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Panary. . . teaching bread making since 1997

Every PANARY course is taught by Paul Merry, a master craftsman who favours a very practical approach to learning, regardless of any student’s prior experience.

Paul has been an artisan baker for 40 years, and a teacher of breadmaking courses for nearly 20 years.

He established PANARY in 1997, and now teaches an array of craft baking courses in a working watermill near Shaftesbury in Dorset. Much of the flour used in the courses is sourced locally from the mill. Whether you are an experienced baker or a complete novice, Paul is sure to have the right craft baking course for you.

PANARY is located in the beautiful rural setting of north Dorset, in Britain’s South West. So if you live in Somerset, Devon or Wiltshire, we’re right on your doorstep. For those that require an overnight stay, we have a list of recommended accommodation (see below).

  • FOUR DAY PANARY IN PROVENCE (NEW) . . . read more

"Having been given the Paul Hollywood Bread book last Christmas, I have been baking bread for just over a year. I attended the PANARY Basic Bread course with Paul Merry just to ensure that I really understood the principles of baking and to learn from a master baker. I must say the day was fabulous, the programme covered a range of flours, breads and very hands on. Paul is very personable, obviously extremely knowledgeable and has an easy teaching style. I have already booked up for my second course and would recommend PANARY to others."



PANARY runs a selection of 1 day, 2 day or 3 day craft baking courses and the new 4 Day “PANARY In Provence” course.

Class sizes are limited to 6 places to ensure a small group and tutorial atmosphere. Day one of all courses begins at 10am with subsequent days beginning at 9am. The day finishes between 5.00pm and 6.00pm.

Unless otherwise stated, all courses are run at Cann Mills, Shaftesbury in Dorset.

"What an incredible day we had on Saturday! It was inspiring, instructive and awesome in every way. Your teaching method was brilliantly fluid and responsive, I don’t think I’ve ever been taught so much in a single day. "

PANARY 1 Day Baking Courses

1 Day “The Yeast Trio”

The yeast trio: fresh, dried and wild. Learn about the different types of yeast in a course that clears up any mystery surrounding yeast, its function in breadmaking and the wonders of fermentation. Gain confidence about the correct quantity of fresh and dried yeast to use as we make white . . . learn more

1 Day Basic

Discuss yeast, fermentation, and flour. Knead white and wholemeal, make buns with a “ferment”. Hands-on shaping practice, be guided about dough development, proof, and baking. We tackle as much as can be reasonably covered in a day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tour the mill. Festive: Basic courses before . . . learn more

1 Day Basic II

Building on the foundation of the Basic introductory course, Basic II features the use of the English “sponge and dough” method, the sponge being a stiff starter dough made the night before. With sponge you will make a large white dough and two separate roll doughs, including Scottish baps. The . . . learn more

1 Day British

The breads on this course will draw out the range of British types and shapes. With the wholemeal dough we shall focus on tinned bread. The white dough will yield rolls,cobs, plaits, bloomers, and the cottage style. For the sweet toothed we shall make an incomparable type of West Country . . . learn more

1 Day British II

Building on the foundation of the introductory British course, British II features the use of the English “sponge and dough” method, the sponge being a stiff starter dough made the night before. With sponge you will make a large white dough, maslin (a mixture of wheat and rye), and wholemeal . . . learn more

1 Day Continental

Work with the wet European sponges, fast and slow, for Swiss lemon loaves, and big puffy Italian pugliese loaves; make a spelt bread that uses scalded spelt flour as part of its method; the sweet bread is the memorable Tuscan grape harvest bread . . . learn more

1 Day French

Working with poolish you will make and roll out elegant sticks, as though you were aspiring to make an authentic baguette. Another white dough will be made for practising French shapes like the boule and the batard, and other more fancy rustic shapes. With rye and walnuts make a typical . . . learn more

1 Day Pizza & Italian

This course aims to capture the fun of those quintessential Italian breads like pizza & focaccia. Learn to make and bake these flatbreads with flair, creating a thin crust, good flavour, and the right amount of additions or topping to achieve a subtly satisfying result. Have fun making the remarkable . . . learn more

1 Day Sourdough

Pain au levain (PANARY’s flagship wheat sourdough), Russian rye, and spelt – a trio of remarkable sourdough breads made on this day. While waiting for these slow provers, learn about nurturing young leavens, so that you can steer them to maturity like the PANARY leavens that you will use and . . . learn more

1 Day Wood-fired Oven

Enjoy an exciting day with the masonry oven where you are learning to have the right food ready for the descending heat of the oven. Begin by firing it very hot, then we blister the skins off vegetables for making dips as we cook a range of flatbreads around the . . . learn more

Weekly Apprentice Day

Every Thursday, I am using Cann Mills flour to make bread for retail sale in local deli shops and village stores. Trainee bakers are welcome to join me, experiencing the tempo of proper bakery production and smartly gaining hand skills on the table and oven. “Apprentice Day” has become the . . . learn more

PANARY 2 Day Baking Courses

2 Day Continental – with Sourdough

Make memorable loaves with that open bubbly texture that we get in Continental breads. Learn the professional baker’s approach to using a poolish for making a real baguette, use the Italian overnight starter biga for achieving the correct texture for ciabatta. PANARY sourdough leaven (levain) will be on hand for making . . . learn more

2 Day French – with Sourdough

Work with levains and poolish to capture the essence of French breads. During the two-day course learn how to manage the sourdough leaven (levain) and use both wheat and rye levains to make incomparable rustic breads which keep for days, some with nuts and raisins added. The flagship loaf will . . . learn more

2 Day Basic and 2 Day British – Special Offer

Several times during the year’s Course Calendar there are weekends where Basic course is followed by Basic II, and the one-day British is followed by British II. While they stand alone as one-day course programmes, students can avail themselves of the opportunity of taking two days in these areas, and if choosing to do that, the booking will be treated as a two-day course . . . learn more

For Two Day Courses:

  • wood-fired oven can be used on request
  • courses start at 10.00am on the first day, 9.00am on second day – finish between 5.00pm and 6.00pm
  • spouses and partners are welcome to drinks in the bakery at the end of the first day

PANARY 3 Day Baking Courses

3 Day Going Professional

Perhaps you are contemplating bread as a career or a business, or as an additional level in an existing catering firm? Perhaps you are restless for a lifestyle change and want involvement with a simple and honest calling – the “staff of life”? Now PANARY has a themed course for . . . learn more

3 Day Baking Skills

This course will involve a fluid programme with multiple choices. There is scope for the students themselves to set their own programme, while PANARY will only need to present a basic framework involving different grains, varying fermentation times and methods, working with sponges, and sourdough. Students can then assess results . . . learn more

For Three Day Courses:

  • It is possible to attend the three-day courses for only two days.
  • The wood-fired oven can be used by request on any three-day course.
  • Courses start at 10.00am on the first day. Any day thereafter at 9.00am. Courses finish between 5 and 6pm.
  • Spouses and partners – are welcome to attend drinks in the bakery.

Course Description

Paul Merry has teamed up with a former PANARY student, Wilson Thorburn, who escaped with his wife Anna from their hectic London life to a calmer routine in Provence by buying a property with a 13-hectare vineyard. It is called Domaine l’Ancienne Ecole. With the wine making they have a summer business renting the gites on the property to holiday makers. We are offering three residential baking courses in 2015.

  • 4 day residential course held in France
  • 5 night’s accommodation
  • meals included
  • No singles supplement


The nearby village is Vinsobres, a pretty, historic, Provencal village with a 12th century temple and an early 18th century church perched on a hilltop.

The nearest town is Nyons, a market town which is famed for its olives and olive oil, as well as its colourful and lively weekly market.

The area has a superb climate (hot, dry summers with the occasional electric storm) and amazing scenery.

Course Content

The course structure will be mainly French breads and techniques, using flour from a nearby flour mill. We shall make savoury and sweet, light and dark, and sourdoughs too. Requests will be taken on the first day, giving the opportunity for students to shape their own programme.

They will also experience first hand the Panyol wood-fired ovens, sold by PANARY, with extra oven capacity provided by domestic electric ovens. A kitchen adjacent to the courtyard will be our dough and preparation room.


There will be a course mini-bus for our group use.

Potential local excursions are many in the Vinsobres and Nyons areas. We can tour vineyards and taste wines (starting in the Thorburns’ vineyard of course), attend local markets, see bakeries, olive oil mills, and cheese makers. We have arranged a tour in a small local biscuit factory that uses local olives and almonds in its artisanal products. For sight-seeing further afield a half-day will be taken to visit the Roman theatre at Orange.

The course fee does not include travel, however the course mini-bus will make a group pick up and drop off at a nearby train station or airport for a designated train or flight, this information being given at booking confirmation time. (Transfers to and from other airports made by the course mini-bus will be chargeable).


About the Accommodation

There are two gites in Domaine l’Ancienne Ecole – Les Marronniers and Les Pre-Alpes. Both overlook the vineyards and beyond to Mont Ventoux and share the large infinity pool (please note that depending upon the season the pool may not be in use).

Les Marronniers

Les Marronniers is a detached villa with one double bedroom with ensuite shower room and another double/twin which shares a bathroom with the room which will be occupied by Paul Merry, your tutor. Separate WC’s are upstairs and downstairs. There is an open plan living/dining room with wood burning stove, a well equipped kitchen and a covered terrace.

Les Pré-Alpes

Les Pré-Alpes is an apartment at the southern end of the main building that is completely private, featuring one double room with its own shower room and WC. It has a roof terrace, kitchen/living/dining room with wood burning stove and covered terrace.

For more information about the vineyard and gites visit


The nearest TGV stations are Avignon (1 hour) and Valence (1¼ hours). (St.Pancras to Avignon is about 6½ hours).

Nimes airport is the most convenient (1¼ hours), with Marseille (1½ hours) and Lyon (2 hours). Ryanair fly from Luton to Nimes.

Among over a dozen airlines flying to Marseilles, the biggest are British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair. Flying to Lyon, amongst a dozen, British Airways, Flybe, and Easy Jet are the biggest airlines.



LOCAL BED & BREAKFAST as recommended by PANARY

For a larger selection, self-catering, etc contact Shaftesbury Tourist Information Centre:

  01747 853514


  The Old Forge   Compton Abbas   01747 811881
  Foxpath B&B   Cann Common   01747 852695
  Fontmell Magna Shop   Fontwell Magna   01747 811276

Shaftesbury town:

  The Retreat   Shaftesbury   01747 850372
  Holbrook B&B   Shaftesbury   01747 858522
  The Old Farriers B&B   Shaftesbury   01747 851681
  3 Ivy Cross   Shaftesbury   01747 853837
  The Walled Garden   Shaftesbury   01747 852628

Villages, countryside:

  Oaklands   East Orchard   01747 812365
  Mereworth   Donhead St. Andrew   01747 828640
  Applehay Studio   Semley   01747 830474
  Cools Farm B&B   East Knoyle   01747 830720
  Woodville Farm   Stour Row   01747 838241
  Manston Guest Accommodation   Manston   01747 472666

Shaftesbury Hotels:

  La Fleur de Lys   Shaftesbury   01747 853717
  The Grosvenor   Shaftesbury   01747 850580



Cann Mills
SP7 0BLd

+44 (0)1747 823711
If you have any questions about cooking holidays send us an email <click here>
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