Plein air landscape painting of Western Cape scenery by artist Niël Jonker | Contemporary South African art | Artisan baking with sourdough.

Niël Jonker
artisan breadmaking

The Sourdough Bread Making Experience

artisan breadmaking workshop

This fun yet thorough workshop emphasizes the benefits of slow fermentation, wholegrain ingredients, and process consciousness.

An advanced understanding of bread-making's core principles are covered while apprenticing in a fully functional artisan bake-house. Step by step explanations of all one needs to know is learnt with a glass of wine in hand, while novices and experienced bakers are catered for equally.

The workshop runs over two days
2017 Workshop dates:
Thursday and Friday 25, 26 May 2017
Thursday and Friday 22, 23 June 2017
Thursday and Friday 27, 28 July 2017
Thursday and Friday 24, 25 August 2017
Thursday and Friday 28, 29 September 2017
Thursday and Friday 26, 27 October 2017
Thursday and Friday 23, 24 November 2017

And/or every last Thursday and Friday of the month, unless otherwise specified.
Group bookings with alternative dates are considered gladly.

The venue is on my stoep in Baardskeerdersbos, a little over two hours from Cape Town. The oven is a 3 x 2 m wood fired brick oven and the stoep table is as long.

There is limited space per workshop, and the rate is R1800. A minimum 50% non-refundable deposit is required 14 days in advance.

Bank details: Nedbank; Branch code 198765; Acc. No. 1626010331; please email proof of payment to Special rates are considered for youths, B'bos locals, and those with a good story.

Upon confirmation you will receive notes that are best studied before the workshop. Bake simple recipes at home and experiment in order to benefit from and enjoy the workshop optimally.

The first day starts at 09:30 and includes a light pizza lunch (bring along your secret ingredient to win the Killer Pizza Contest!). On the second day we will be slow roasting something juicy as the oven warms up, and sit down at the stoep's long table while the breads rise. Ideas and ingredients from foodies are most welcome.

This is the main bake day and early risers may join from 06:00 with the lighting of the fire and mixing of the first batches of dough. The day ends with the breads being sold on the local Stanford Sunset Market from 18:00 to 20:00, where music and wine tasting, friendly faces (and more food!) bring an end to the rewarding day.

The Saturday morning market at the farmers union pub is also worth staying for, as are the many remote and unpopulated beaches of the unspoiled coastline.

Other nature-based experiences in the area over the weekend include hiking, trail runs, mountain biking, etc. as well as the Stanford and Elim wine routes.

Good meals are served at any one of the local pubs that are within walking distance, not that there are any road blocks!


In Baardskeerdersbos village, private self-catering cottages within walking distance from the Bakhuis:
Baardies: 0836254294 (Walking distance from the Bakhuis)
Die Kloof: 079 525 1307
Goedgenoeg: 0794463433
Tierfontein Rondawel,

Near Baardskeerdersbos, safe and in nature, private self-catering cottages a short drive away:
Hoopoe house, Des 028-3819189/ 0836583535,
Murasie, Leana 0723413822
Platbos forest, Melissa 0824110448
De Uilenes, Stacy 028-3880551,
Witkrans Farm Accommodation (self catering) Buchu Cottage (sleeps 4) and Cone Bush Cottage (sleeps 6) Contact: Michelle 0824645115,
Doo-little Farm, Sally: 028-3880060,
Rusthof,, 0823007294

Luxury guest houses:
Doornbosch Guest house and cottages, Heidi 0784475625
Farm 215, 028-3380920,

For directions please be aware that google maps sends you on a gravel road from Hermanus, so if your car prefers tar all the way go via Gansbaai (from Cape Town) or Bredasdorp (from George).
GPS: S 34 35 24.43 and E 19 34 07.13

What some bread makers have said after attending the workshops:

"I really like your open minded style of "teaching" you are a wealth of information imparting a steady stream of useful invaluable gems!! Part of the enjoyment of the 2 day experience is being welcomed into your amazing recluse - a home that has managed to escape all the shallow material trapping of today's world and focuses on the things that have REAL value, a truly heart warming and inspiring experience!"

"… a big thank you for a terrific workshop - your passion, understanding, and hands on experience do indeed make you a master of this craft."

"The most important tool in the bakery
is the baker´s body".[Niël Jonker: March 2009]

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Interesting Links

Beachcomber Guide

African Relish
African Relish is a Recreational Cooking School and a member of the ICTA (International Culinary Tourism Association), set in the Karoo town of Prince Albert.

Some years ago I stayed at the Scott household and apprenticed to oven building jobs, worked in nearby bakeries, and collected some of my best breadmaking memories ever!

Aphrodisiac Shack:
Born out of a passion for food and the art of Chacuterie this small concern with a family sized staff compliment are putting in place training programmes for their staff by working alongside the Fair- trade Organisation.

Eureka Mills:
High-quality, locally-produced premium stone ground flour. No additives, preservatives or chemicals. Naturally rich in fibre, wholesome and nutritious.

Platbos Forest:
The bread-bakkie´s carbon footprint is off-set by expanding the nearby Platbos Forest. An ancient indigenous forest situated at the foot of Africa: Offset your carbon footprint by sponsoring the planting of trees at Platbos Forest.