Artisan Breadmaking & Heritage Grains: From the Iceman Forward
at Brunnenburg Castle & Museum
June 19-26, 2020
Join authors and experts Richard Miscovich and Philip Ackerman-Leist for a unique international study tour focused on the ancient grains and foodways of the Alps and the history of wood-fired baking, from the time of the Ice Man to the present. Based at Brunnenburg Castle & Agricultural Museum (weblink), students will explore the bread-related treasures of the museum and transform lessons learned into guided milling and baking experimentation in the castle’s teaching kitchen and hand-built bread oven.
Richard Miscovich is not only an assistant professor and department chair of The International Baking & Pastry Institute at Johnson & Wales University and author of From the Wood-Fired Oven (weblink), he is also an acclaimed instructor for King Arthur Flour, Bluprint (formerly “Craftsy”), and baking workshops around the US, including courses at Sterling College’s School of the New American Farmstead. Richard began baking European hearth breads in 1996 after graduating in the first class taught at the San Francisco Baking Institute. During that same trip, he visited Alan Scott and was introduced to the Scott brick oven design. This happened just as interest in artisan baking and wood-fired ovens increased dramatically. He immediately began construction of a wood-fired oven in coastal North Carolina, and opened an organic micro-bakery, One Acre Garden and Bakery, specializing in organic artisan hearth breads. Miscovich serves on the Board of Directors of The Bread Bakers Guild of America.
Philip Ackerman-Leist is the Dean of Professional Studies at Sterling College and has lived, farmed, and taught at Brunnenburg Castle at different points since his first experience as a student there in 1983. Steeped in the agricultural history of the South Tirol region of the Italian Alps, he revels in co-facilitating study tours that introduce students to a place where foodways can be traced at least as far back as the Ice Man, a 5300 year-old glacial mummy discovered in 1993, not far from Brunnenburg. His most recent book, A Precautionary Tale, features the heritage grain farmers and bakers in the South Tirol who stood up for a pesticide-free future when their fields and foodways were threatened by an influx of apple farmers.
With an onsite traditional wood-fired masonry oven and a museum featuring all facets of traditional grain growing, milling, and baking, Brunnenburg Castle is the ideal location for exploring the rich range of breadbaking traditions in the South Tirol–all based on the heritage grains, spices, nuts, and special sweeteners known and revered in this region for millenia. The course will commence with a focus on the five ancient grains found with the famous “Ice Man,” a glacial mummy frozen in a glacier near Brunnenburg 5300 years ago and discovered in 1993: spelt, emmer, einkorn, millet, and barley.
From there, the course will explore the traditional sourdough rye breads of the region and some of the wheat breads that gradually made their way into the local diet from further South in Italy and north in Bavaria. We will examine the bread baking process with an emphasis on natural leavening, controlled fermentation and the use of whole grains. Masonry ovens will be explored, including firing techniques, heat management and simple wood-fired cuisine. Included in the course will be visits to grain farmers, mills, bakers, and marketplaces where traditional breads are made and also transformed into contemporary heritage food products.
Brunnenburg Castle & Agricultural Museum is located in the village of Dorf Tirol and features organically-managed vineyards, orchards, gardens, and livestock. The castle is a renowned international study center, featuring an agricultural museum dedicated to conserving the tools, practices, and wisdom of Alpine farming methods.
This study tour provides two (2) Sterling College continuing education credits (CEUs), which translates to thirty (30) CPE units for registered dietitians.
The Program Includes:
Lodging & Transport
- All transportation during the tour, including group travel to and from the Munich airport, is included.
- Tour guides for all aspects of the tour.
- Educational materials delivered prior to the tour.
- 7 night stay at the Brunnenburg Castle farmhouse lodge. Please note that the 17th century farmhouse lodge is rustic, with shared bedrooms, bathrooms and showers.
Food & Dining
- All meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are included, with the exception of two lunches that will be on your own, as you tour local villages. Many meals will be hosted in a community setting, with all attendees cooking together in the charming Brunnenburg farm kitchen.
- 1 “Ötzi the Iceman” Dinner at Brunnenburg Castle, featuring historic, traditional, local foods and ingredients from the Copper Age.
- An evening wine-tasting featuring Brunnenburg Castle’s pioneering pesticide-free wines.
- Hands-on wood-fired baking classes on the castle’s panoramic outdoor terrace and in the gothic-style teaching kitchen
- Local farm tours, including herb, grain, and seed-saving farms
- Bakery tours
- Meals in historic South Tirolean restaurants
- Tastings of Brunnenburg wines and distilled spirits
Beginner to Advanced. This course is suitable for students with a range of experience levels. No prior culinary or baking experience required. Home cooks with more passion than experience will learn the fundamentals. Aspiring and professional chefs/bakers who want to make bread with natural leaven and bake in a wood-fired oven will walk away with new knowledge and skills. Small class size and individual attention make this possible.
There are no prerequisites for this course. Students should come with a basic knowledge of bread making and an eagerness to get their hands into some dough!
- Tuition for this course is $2950.00. This includes classroom lectures, hands-on workshops, lodging during the course and all meals.
- Class size is limited to 14.
- A non-refundable deposit of 20% of the tuition may be made in order to reserve your seat in a course at any time until the full tuition due date, at which time full tuition will be due to reserve a seat in the course.
- Tuition is due to be paid in full 60 days before the course start date.
- A late fee of $50 will be applied in the case of payments made past the full tuition due date.
- In the case of course cancellation by the institution, deposits will be returned. Course fees beyond the non-refundable minimum deposit are refundable for cancellations up to 60 days before the course start date. Please contact your course coordinator for cancellations after that date.
The tour is open to anyone, ages 18 and above, and geared primarily to adult learners, although consideration will be given to applicants interested in sharing this experience with a younger participant. More details available upon request.
Soon after registration, you will be furnished with a reading and study guide in order to delve into the food history and culture for this trip, as well as a preparation and packing guide.
Important Note: Participants must document personal international health coverage in order to participate in the program. Participants must be in moderate physical condition in order to participate in group activities that will involve some moderate hiking and elevation changes, as well as light work on the castle farm.
Participants must book flights that arrive at the Munich airport no later than 1 pm on June 19, 2020. Your tour leaders will meet you at the airport and transport you to Brunnenburg Castle.
Group transportation from Brunnenburg to the Munich airport on June 26 will depart at 8:00am, with an estimated arrival at Munich airport 5 hours later (ETA: 1:00pm), depending upon traffic. Return flights should be scheduled for no earlier than 3pm on June 26, 2020 or preferably for the following day. Participants can also opt to be dropped off in Innsbruck.
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