 100 percent sourdough Artisan Bread School loaves and fully-yeasted breads. Breads baked will include focaccia Artisan Bread School, ciabatta, grissini, bagel, baguettes and sourdough olive bread.

The ABS fee covers tuition, five nights accommodations, breakfast and dinner, which will include estate Chianti. There are additional charges for non-student guests and longer stays.

About Carl Shavitz:
Carl Shavitz has loved real bread since his youth in New York City. Shavitz moved to England as a Fulbright Scholar to pursue a career as a lutanist and never left. After 20 years performing and traveling in Europe, Eastern Europe, Australia, Asia and the US, he moved to the other side of the microphone. He was executive producer for WDUQ, a National Public Radio station in Pittsburgh, PA, while simultaneously acting as a consultant to Classic FM, the UK's major commercial classical music station.

Then, he decided to become a chef.

Shavitz trained at The Village Bakery in Melmerby Cumbria and Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland. Once he started bread-making, he was hooked.

He worked at The Village Bakery and The Three Crowns Inn in Herefordshire before becoming an independent artisan baker, making bread for restaurants and specialty stores in the Cambridge (UK) area. His passion for full flavored, crusty and chewy breads led him to create the Artisan Bread School with the intention of sharing the art of artisan bread-making.

"Teaching people how to make bread is both exciting and exhausting," he explained. "But it's all worth it when students eat their own bread and tell me what fantastic breads they're producing at home for family and friends."

Course descriptions and fees can be found on the ABS website, http://www.artisan-bread-school.com. Advanced registration is required for all courses.

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