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The Best Online Baking Classes by London Bakers & Cookery Schools

Baking is fast becoming one of our favourite lockdown activities (when we can get hold of a bag of flour). It’s super calming, a way to take our minds off everything, and it means quite literally having your cake and eating it too.

If you’re in need of a little guidance and inspiration, tune in to one of these online classes or courses led by the experts, covering everything from bread to chocolate to pastry. Now’s certainly the time to refine our skills, so watch out Mary Berry…

Lead image: DragonImages / iStock / Getty Images Plus

1 Bread Ahead Online Baking 
Bread Ahead is known for its doughnuts, pastries, brownies and amazing fresh sourdough (it’s okay to eat the entire loaf, right? Asking for a friend…), with locations in Borough Market, Beak Street, Chelsea and Wembley. Bread Ahead normally offers baking courses from its school in Borough Market, but these are of course on hold for now. Thankfully that’s not stopped the team cooking up a storm, since every day at 2pm they’ll be sharing one of their favourite baking lessons with us via their Instagram Live (their Insta, by the way, will make you want to eat your entire body weight in doughnuts). A schedule is available on the website, accompanied by a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for each day, with lessons in focaccia, carrot cake, brioche and ham and cheese croissants all in the pipeline for the coming weeks. Bread Ahead is also running a two-hour online doughnut workshop on select days throughout May – visit the website to book your place.
breadahead.com

 

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2 Bake with Maria 
Pastry chef and baker Maria Mayerhofer is a force for good on London’s baking scene – she runs hugely popular private and group classes from her home kitchen in Golders Green, covering all kinds of delights spanning from petit fours to bread and cakes. To keep our spirits up during lockdown, Maria is hosting ‘bake-a-longs’ every week via Instagram Live. So far she’s shown us how to make brownies and a classic Victoria Sponge. Maria lists all the ingredients and equipment beforehand so that you can make sure you’re prepared, and if you miss the Live video, you can recap via her YouTube channel. She also shares other bread and cake instructional videos here, and if you want one-to-one instruction, private zoom classes are on offer too.
bakewithmaria.com

3 The Muff Kitchen with Martha de Lacey
It’s fair to say that Martha de Lacey is the Queen of Sourdough. She usually runs sourdough classes from her home in Victoria Park, which see participants creating their very own loaves with breakfast and lunch provided too (on the menu is freshly made sourdough toast, buttermilk waffles and crumpets, with sourdough pizzas and beer and wine for lunch – heaven, right?). She also runs fermentation workshops, where you’ll learn how to make vegetable ferments, fermented hot sauce and kimchi. While these classes are off limits, Martha has set up #TheMuffKitchen, a new, rather cheekily named online arm of her business, through which she will continue to teach her sourdough masterclasses and fermentation workshops, as well as providing participants with an array of recipes, tutorials, live Q&As, tips and tricks. This is a paid-for subscription service, which involves a one-off membership joining fee of £60 and a monthly direct debit subscription of either £5 or £10, depending on what you can afford.
marthadelacey.com

4 Cook-a-longs with Ravneet Gill
Ravneet Gill is a pastry chef at Puff, one of London’s dreamiest, coolest pop-up bakeries, and she’s also the author of The Pastry Chef’s Guide. In recent weeks, Ravneet has delighted her near 20,000 Instagram followers by running cook-a-longs via Instagram Live – so far, she’s helped fellow baking fans to create carrot cake and double chocolate cookies, which I’m sure you’ll agree, are perfect for lockdown-snacking. Although she’s taking a break for a while to focus on an exciting new pastry course, you can still find ingredients lists and video highlights on her page, alongside endless other recipe inspirations. Head to Puff’s Instagram account if you’re in need of some more baking inspo, too.
puffthebakery.co.uk

 

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5 The Avenue Cookery School
This Wandsworth-based cookery school is known for making learning to cook fun, and in a big way – they offer everything from short, public classes (complete with a tipple or two) to corporate events, hen nights and kids’ parties. Now, The Avenue Cookery School is utilising the power of technology to bring these cooking classes to you from the comfort of your own kitchen. The school is sharing a number of baking demos via IGTV, with fantastic videos on how to make spelt loaf, flapjacks, mini quiches and jam tarts all available so far. You could also sign up to a Live Online Private Masterclass, which features a personal video call with one of their experts where you can create any dish you like – so, if baking’s your thing, they’ll be able to show you the ropes. They’re also offering a Live Online Private Sushi Workshop, and they’ll even deliver the ingredients direct to your door no matter where you live in the UK. theavenuecookeryschool.com

 

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6 The Art of Chocolate Making, taught by Paul A Young
The choc-a-holics among us will probably already be familiar with the mastery of Paul A Young, a renowned chocolatier with shops in Soho and Islington. He’s known for his daring flavour combinations – with truffles including tea and malted milk biscuit, and coffee and croissant – and his brownies are out of this world. He’s running an online course with learningwithexperts.com, which will take you on a mouth-watering journey through the world of chocolate. You’ll learn about everything from the sweet treat’s history through to creating professional standard truffles, with skills such as tempering, moulding and hand-enrobing all covered. He’ll even share the recipe for his award-winning sea salted caramel truffle. Join an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people for £29, or you could go for the £109 option, which features marked assignments and personal tuition from Paul.
learningwithexperts.com

7 The Online Pastry School
If their name hasn’t already given it away, these guys run online courses for the aspiring pastry chef: you’ll get video lessons with full written recipes and step-by-step instructions, and your teacher will be the legendary Ben Mariner. Since earning a full scholarship with The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts at aged just 16, he’s held positions at the likes of the prestigious Goring Hotel, helping with preparations for none other than the Royal Wedding in 2011. He now works part time as a head pastry chef and developer to a famous multi-billionaire and their executives, balancing this with running The Online Pastry School alongside a team of six others. As a result, it’s safe to say you’ll be in good hands. The Online Pastry School is currently offering a monthly registration fee of just £4.99 a month, a huge discount compared to the usual price of £14.99 a month. Make the most of this, and by the end of lockdown you’ll be a master pastry chef too.
becomeapastrychef.co.uk

8 The Big Bakes Online Baking Tutorials
The Big Bakes – the UK’s first and only live baking competition – usually pits keen amateur bakers against each in a marque in the gardens of the Castle Pub in Tooting. But now their team of bakers are hosting an array of remote tutorials to you baking at home. Broadcast from their famous, fully kitted out baking tents, the baking team is currently sharing three bake-at-home classes each week across their social media channels, covering easy-to-follow recipes that use the day-to-day ingredients and standard kitchen equipment. To take part, just visit @Thebig_bakes on Facebook or Instagram, where you will find a list of necessary ingredients. Once you’ve completed your creations, share a photograph with @Thebig_bakes and each week the team will choose the winning amateur baker. The prize? Vouchers to attend a live session later in the year.
thebiglondonbake.com

 

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