Sourdough Bread & Bagels Spring 2019 Baking Retreat
"The art of bread making can become a consuming hobby, and no matter how often and how many kinds of bread one has made, there always seems to be something new to learn." Julia Child
"Far from wishing to awaken the artist in the pupil prematurely, the teacher considers it his first task to make him a skilled artisan with sovereign control of his craft." Eugen Herrigel
These days almost anything can be called artisan. The true artisan works to transform raw materials into an entirely new state and in doing so also transforms their inner dimension. I have baked almost every day since I was in my early twenties. Different bakeries, different breads, different volumes, different methods and what I cultivated over the past seventeen years is a love for the practice. It is this practice that I seek to share with you over the course of five days together at Pine Mountain Settlement School.
I chose Pine Mountain for its dedication to both tradition and innovation. The school is located on 800 acres on Pine Mountain in Harlan County, Kentucky. The historical buildings and winding country roads encourage your troubles to fall away so that you can get busy with the task of fully engaging your hands, mind and heart.
Here is a bit about the school in its own words: “Travel back in time with us, to a beautiful mountain valley at the convergence of three streams. Here, in 1913, visionary local leaders and pioneering educators conceived of a school "for the children of the Kentucky mountains." The desire was to transform the mountain community through education by infusing folk tradition with innovative teaching pedagogy. Over the years, the school has changed form. Today, we function as a community non-profit that still uses mountain tradition to address our current problems, although now we provide programming for visitors and school groups as well as community members."
Bread making should be woven into the fabric of a well-rounded day so our afternoons will be spent engaging with nature or weaving and our evenings will be tempered with porch sitting, films and fine Kentucky bourbon.
We are holding two Sourdough Bread & Bagel Retreats with a special guest instructor Rich Orris! The first runs from March 25th through the 29th and the second from April 1st through the 5th. Start your year off right and come watch winter turn into spring!
All meals are served at Far House.
All baking takes place at the Plant Center.
Noon to 6 P.M. settle in and stroll the campus
6:00 P.M. Dinner and opening games
7:30 A.M to 8:30 A.M. Breakfast
9 A.M. to Noon Bread Making
Noon to 1 P.M. Lunch
2 P.M. to 5 P.M. Guided hike
6 P.M to 7 P.M. Dinner
7 P.M. to 8 P.M. Old Time music with Kevin Howard
7:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M Breakfast
9 A.M. to Noon Baking Bread
Noon to 1 P.M. Lunch
2 P.M. to 5 P.M. Guided creative time on the looms
6 P.M. to 7 P.M. Dinner
7 P.M. to 8 P.M. Film night T.B.A.
7:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M. Breakfast
9 A.M. to Noon Bagels
Noon to 1 P.M. Lunch
1 P.M. to 6 P.M. Free Afternoon
6 P.M. to 7 P.M. Dinner
7 P.M to 8 P.M. Bourbon tasting and closing circle
7:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M. Breakfast
9 A.M. to Noon Pack up and final stroll around the grounds
Our baking sessions run from 8 A.M. to Noon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will cover:
Flour characteristics and qualities
Bread mixing by hand
Proofing sourdough bread
Wood fired oven management
Live fire baking
How to keep a sourdough starter
Baking with residual heat in a wood fired oven
How to bake a perfect loaf at home
Mixing and shaping bagels
Boiling and baking bagels
How to make delicious bagel spreads
How to properly store bread & bagels
Bakers math 101
How to write your own bread formula
All meals will be served in the kitchen of Far House. Breakfast is from 7:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M. Lunch will be provided from Noon to 1 P.M. Dinner will take place from 6 P.M. to 7 P.M. We'll have lots of food on hand for snacks. Our chef for the retreat will work with your dietary needs and concerns. If you have favorite wines, treats or other foods please shop ahead of time and bring them with you.
As a retreat participant you will be staying with fellow bakers in Zandee or Far House. These are two out of the twenty six beautiful buildings on the Pine Mountain campus. Both houses have a shared kitchen, living rooms, laundry and wifi. Zandee sleeps three and Far House five. Far house is one of the newest buildings on campus while Zandee has historical charm and a classic camp vibe. Both are nicely tucked away for privacy. Most bedrooms include a door that locks and share a bathroom with other rooms on the floor.
If you stay in Far House we will be using your kitchen for breakfast and dinner. If you need lots of alone or quiet time Zandee will better suit you. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about lodging.
We ask that you arrive no earlier than noon on Monday and stay no later than 1 P.M. on Friday. You are more than welcome to travel to Pine Mountain in a vehicle. Parking will be provided. However, we know that many of you will be flying in from far away. The airport closet to Pine Mountain is the Tri Cities airport in Blountville, Tennesse. It has several flights per day coming in from both Charlotte and Atlanta. We are more than happy to provide a shuttle from the airport to the campus upon request. It’s about a 2.5 hour ride. The cost of an airport shuttle can be added for an additional charge. We will collect the flight arrival times of each person and decide the best time to get you. The cost of the shuttle will be split amongst those using it. You may pay this in cash or check upon arrival.
An autographed copy of A Baker’s Year
A custom Smoke Signals t-shirt, tote bag and patch
2 loaves of sourdough, wood fired bread
A baking booklet of our formulas and tricks
Room and board from Monday at Noon to Friday at Noon
Three meals per day + coffee + tea + alcohol
Afternoon courses led by Pine Mountain staff are included in the cost
Any equipment, ingredients or materials for our baking is also included in the cost
Limited to 8 participants.
You must be 21 or over to attend.
We will be standing during baking sessions. Chairs may be provided as needed.
We will be baking outside in all kinds of weather so please bring appropriate clothing.
Payment must be made in full at the time of registration.
In the event that Smoke Signals cancels the retreat we will attempt to provide you with registration in another retreat within a reasonable period of time. If we cannot we will make a full refund to you.
Registration is non refundable. Should you be unable to make it you may send a friend or family member in your place.
We cannot issue any refunds due to weather related travel delays.
We ask that you plan on attending the entire time, no partial days or session are available.
Please inform us well in advance of any allergies or health conditions that we should know about.
FROM THE NORTH From Charleston, West Virginia, take U.S. 119 south to Cumberland, Kentucky. Exit from U.S. 119 into downtown Cumberland.. The exit ramp will go downhill to a T intersection. Turn right. Proceed .6 mile past discount stores, fast food restaurants, banks, etc. At the T intersection, turn left and go .3 mile to three- way stop. Go straight (up the hill) 1.1 miles. Turn right onto KY 160. (This turn is easy to miss.) Continue for 4.5 miles on KY 160 up and over the mountain. At the bottom of the mountain, keep going straight. You will be on KY 463 for .7 mile. At Y intersection, bear to the left, onto KY 510. Be careful. The turn is in a blind curve. Proceed 10.1 miles to entrance to School on the left. FROM THE NORTHEAST Take I-81 south to Kingsport, Tennessee. Exit onto 1-181/U.S. 23. Take U.S. 23 north to Duffield, Virginia. At Duffield, turn left onto U.S. 421/58. Continue approximately 15 miles to Pennington Gap, Virginia. Continue on U.S. 421 to Harlan, Kentucky. In Harlan, U.S.119 converges with U.S. 421. About two miles beyond Harlan, take the U.S. 421 exit to the left. (This turn is easy to miss. Be on the lookout.) Go over Pine Mountain. At the foot of the mountain, bear right and continue approximately .9 mile to the junction of U.S. 421 and KY 221. Turn right onto KY 221 and continue about 10 miles to the junction of KY 221 and KY 510. Bear right onto KY 510. The entrance to Pine Mountain Settlement School is on the right. FROM THE NORTHWEST Follow I-75 south from Lexington, Kentucky to London, Kentucky. At the London exit, turn left (east) onto the Hal Rogers Parkway (KY 80.) Go approximately 43 miles on the parkway. Exit the parkway on the Hyden Spur Exit and drive four miles to a three-way stop. Turn left onto U.S. 421 and drive through the town of Hyden. Continue about 28 miles to the junction of KY 221 and U.S. 421. Turn left onto KY 221 east and proceed 10 miles to the junction of KY 221 and KY 510. Bear right onto KY 510. The entrance to Pine Mountain Settlement School is on the right. OR Follow I-75 south from Lexington, Kentucky to Corbin, Kentucky. At Corbin, take exit 29 to U.S. 25E. Continue to Pineville. In Pineville, turn left at the second traffic light onto KY 66/221. Follow KY 66/221 out of Pineville about 1.5 miles. Turn right onto U.S. 221 and proceed approximately 24 miles, to the intersection with U.S. 421. (This intersection is in a curve.) Stay on KY 221 by bearing to the left. After the intersection, go 9/10 of a mile to the intersection of U.S. 421 and KY 221. Make a sharp right turn onto KY 221. Proceed 10 miles to the junction of KY 221 and KY 510. Bear right onto KY 510. The entrance to Pine Mountain Settlement School is on the right. FROM THE SOUTHEAST Go to Johnson City, Tennessee and take I-181 north to Kingsport, Tennessee. Take U.S. 23 north to Duffield, Virginia.. At Duffield, turn left onto U.S. 421/58. Continue approximately 15 miles to Pennington Gap, Virginia. Continue on U.S. 421 to Harlan, Kentucky. In Harlan, U.S.119 converges with U.S. 421. About two miles beyond Harlan, take the U.S. 421 exit to the left. (Be on the lookout; this turn is easy to miss.) Continue on U.S. 421 across Pine Mountain. At the foot of the mountain, bear right and continue approximately .9 of a mile to the junction of U.S. 421 and KY 221. Turn right onto KY 221 and continue about 10 miles to the junction of KY 221 and KY 510. Bear right onto KY 510. The entrance to Pine Mountain Settlement School is on the right. FROM THE SOUTHWEST From Knoxville, Tennessee, take I-75 north to Caryville, Tennessee. At Caryville, take TN 63 to U.S. 25E at Harrogate, TN. Follow U.S. 25E through the Cumberland Gap Tunnel to Pineville, Kentucky. On the U.S. 25E bypass around Pineville, at the second traffic light, turn right onto KY 221/66. Continue on this road for 1.5 miles. Turn right onto KY 221 and continue 24 miles to the intersection of KY 221 and KY 421. (This intersection has a large curve to the right. Stay to the left. ) After the intersection, go .9 mile , to a sharp right turn onto KY 221. Go 10 miles to the junction of KY 221 and KY 510. Bear right onto KY 510. The entrance to Pine Mountain Settlement School is on the right.