The Basics of Bread-Baking Retreat

Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Cooking School.
Photo courtesy of San Francisco Cooking School.

San Francisco, California
May 3–5, 2019


This three-day retreat kicks off with an exclusive bakery tour of San Francisco that’s led by editor-in-chief Brian Hart Hoffman before heading to the beautiful, light-filled kitchens of San Francisco Cooking School to learn your new lineup of core bread doughs that you can dress up or down.

A list of go-to bread recipes should be in every home baker’s repertoire. During the two-day class, taught by James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Nicole Plue, you’ll learn how to make and shape classic loaves, dinner rolls, hamburger buns, pizza dough, and bagels. And since you’re in San Francisco, how could we not bake sourdough? A rustic loaf and English muffins will show off this local flavor.

If you want to tackle bread-baking at home, this weekend is for you. You’ll watch every dough come together and get your hands in the bowl to learn the best techniques for home bakers. When you leave this workshop, recipes in hand, you’ll be equipped to bake bread in your home kitchen on a regular basis. In addition to new recipes and the confidence to bake them again and again, you’ll also learn ways to troubleshoot common pitfalls in your own kitchen.

Each day at San Francisco Cooking School includes morning coffee, lunch (with wine to celebrate your baking accomplishments!), and plenty of time to taste and talk about all things bread. So, roll up your sleeves, tie on your apron, and let’s bake.

What’s Included
  • Bakery tour with transportation to/from San Francisco Cooking School.
  • All classes at San Francisco Cooking School, including coffee, lunch, and wine.
What’s Not Included
  • Travel to/from San Francisco.
  • Hotel accommodations.

Have a question about this baking retreat?

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About Chef Nicole Plue, Director of Pastry Arts at San Francisco Cooking School

After Nicole won the 2010 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef, Michael Bauer, former food critic of the San Francisco Chronicle , praised Nicole as “one of the best pastry chefs in the country.” Now, she is on her way to becoming one of the best pastry instructors in the country.

A Los Angeles native, Nicole began her restaurant career in San Francisco, where she led the celebrated bread program at the former Hawthorne Lane before jumping coasts to New York City when Danny Meyer recruited her to be the pastry chef on the opening team at Eleven Madison Park. While on the East Coast, Nicole also opened Terence Conran’s Guastavino’s and went on to manage the pastry programs at the three-starred AZ restaurant and its sister restaurant Pazo.

In 2004, Nicole returned to California to serve as executive pastry chef at Julia’s Kitchen at COPIA in Napa. She then held the same position at Richard Reddington’s Redd, and during this tenure in 2010, she received the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Nicole’s last post was as executive pastry chef at the celebrated Michelin-starred Cyrus restaurant in Healdsburg, California, which closed in October of 2012. Nicole then joined San Francisco Cooking School as Director of Pastry Arts. Her role includes creating the curriculum for the program, teaching, and mentoring students to develop their skills and careers in pastry and baking.

San Francisco Cooking School
Photo courtesy of San Francisco Cooking School.


Brian Hoffman - San Fran Bakery Tour Image
Tart photo courtesy of Kassie Borreson.

Friday, May 3
Join Bake from Scratch editor-in-chief Brian Hart Hoffman on an exclusive San Francisco bakery tour. Find out what he orders at his favorite Bay City establishments, take a sneak peek inside some of the city’s best pastry kitchens, and get to know the bakers who keep the city in the bread and pastry spotlight. (Transportation to all bakeries will be provided, as well as samples at each bakery.)

Enjoy the afternoon with our exclusive guide to hot spots for cocktails, shopping, dining, and, of course, more bakeries.

Saturday, May 4
San Francisco Cooking School The Basics of Bread Baking Retreat
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday, May 5
San Francisco Cooking School The Basics of Bread Baking Retreat
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


The entire trip cost (100%) is due at booking. Your reservation will be confirmed upon receipt of payment. We accept payment by American Express, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. Trip prices are in U.S. dollars.


The price of trip includes the Friday bakery tour (transportation provided from San Francisco Cooking School) and all classes at San Francisco Cooking School.

Since the trip is nonrefundable, we suggest buying trip insurance through a company like Travelex. You can also check with your credit card company to see if they provide travel insurance.

If you don’t purchase travel insurance, you agree to indemnify us against any charges that might otherwise be covered by your insurance. You further agree that we are not responsible for any costs of cancellation by you.

Your credit card will be charged by Hoffman Media, the parent company of Bake from Scratch.


We reserve the right to cancel the trip if fewer than 10 participants have signed up within 6 weeks prior to retreat date. If Bake from Scratch initiates the cancellation, we will refund all payments.

Reserve Your Space