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Bread Making Classes at Parkview Bed & Breakfast
January 9, 2017 5:07 pm
Frequently we have guests at Parkview Bed & Breakfast that forever change & impact our lives. Shawn Rediske & his wife Rae were 2 of those guests. When their reservation came in for the last Sunday during Fermentation Fest, we knew the name sounded familiar but couldn’t quite put a finger on why, that is until I started collecting the schedule of events from the guest rooms to put away. There it was, right in front of me! Shawn was a breads class instructor during the Fermentation Fest. We had heard our guests talking about his classes; some were even back to take his classes the 4th and 5th years in a row, & some came during both weekends of the Fest to make sure they got into not just one class, but all of his classes! To further drive home the fact that this man was great, was a Fermentation Fest Schedule of classes that a guest, during the middle of September, had highlighted each & every one of his classes & told us “if you get the chance, take any class you can from him, he is terrific. We drive from Milwaukee to Lake Mills just to get his breads and pastries, and we buy his wonderful treats from the Farmer’s Market in Milwaukee!”
Hosting guests during Fermentation Fest left us no available time to take a class, we focused on making sure our guests’ every need was met & breakfasts were of the highest quality we’ve become known for, you know what we love to do EVERY day, for EVERY guest!
My first thought was, oh dear what will I fix for breakfast, then, how can our food possibly be up to his standards…I mean, we have turned out what our well-traveled, seasoned B & B guests referred to as “5-Star breakfasts,” “better than any B & B we’ve ever stayed at.” I mean heck, we’d even gotten rave reviews from my mom! But a restaurant owner, a bread baking God, oh my goodness! I almost made myself sick worrying about it! In the end, Neil, the calm, pragmatic one of us, said “Honey, just make the breakfast that you’ve gotten the most compliments on,” and then went to bed, of all the NERVE!
Shawn & Rae were our only guests that night & they had been working like crazy during Fermentation Fest, running back and forth from their business, Water House Bistro in Lake Mills, WI. When they arrived here that Sunday night they were ready to rest & relax before heading back home the next day. They came down for breakfast Monday morning & we both ended up joining them & visiting (that’s one of our favorite things, when guests allow us to join them). We all really “clicked” & we shared with them what we had heard during the past two weekends about his knowledge, teaching methods, & the excitement our guests (from 4 different states) displayed about being lucky enough to get signed up for his classes this year. We visited for a couple of hours and out of that came the agreement to work together. Shawn has put some bread classes together to be taught here at Parkview! Now I don’t know if people realize it, but I let no one in our kitchen, and I am VERY particular, you know, the OCD, Type A, over the top kind of personality. Here is Shawn, who in two hours had me offering up my kitchen and our Bed & Breakfast!
Neil & I went in November to take his “Holiday Breads Class” and all I can say is WOW, in two hours, he had us convinced and confident that we could replicate the three breads he taught us to make, Stollen, Challah, and Christmas Zelten! He is witty, organized, knowledgeable, passionate, has the patience of a Saint, & he even taught us about the science behind the ingredients! We actually came home & made the breads he taught us successfully not once, but twice since then & they came out perfect. Shawn even has Neil, who hadn’t ever made bread, excited and interested so much he has even started playing around with the ingredients & has prepared a list of bread recipes we are trying next! Water House Bistro had wonderful books full of bread baking recipes & methods. We even came home with two books, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and Whole Grain Breads, authored by Peter Reinhart, also a presenter at Fermentation Fest.
My bread-making skills left much to be desired, trust me, I think my poor mother wanted to pull her hair out when my brother and sister and I were getting ready for the Wyandotte County 4-H Fair back in the day. I make beautiful and delectable cakes, pies, muffins, candies, and cookies…but bread, well, hello bread machine and box mix! At Thanksgiving, I even had my sister–in-law Susan make the rolls because she is quite the bread baker and everyone in the family always raves about her rolls (I have her recipe now and next time, I’ll make the rolls). I’m quite sure my grandma Stella, God Rest her soul, is standing in the corner of her kitchen in Heaven, by the oven, with her hand on her forehead wondering why I haven’t been able to replicate her cinnamon rolls! I bet I can now, and intend on trying very soon.
The thing I am most excited about is that Shawn will be teaching the first of three classes “Scones & Coffee” at Parkview Bed & Breakfast on Thursday evening, January 19th from 6-8 p.m. The class size is limited to 8 people and those 8 people are in for a wonderful two hours! The cost of the class is only $30 per person and participants will go home with scones they baked in class and the recipes! We know that there are people in our community and surrounding areas that were busy volunteering at Fermentation Fest or running their own business during that time & it is a terrific opportunity for all of us to experience why people are drawn to this presenter and we couldn’t be more excited! Call us at Parkview Bed & Breakfast (608) 495-9046 and reserve your spot, we know you’ll be so glad you did! And you will also have the honor of being one of the few that I let in my kitchen, insert laughter and eye rolling here, but it really is a BIG DEAL to me, much to Shawn’s credit, and his ability to correctly read me, he did a class the first of December so that I could make sure our kitchen worked for such an endeavor and that he had plenty of room! He is THAT good!
~Lorraine & Neil, Innkeepers