Baking class at West End Bakery benefits FEAST

Cathy Cleary will teach a pizza-dough-making class with friend and “pie lady” Barbara Swell at the West End Bakery on Sunday, Feb. 19, from 4 until 6 p.m. Swell is a prolific cookbook author and cooking teacher who hosts classes (covering everything from pies to popovers), taught in a historic log cabin on her own east Asheville property. (For more information about Swell, visit http://nativeground.com) Cleary is the co-founder of FEAST and the co-owner of the West End Bakery. (She taught third grade before opening the bakery, so she can keep the class in line, she says.)

The culinary duo will first teach the class how to make basic pizza dough. They’ll then use that dough to make rustic breadsticks, herbed spirals, calzone, ciabatta (and yes, pizza too). Who knew that pizza dough could be so versatile?

The class costs $30, which includes materials. Class participants will also get to snack on what the group turns out and take some raw dough home to cook or freeze for later use. In addition to being informative, the event offers the opportunity to give back to the community — proceeds from the class will go to FEAST, a program that empowers youth and ensures that people of all income levels can eat well through hands-on cooking classes.

Prepayment is required for the dough-making session in order to secure a spot in the rather small class (it’s limited to 15 people). Contact cathycleary@gmail.com to sign up. The West End Bakery is located at 757 Haywood Road in West Asheville.

That’s not all the West End Bakery is getting into: Cleary reports that the bakery’s espresso buttercream cake is going to be an ingredient in one of the Hop Ice Cream Café’s flavors. The espresso that goes into the treat is roasted two doors down from the West End Bakery, at Beanwerks. “It’s a West Asheville espresso bonanza,” says Cleary. The ice cream will be called “West End Coffee Cake,” says Hop owner Greg Garrison. It will be available by this weekend and only at The Hop West (721 Haywood Road), he says.

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