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. Novices and experienced bakers are catered for equally.

The workshop runs over two days:

Friday and Saturday: 28, 29 September
Friday and Saturday: 26, 27 October
Friday and Saturday: 23, 24 November

Group bookings with alternative dates are considered gladly.

The venue is on my stoep in Baardskeerdersbos, a little hamlet about two hours from Cape Town. The brick oven (3x2m) on the stoep is generous, yet there is limited space in the bakehouse.

The rate is R2200 and a 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 those with a good story.

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

The first day starts at 08h00 with hands getting dirty immediately. Although we manage to fit in a pizza party, the baking has been known to continue into the night. On the second day we deliver bread to the village market where we meet at 09h00 before continuing the programme.
While the Friday is a baptism by fire where hands are thrust into the dough immediately, Saturday is about revision and and ownership of your practice. All in all, an immersive experience.

Confucius said :
'I hear, and I forget
I see, and I remember
I do, and I understand.'

Those not wishing to rush off will not be disappointed by 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.

How to get there:
Drive the tarred R43 via Gansbaai. Don't just trust Google maps that takes one on a seemingly endless (yet scenic) gravel route.


In Baardskeerdersbos village, private self-catering cottages within walking distance from the Bakhuis:
Blue House, Maarten, 0726154661
Baardies, Rene 0836254294

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,
Du Bois Werf huisie, 14km from Bbos, 0829266579 |

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

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

Other Workshops

Landscape Painting Tours

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Pat A Wet Dog Breadmaking Workshops on Facebook
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.