In some picturesque villages in Portugal, bread baked in a wood-fired oven still has a place on the table. For breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner, many people like to eat good homemade bread with butter, cheese, jam or even just olive oil. If it’s still warm, then it’s even more appreciated. And the smell of freshly baked bread? No one can remain indifferent! It’s not easy to describe the aroma in words, but most people would agree that it’s comforting and inviting… In fact, we believe this is one of the many reasons why people continue to bake bread in wood ovens to this day.

In the region of Sertã, in Portugal, surrounded by peaceful hills and forests, we will find a small village where aspects of the life of yesteryear are still very much alive and traditions are lovingly maintained, ensuring the identity of the place. Here, locals continue to practice the ancient art of making bread in a wood-fired oven, using techniques passed down through generations. If you’re passionate about food and cooking, and enjoy learning about local traditions and cultures, you must meet these people. You’ll love the experience, for sure.

Every year we organize a masterclass with the local ladies, who are always eagerly waiting for us to teach the art of bread-making. In this class, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves, as you’ll be mixing the flour, yeast, salt and water with your bare hands, feeling the dough taking shape under your fingertips. While the dough rests and rises, you can chat and get to know the local ladies, learning about their lives and traditions. Once the dough is ready, you carefully shape the bread and slide it into the oven, feeling the intense heat on your face as the wood crackles and burns – always with the help and supervision of the village ladies.

You’ll be able to tell when the bread is almost done. The aroma of freshly baked bread will fill the air as the loaves bake to perfection. You will hardly contain your enthusiasm, believe us. Moments later, you’ll be able to taste a warm and crusty bread, with a unique texture and flavor, seasoned with coarse salt, olive oil, and garlic, just like the locals do.

As you savor each delicious bite, you can’t help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. After all, you’ve learned a new skill. But more than just making bread in a wood-fired oven, the experience is a journey through tradition, where you get to know the village, the people, and their stories. You’ll carry the memories of this experience with you for a lifetime. And who knows, you might start getting your hands dirty more often. The local ladies would love it.