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:

Saturday and Sunday 26, 27 May
Thursday and Friday, 28, 29 June
Thursday and Friday 26, 27 July
Thursday and Friday 23, 24 August
Thursday and Friday 27, 28 September
Thursday and Friday 25, 26 October
Thursday and Friday 22, 23 November

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 R2200. A minimum 50% deposit is required at least 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 with mixing of the first batches of dough from 08:00. We sit down to a lunch with something roasted from the oven while the bread rise, and bake in the afternoon to finish anytime between 3pm and 5pm. The Saturday morning Plaasmark in Bbos is a gem worth staying over 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.
Please note there is no ATM in the village. Petrol and diesel is available at the general dealer.


In Baardskeerdersbos village, private self-catering cottages within walking distance from the Bakhuis:
Die Kloof: 079 525 1307

Self-catering affordable rooms:
Haworth cottage, Coleen 0833093532
Die Baardskeerder: Leni 0768773020
Cheryl's cottage :0723833154

Near Baardskeerdersbos, safe and in nature, private self-catering cottages a short drive away:
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, website
Rusthof,, 0823007294,
Tierfontein rondawel, Liz, 083 306 8882,

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

Drive tar road via Gansbaai or risk following gps that takes one on a long scenic gravel route. Feel free to email me your questions.
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]

Other Workshops

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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.