The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flourgirl's blog

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Well, I am not losing my mind, at least not over some carda-whatever.  I have a picture of a label in my camera-phone that I will have to upload if I can figure out how.  The label on the containers of carda-whatever are actually spelled wrong!  HA, no wonder I was confused.

Anyhooo, enough on my spelling angst.  I am only working every other weekend at the bakery for the winter and finishing my apprenticeship at a coffeehouse.  It's a lot slower paced there, with a very limited menu of baked items.  Muffins, brownies and cookies are all I have to make.  Usually, the owner makes the muffins as I can't come in early in the morning anymore because of my winter schedule.  It's the break I need as I have two really intense classes for the winter, accounting and small business management.  SBM is basically all about making a "real" business plan.  The final exam is presenting your plan to the class and teacher like they are bankers and you are trying to get a loan.  So, I am doing a lot or research into pricing of items like supplies, equipment and even drywall for the remodeling of my "shop."  I also have to come up with a name, menu and pricing, along with a zillion other things I can't think of right now as my head is swimming with ideas.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!

See where I am spending my apprenticeship:

Flourgirl's picture

Well, here goes:

I have had a love of baking for quite a while now.  I really didn't get a chance to actually do much baking because of my lifestyle.  So, I changed all that.  I went from driving an 18 wheeler over-the-road, to driving a bus locally, to working in a small bakery.  I am also going to school for a Certificate in Baking.  it's just a small community college, so all my training is in the form of an apprenticeship in a local bakery/restaurant.  It's not a Artisan bakery, but I am learning about small scale production baking, which is more then I knew before. 

I'm doing my on-the-job-training apprenticeship at the bakery three to four days a week, from around 4 a.m. till about 9 a.m.  This gives me time to attend my on campus classes in the afternoon.  On a weekday, I usually make three batches of bread, Swedish Limpa, Oatmeal and White.  Then I make four batches of Cardoman dough to be used the following day for forming cinnamon rolls and braids.  While the bread is in the proofer, I bake braids and rolls formed the previous day and take dough from the previous day and form rolls and braids for the next day.  Then, in between breaths, I squeak out a pie or two, some pie shells and some rice or bread pudding. 

So, when it's all over, this is my day:

I will usually have about baked about thirty loaves of bread from scratch.

Baked ten to fifteen rolls and ten to fifteen braids formed the previous day. 

I will have prepped for the next day by making four batches of Cardoman dough to partially rise in the cooler.

Formed ten to fifteen each of cinnamon rolls and braids from the previous days dough.

Blind baked four or five pies shells from scratch.

Made one or two pies from previously baked shells.

Made a pan of pudding from scratch.

After all that, I go home and take a nap, if I am lucky, before I go to my classes.  It makes for a busy day.  The weekends are even more intense, as the bread production is doubled.

But, this kind of production baking isn't my big dream.  While it's a good learning experience, it basically has taught me what I don't want to do with my life.  There is no room for experimentation or a desire to do so by the bakery's management.  So, I trudge along at my apprenticeship, knowing that I can take what I learn to a place that better suites me.  In the evenings, I go home and leaf through pages of books and websites, looking for that special something that will breath some life back into me. 

Then, on some evenings, I bake that special little something for myself to fill that artistic desire.

And hope it turns out...

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