TRACEBRIDGE SOURDOUGH & FERMENTERIA
Gordon Woodcock and Katie Venner built an oven in the woods above Tracebridge in Somerset in 2008. They made sourdough breads and pastries to sell in the village shop and opened their garden on Fridays for pizzas. The wildly popular Pizza Night now runs from Good Friday through the Summer and with other local producers they started an award winning Farmers’ Market in Wiveliscombe.
Katie’s enthusiasm for sauerkraut, Kimchi and Kefir developed from a love of sour tastes and a desire to improve her digestion. She started selling her sauerkrauts and Kimchi’s alongside the bread and the Fermenteria was born.
In 2016 Gordon and Katie handed the day-to-day baking over to their apprentices Fleur Hoyle and Adam Lawrie so they could concentrate on teaching – sharing their skills in sourdough and fermentation in small classes.
Gordon and Katie helped Fleur and Adam establish White Post Bakery which they ran until January 2018. Adam now works in a well known bakery in Belgium and Fleur, after a spell at Pollen Bakery, Manchester, has returned to Tracebridge as partner.
Gordon continues to share his knowledge of wood-fired ovens and sourdough in his popular classes for the home baker, Fleur teaches our more experienced bakers advanced sourdough baking and our Viennoiserie class, and Katie teaches fermenting and patisserie classes.
This Spring our youngest son Henry joins us teaching spoon carving workshops. Craft your spoon listening to the blissful birdsong of the Tracebridge valley. Slow down and reconnect.
Photo credits: Most of the photos on our website were taken by Wenjia Liu while she was here as an apprentice. Thanks also to our other friends, apprentices and WWOOfers and class participants who have also shared their photos: Nicky Saunter, Annabel Dodobier, Isabella Wang, Alex Poulter, Paul Leyland, Harry Borden and Robin Rice. Other photos by Katie Venner.