A Taste of the Past
A Taste of the Past

Our Cookery Courses

Our popular bread making and cookery courses are a fun and informal way to learn a new skill.  With only 8 people on each course the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly with plenty of time for individual help and advice.  More importantly, we do all your washing up for you.


All of our courses cost £70 for a full date of baking.


All our courses are hands on, you make everything yourself following step by step guidance to ensure that when you get home you will be able to make the recipes again and again. 


The price of our day courses includes all your ingredients, course notes, refreshments and a lovely lunch.  Lunch is typically a home made, seasonal soup served with real, fresh bread, home made chutney, a cheese board and grapes.  This is usually following by a small, home made dessert such as pavlova, cheesecake or bread and butter pudding.


We run our courses in Canada Hall in Merstham.  The building has a lovely, vintage feel but with the added bonus a brand new oven.  We like to support out local communty.


To see what our customers have to say, please see the TripAdvisor reviews.


2018 Course Dates

6th October Mediterannean Bread 2 space left £70
3rd November Bread making for Beginners 3 spaces left £70
10th Nov British Breads 4 spaces left £70


How to Book

Please call Claire on 07999871053 to reserve your space.  Places can be reserved for 2 weeks to give you time to send in a cheque and booking form.


Please click on the link below to download a booking form.  Full payment details and the postal address are on the form.  


If you have any questions about any of our courses though, please do get in touch by phone or email.


 If you no longer have a cheque book the it is possible to pay by bank transfer.


Unfortunately, if you do need to cancel your place on a course then we can only offer a refund if you cancel more than two weeks before a course or if we are able to fill your place.

Booking Form
booking form.docx
Microsoft Word document [16.3 KB]

Bread Making for Beginners

Tear and share monkey breads from the beginners course

Our most popular course, this really is a guide to bread making suitable for anyone who has never been in a kitchen before or someone who wants to brush up some slightly rusty skills.  

The day starts with tea, coffee and some home made biscuits.  We look at the different types of yeast and flour that are used to make bread.  We then go on to make three types of dough, white, wholemeal and a white sodabread style dough.


While we wait for the yeasted white and wholemeal doughs to rise, we use the soda bread dough to make ourselves scone based pizzas for lunch.  


After lunch we knock back and shape our loaves.  The wholemeal dough is turned into a traditional split tin loaf suitable for sandwiches or toast.  The white dough is made into a lovely tear and share style loaf flavoured with either sweet or savoury toppings.  Popular options in the past have been chocolate and cinnamon or cheese, onion and herb.


By the end of the day you shold have the confidence to go home and make yourself some great loaves of bread.  However, like many things in life, you will only get better with lots of practice.  We aim to give you all the skills you need to get to grips with new recipes and the ability to have a go at other breads you may like.


If there is time we may show you how to make crunpets or muffins as well.

Booking Form
booking form.docx
Microsoft Word document [16.3 KB]

Breads of Britain

While I love all sorts of bread I thought it was time for a celebration of British Bread.


British Bread is great! When properly made, we have some of the tastiest bread around and it does best the things that we want it to do.  It is dense but light with a good texture and no bubbles (hopefully) so all that lovely butter and home made jam or marmalde stays put.  


This course will be suitable for complete beginners and will start with a look at different types of flour and yeast depending on the previous experience of the people booked on a particular course.


We make three loaves, stotties, a cottage loaf and lardy cake.


For anyone who hasn't tried the Norrh East delicasy that is stottie, they are flat, dense loaves that make great butties and pizza bases.


 Making a good cottage loaf at home is all down to the oven and how you cook it.  It is not easy to make but even if the result ends up looking a bit wonky the bread will still taste fantastic.  Hopefully we can send you home with enough tips to make this classic bread again and again.


Our last bread is a harvest loaf.  Forget about beautifully crafted wheat sheafs, this harvest loaf was made to sustain workers and as a celebration cake.   This bread takes Britain's traditional celebration flavours of spice, fruits and sugar and mixes them in a layered cake that is soft and fluffy in the middle with a lovely crunchy, sugary toping.  No, this bread is not entirely "good for you" but compared to a shop bought sugary donut or brownie you might grab with your lunch, it is full of flavour and texture and, I suspect, a lot less sugar and fat.


Booking Form
booking form.docx
Microsoft Word document [16.3 KB]

Mediterranean Breads


Bring back those holiday memories while learning how to cook some amazing recipes.  This course covers three wonderful breads, fougasse, pain viennois and ciabatta.


For those days when you need something quick and easy or you need to impressin a hurry there is fougasse.  This is a single rise bread that can be flavoured in many ways.  It is easy to make, looks impressive and tastes wonderful. It does not keep well but then leftover have never been something I have had to worry about.


Pain viennois is an enriched bread that is traditionally served sliced open with a small chocolate bar in the middle, bakering in France often sell the chocolate in the right sizes to fit the bread.  This bread can take a little skill to make but we have done it with beginners in the past and they have still made amazing breads.  These rolls freeze really well and make excellent breakfast treats on a weekend.


Ciaibatta doens't really need an introduction.  We use this bread as an introduction to using a pre-ferment, someting that sounds technical but in reality has been used by bakers for centuries to improve the quality and flavour of their bread.  Again, we make these as smallish roles so you can freeze them to use another day.


Booking Form
booking form.docx
Microsoft Word document [16.3 KB]

European Speciality Breads


On this course we will be making a Northern European style rye and wheat sour dough bread, a French pain viennois and pitta breads.


The sour dough bread uses an organic rye starter culture.  Before we make the bread we will look at how to start a sour culture, how to look after it and most important, just how it is supposed to look and smell.  Sour dough is pretty smelly stuff and at first can seem to just smell very wrong indeed.  Once we have a feeling for the fruity beeryness that is our sour culture then we will mix it with strong, white flour to make a traditional shaped loaf of bread.  There will be a choice of flavouring this with cheese or mixed seeds.


Pain viennois a brioche style bread enriched with eggs, sugar and butter.  We will use the dough to make little bread rolls that you can either serve with sweet or savoury fillings, a popular thing in France and Spain is to spllit the rolls and insert a small chocolate bar as a treat.


Fresh, home made pitta bread is a much loved stable around many areas of the Eastern Mediterranean.  Forget the tasteless versions from the shops, these are lovely.   Easy to make and satisfying to eat.  There will be choice of making these as plain loaves or flavouring them with nigella seeds.

Canada Hall  - how to find us


Canada Hall is on two bus routes that run from Redhill Bus Station which is nicely opposite Redhill train station.

The address is: Canada Hall, Battlebridge Lane, Merstham, Surrey. RH1 3LH.

 There is also a train station in Merstham itself but you would have to walk from there.  There is plenty of on street parking available near to the hall.



What to bring with you

We do provide everything you need for your day of cooking but you might like to bring along an apron and we definitely recommend that you bring something to take your bread home in.  A large box or basket is a good idea, a carrier bag is less good.  At least some of your bread is likely to still be warm so it is important not to wrap it in plastic but let it cool naturally.


About our prices

I have been trying to keep prices affordable ever since I started the cookery courses 5 years ago.  We use our local village hall so straight away money is going back into our community.


We don't have professional equipment you might find in a bakery but rely totally on domestic equipment and methods to ensure you have the best possible chance of being able to make yours breads at home, again and again.


I try to keep the prices down but I truly believe that all people should earn enough to live off, especially if they are willing to do the jobs that no one likes, such as washing up and cleaning.  The price you pay ensures that everyone who works for Taste of the Paste earns the full living wage.  


Follow the link below to find out more as the real Living Wage is very different to the government version which is not actually enough to live off.

The Living Wage

We are located at:

80 Orpin Road

Merstham, Redhill, Surrey


Contact us today!

If you have any queries or wish to book a cookery course, please contact us:


Call Claire on:




Or use our contact form.

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