I am just curious as to what kind of professional backgrounds people have? It seems that many are computer, technical backgrounds.
Just curious with the demographics.
I'm currently a student in Computer science, I'm also kind of interested in hearing what sort of people are around here,
Little old lady in white tennis shoes here! Actually retired from owning a needlework store and working as a home health aide and for an ear nose and throat specialist. Now happily helping out with childcare ( 2 grandaughters), tutoring in the 9 year old's class, quilting and baking far too much bread. I live on lovely Whidbey Island in Washington, 30 minutes by ferry to the mainland, A.
Guess I should respond to my own question. I was a litigation technology consultant for large litigation law firms, specializing in courtroom antics, etc.
I am a corporate relocation director for a large real estate company here in Omaha. We work with companies who transfer employees from one location to another - help get their homes sold when they leave the metro area and help new folks relocating to our area.
Hey, I'm an army wife/stay at home mom. I'm hoping to go to culinary school soon, but the closest one is 2 hours away.
I'm an at home mom/army wife, too! Five kids, three dogs and three cats.
Before I started baking bread to sell, I was a F/T mom to 3 kids. And before that, a college drop-out, and before that, a French major. While I was majoring in French, people occasionally asked me if I thought I would ever use my French, and I truthfully thought Spanish would have been a better idea. But today I don't use Spanish at all and the French sure comes in handy! Vive le pain!
I am a retired highschool English teacher. Now I teach Taoist Tai Chi, deliver Meals on Wheels, garden, ski, kayak and bake bread.
I'm a web developer.
My son is receiving college material and Floyd's description of himself reminds me of the inside cover of the catalog from Columbia University: "John Jay, Ruth Bader Ginsberg: jurists. Harold Urey: chemist. Isaac Asimov: author.". Understatement is always preferred when appropriate!
My favorite Simpsons line, seen on a banner at the Reader's Digest headquarters:
Brevity is... wit.
Currently retired but was formerly product marketing director for Software A.G. of North America; relational databases and productivity software.
Howard - St. Augustine, FL
Mostly full time research. Some limited lectures (to Veterinary students and the occasional undergrad course). A specialty of mixed things (therefore master of none) -- Biochemistry/Pharmacology/Neuroscience/Molecular Biology
P.S. I picked the nickname because I was a big fan as a kid. Mr. Peabody is my kind of scholar.
Mr. Peabody was cool and way before his time...
One guy called me Sherman at college because he didn't get my name right and it stuck for as long as I was in the dorm. Of course, my roommate became Mr. Peabody--deservedly so, he was brilliant :)) I am a chemist by training.
I'm an Radiologic Technologist with an advanced board certification in Mammography.In a nutshell..supervisor for about 30 peeps.
I always loved Rocky & Bullwinkle, Boris & Natasha & Mr. Peabody!
I transitioned out of the Air Force from a rescue outfit to commercial aviation. After 30 years converting kerosene to noise I retired and started a computer consulting and support business. That's the short story.
I lived and worked in Dublin, Ireland for three years, managing the coffee shop at the Dublin Zoo, and drawing. My sister and I ran a small home-catering business for a while, catering mostly for small parties and doing a private meals-on-wheels type run for shut-ins. I still draw, paint, knit, crochet, embroider, and make bread, lots of bread, and cakes and cookies and French pastry. If I couldn't bake, I think I'd crawl into a corner and die!
OK, formerly a baker, teacher, coach, log builder (with lots of job overlap going on) and now a baker again. As Eric says, that's the short story.
I taught first and second grade until my first son was born almost 12 1/2 years ago. I have been on "maternity leave" since then, though I really don't plan to return to teaching. I am a stay at home mom, wife, and just in the past six months or so, as my youngest spend part of their day in school, have become the editor of an online magazine- www.appliance.net .
My first real job put me into telecommunications, from there I danced around in the airspace arena and later, moved into analysing product offerings that fit international site specs and regulations. And then the most amazing thing happened. I discoverd that being a number wasn;t the most rewarding way to set about ones day. I was fortunate, afforded the opporunity to return home to raise my children. Six months ago I learned about sourdough, and more rently about the cupcake revival that seems to be hitting parts of the world. I'm enjoying creating new recipes, and honing good ones that I find in blogs. My dream when I grow up? I want to attend culinary school and focus on the pastry arts.
I am a developmental-behavioral pediatrician practicing in a non-profit community organization. I also am on a medical school faculty and teach pediatric residents and medical students.
Your grace and skill responding to some of the more, let's say, edgy posts here hasn't gone unnoticed ;)
I'm a part time woodworker, part time all-around fill-in-as-needed for a non-profit community development organization. My shop is very cold in the winter, so bread has become a welcome hobby, especially in the coldest months!
I was a screenprinter for 8 years, until I became a stay at home dad 6 years ago. Several years ago I took up bread baking as a hobby, and eventually learned how to make some pretty good bread and most recently, bagels.
Re-tire, literally, as my feet do hurt once in a while from standing to bake bread all day long! I worked for 35 years as a hospital float nurse until my back ached. I grew up in the rural midwest, moved around with husband's job, and settled in the south in a city, but moved to a little farm five years ago. Back to my roots, so baking bread is like coming home.
I retired from the Air Force in 1978. Worked as executive for several non-profit organizations. Retired on Social Security about 6 years ago. I got bored and went into security work. Am presently security supervisor for a large oil company.
I started baking about a year or so ago and bake every weekend and, during the week, feed my collection of starters that people send me.
I'm a possessed bread maker. I was a transportation manager for the Bank of America Courier Department. When the BofA out sourced our department several years ago, I decided I was through working and since then have been trying to improve my photography, golf game, and now, bread making.
P.S Paddyscake, my wife is also a Radiologic Technologist, now retired from the University of California
I've been around the block I guess. Here's the short version.
My education was a Masters in Research Methodology and Statistics, and I worked in that capacity for public schools and the National Education Association, before I retired to raise our daughter (who is now 40, so that was a while ago.)
My husband and I owned a gem and mineral shop in Oregon, in the 1970s. Great experience. Though I'm an Eastener, I loved the Northwest.
I've worked in IT at various times.
Abut 18 years ago I carved out a career for myself writing and self-publishing needlework books, and teaching in that field. I've taught classes in color and design for needlework on the internet, which is an exciting experience, and can be very draining. Now, because I have some hand problems, I don't even DO needlework anymore, so I bake as often as I can.
Mary Shipp - Mary in Hammondsport
I am, at present, an unemployed student. Up until a couple of months ago I worked at a dentist office doing the sterilization, and will be doing it again come summer time. I also do odd jobs...I got a babysitting gig a couple weeks back and I sold two loaves of bread last week. Horray.
Actually, an accountant. I am a CPA with my own small office.
If I sometimes seem to audit recipes, I came by the tendency honestly.
Compiler/interpreter hack. Currently working pro bono on a project for OLPC (qv www.laptop.org).
I prefer Keyboard Jockey
I'm an Electrical Engineer by Education, and a Software Developer by Occupation
My DH is a Solutions Architect & Musician [guitar man/singer]; I'm a retired Data Base Administrator/Quilter. I do most of the bread baking; however, DH has managed to bake a few loafs every now & then.
I'm getting him prepared for his retirement now; he still has a long way to go...
I'm a teacher. I'd like to know what "FoolishPoolish" does... she writes so well.
I've always worked in computers, even my most menial jobs. I started programming in the sixties in college. Today I am fortunate to be in a position where I don't have to work, but my parttime job still keeps me tied to a computer. And altogether too much of my own time at home is still spent on the computer. (But I DO do other things....)
I was an electronics technician (bank ATM's, etc), then manager for same and found managing not my style. Moved from CA to PA, became a stay-at-home wife.
(Larry Clark -- I too was with Bank of America -- should I remember you? Los Angeles area...)
No, we probably never crossed paths. I spent all of my time in the S.F Bay Area with the last several years in an office in San Francisco.
For a large Japanese company since 1995. Owned a catering business for a couple of years. I've been in college on and off since 1989. My interests change with the wind, but lean toward engineering/technical....except for cooking.
I work as a General Practitioner (Family Physician) at remote communities - hence the nom de plume.
I, too, gew up on Roger Ramjet, Rocky and Bullwinkle and Batfink (and Karate!).
I got my degree in Philosophy, but it would have been Spanish, Theology, and Religious Education as well but I just had to get married that summer... I was only a class or a thesis short of each. Oh, well... I can't say it wasn't worth it!
My husband and I have been doing online retail for the last few years, but I started out teaching high school Spanish. Lately we've been thinking that we might cut back a bit on the retail and do something we both love. He has his Masters in Counselling (though he's better in Philosophy and I'm the one better in Counselling) and Boys Town in Omaha is looking for people to work with the kids the get, so... maybe that's the next thing we'll do. If we do get the job, boy, I'll really need to get a Bosch or a DLX. We'll have 6-8 kids to feed!
Oh, and just to clarify... My name is Eva, and Maximillian Kolbe is a guy I admire. I can just imagine the gender confusion I created using that name. Sorry.
I'm familiar with Maximilian Kolbe, having visited Oświęcim the last time we were in Poland, but, yeah, I assumed since you used a male handle you were a fella.
Interesting background. Though I'm in computers, I actually studied patristics in college. Fascinating stuff, just not a terribly lucrative field.
What college? I should freshen up in the area of Patristics. My husband says we should name our first son Athanasius... mmm...maybe not. I'm sure he's kidding.
I, too, have been to Oświęcim. I had wanted to go to Wadowice but didn't make it there.
I've never been to Wadowice, but we spent a couple of weeks in Krakow the last time we visited dstroy's grandmother, who lives in Warszawa. We're hoping to get over there with the kids in the next year or two, though I think we will skip the concentration camps until they are older.
Heh... Athanasius would be quite a mouthful for a toddler to learn.
I went to Reed. Though it is consistently ranked the least religious college in the country, it has a very good religion department. I did my thesis on Origen and Gregory of Nyssa and why, though they share quite a few ideas, one is a heretic and the other a saint.
Sounds like a great thesis. For the life of me I can't remember mine. I turned it in the day I left school to get married. You can imagine I wasn't thinking too much about the paper.
Reed sounds like a good school. I went to Franciscan Univ. of Steubenville. I don't trust "top ten" lists as a rule. For example, I'm quite positive my alma mater belongs on the list above Notre Dame.
Anyway, its been nice meeting you. I'd love to chat more about these things, but I fear I'm coming dangerously close to creating a thread within a thread. (sorry all)
It's a beautiful campus and Omaha is a wonderful city. I can send you more information on our city if you like (I am a relocation director...). You can contact me at tnelsonATnpdodgeDOTcom.
Thanks, Trish -- We already live in Papillion :) If we were to work at Boys Town, we would live on campus since we would be family teaching couples and would have 6-8 kids to care for. Thanks for the offer, though!
and was making plaster models for a plastic firm when I met my husband. His job takes us around the world installing turbines for alternative energy: water, wind and now, tidal. I get a kick out of new locations, cultures, and food (grew up in the Air Force.) I dive head first into life and try to enjoy the subtle things. ...like the sunshine on my back as I type. Although I'm a US citizen, I think I've morphed into a World citizen and appreciate all it's complexities.
Oh, and I like to experiment with bread.
It is fascinating reading about all the bakers in this forum. I am just a senior citizen who bakes a Russian Rye Bread for a little restaurant Mammies Cubbard. My husband and I grow much of our own food in our large garden. I bake all the bread we eat...right now a sourdough and a ciabatta.
Having just read the links you posted, Floyd, I am surprised that Origen is not a saint, along with Gregory. I'm so glad I found this site, not just for the sourdough information, but for the good general education I'm finding. Thanks!
Floyd can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the way it worked out was that when Origen was alive, there were two schools (perhaps more) of thought, and when it came down to defining the subject, it was determined that Origen's philosophy/theology was deemed not wholly accurate, which is why it would be heresy. Though I don't believe he persisted in heresy, many people afterwards read his writings followed them rather than was was determined to be the more accurate philosophy. One of the conditions for being canonized is to not have written anything contrary to defined doctrine. If he persisted in writing contrary to what was defined, that would be why he wasn't canonized.
Something like that. Origen participated in what he called "speculative theology," sort of riffing on cool ideas. One of the ideas he riffed on was apokatastasis, the idea that there will be a final salvation of everything (all things came from the One, therefore they must all return to the One). One of the implications of that is the potential salvation of the Devil, heretics, and all other evil-doers. Many people, including those in power, didn't like this, and he had other questionable ideas and connections, so over time his name fell into disrepute. However, he remains quite influential in the history of ideas.
Gregory of Nyssa played with the same idea, but he softened it some, went from saying "therefore the devil will be saved" to something more like "we can pray that the devil too will be saved." His big brother also happened to be Basil the Great, so though he may have been playing with theological fire, he had powerful friends and family to keep his reputation clean.
Later theologians came up with the idea of Purgatory to explain how naughty people can still be saved, though whether all evil-doers will be saved is still something that is debated. Hans Urs von Balthasar is one of the most recent theologians to take on this dispute.
I am a chemical engineer and work as the plant manager for a fertilizer company.
I'm a beekeeping, bread making Physicians Assistant/Nurse Practitioner at a pediatric clinic in Western SD.
When I was 12 years old, I worked after school cleaning a bakery, except for 4 years in the U.S. Navy as a radioman on a destroyer and 6 months as a bus driver, driving to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in N.Y.C. I have been in the bakery trade for 50 Years, owning my own bakeries for 37 of those years. I still enjoy making and baking sourdough bread, corn rye bread, and kaiser rolls.
Hello Sparks,I have been running some tests you may have seen here trying to learn to control and maximise the sour flavor. Could you share some ideas on how to adjust the sour up some? I have been fermenting a 600 gram batch that was inoculated with 40 g of active starter for 15 hours at 80F, which is usually just about the time it takes to double. I get a good mild sour flavor.
Is there a way to improve that without using other ingredients? I don't want to hijack the thread so maybe you could reply in a new thread.
Hi Eric, I would start a new thread, but just don't know how to do it.
First of all at 80F you are not creating acidic acid, you are creating lactic acid. To create acidic acid you should ferment from about 50F to 70F. I use between 68 to 72 degree to get a more acidic flavor, long slow cool fermantation. My starters whether sour dough starter, or rye sour will quadruple in about 4 to 5 hours, however I keep my starters quite active, when not in use I keep them in the refrigerator but I refreshen them 2 to 3 times each week in order to keep them at peak performance. I take them out of the refrig a day or two befor I want to make bread, When I take them out of the refrig the first two refreshens go like this, on the strong side.
1 oz starter, 1 oz water, 1 oz flour. After the first 2 refreshen I go back to normal;
1 oz starter, 2 oz water, 2 oz flour.
Use rye starter and rye flour for rye sour. Use all purpose flour and and sourdough starter for sourdough starter. (also you can use clear, or high gluten flour)
Also I ferment starters to a PH of 4.5, I use PH Hydrion test paper for the PH. You can go down to PH 3.5 for an extremly sour flavor. I like 4.5 because it doesnot darken the bread, the lower you go, it seems to darken the interior of the bread.
These are some of the things you can do to get a more sour flavor.
Use medium rye flour for rye sour, I like using white rye. Make the rye sour or sour dough starter sfiffer, by using more flour or cutting down on the water. After mixing the dough or when bread is made up, put into refrig for 12 to 20 hours (slow, cool, fermentation).
I normally refreshen the starter (either one) 3 times befor using it to make bread and each time I double it. Also you can use a small amount of rye flour in the soudough starter. Or use a small amount of ground caraway when making the first rye sour.
I hope this helps you making the starters more sour.
Best Regards, Sparks
Thanks Sparks, I appreciate those thoughts on sour. I know there is a swirling controversy on the best temperature to ferment at for the best sour. I'll have to give the lower temps a try.
Choosing a kaiser roll recipe and wanted to know which one you would choose? (BBA, Bread and Crumb, Etc.)
I saw the recipe in BBA, but I do not have the book Bread and Crumb, I do have Crust & Crumb . The recipe in BBA looks good to me, but I have not tried to make it, just never got around to it. But if it comes from Peter Reinhart, I can assure you it is coming from one of the best bakers that I know of. I was one of his testers in his last book "Whole Grain Breads" it was a pleasure to work with him. Especially when it came to making 100% rye bread, I thought he went overboard, but I was surprised that it came out very good. I have my own formula for kaiser rolls if you are interested in it, let me know and I will send it to you. In mine I like using powdered egg yokes, I like to get great oven spring, also I guess I am one of the last few who make the kaiser rolls by hand (when I started in 1942 the hard roll machine was not invented at that time) I usually give the roll four klops (with the palm of the hand) and tuck in the end piece. How ever the pate fermentee (dough) he has in the recipe and refrigerated overnight should give the roll an excellent flavor.
Best Regards, Sparks
Thanks for the reply. I meant "Crust & Crumb". sorry I type faster than I think. It must have been a great experience to work with Mr. Reinhart. I would like it very much if you would share your recipe, if you don' t mind. Thank you so much.
Hi Eli, Sorrry for the delay for getting back to you, But I have been very busy lately.
Kaiser rolls 27 oz enough for 15 - 50 gram rolls
15 oz high gluten flour (put into refrig overnight)
10 gram vital wheat gluten
2 gram instant dry yeast
1 1/4 oz dried egg yokes
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
2 oz malt
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
9 1/2 oz ice cold water ( I put some flaked ice in a container then put 10 oz water into it, let it sit for 5 min. then weigh out 9 1/2 oz ice cold water.
Dump salt and oil into mixing bowl, then pour in ice cold water. Mix all the other dry ingredients into the flour and dump into mixer. mix with paddle until all the water and the flour have been incorporated, about one minute. Remove paddle and dough, work by hand about one minute, put back into mixing bowl and cover and give it a 15 min. rest (autolyse).
Then put on dough hook mix 4 min. in 3rd speed.
remove dough and cut into small pieces and put back into mixing bowl while mixing on slow speed. Then mix another 4 min. in 3rd speed. Dough temperature now should be between 74 - 76 degrees, (mine just came out at 77 deg .) In a colder climate you may use water a little warmer, but here in FL. this is what I have to do.
Remove dough from mixing bowl work by hand about one minute, then put into a greased plastic container, covered for 1 1/4 hour, give it a 4 way stretch and fold and put back into plastic container for 45 min.
Then remove dough from container and scale in 15 - 50 gram pieces, mold up tight and place on table covered for 15 minutes. Then roll in rye flour (I use white rye) and let rest for 30 minutes. Then flatten all the dough pieces by hand, and dust them lightly with rye flour so they dont stick together. Now start klopping the rolls, as I mentioned to you befor, Put your left hand thumb onto the left side of the roll, with the right hand start folding the dough directly next to your thumb,do this for a total of four times then remove your thumb and insert the end piece into where you removed your thumb. Push end piece in good so it does not come out.
Grease a piece of parchment paper with pan spray and put rolls onto the greased paper with cuts facing down. Then cover them (I use a plastic dome, at no time should this dough or rolls get a skin)
Proof rolls for anywhere from 30 to 60 min. with cuts facing down, then put rolls with cuts facing up on top of same paper, spray cuts lightly with water ((have the peel ready with parchment paper on,no grease) dip bottom of rolls into course corn meal and put onto parchment paper on peel (cuts facing up) space them as much as possible.
AT this point your oven should be ready at 400 deg. temp. and a pan with stones on the bottom of oven, so when you put rolls into oven you immediately pour a cup or so of boiling water into the pan to make steam. Need steam for the first 5 to 6 min. then open door let rest of steam out and bake for about a total of about 25 to 30 min. Or until the rolls have a nice light color and are baked.
Good luck, I hope they come out perfect for you
With Best Regards. Sparks
I'm a part-time computer professional working for a tax software company, and a full-time mom. I've been baking my family's bread for about 5 years now, and milling for about the past 1 1/2 years. This is a pretty interesting thread...
I tend to agree with Balthasar; my sister and I, in one of our theological disscussions (when there's nothing on TV and we're between books) decided that since the One is all love, there can't possibly be a hell, that when you die, God will be someone you most hurt, and you will have to face that hurt and get past it. That, by the way, is one of the most difficult exercises, if not the most difficult - facing one's demons and coming out sane on the other side. "My God! I did that to you?!" Then feel it. Thanks, Floyd and Max (Eva), for the further insights into this fascinating debate. Now maybe we should return to the sourdough starters, bubbly or not, and the disparate professions that brought us all together on this site.
1920s-30s-style blues performer, author, teacher
Hi Blues Musician, I think you play the guitar, am I right?
Uh, why do you think that? Guess? Or something about the way I write or bake? I do play guitar (which is a pretty safe guess if someone is a blues musician) and also sing, play harmonica and percussion. I'm a one-man band who re-creates 1920s-30s blues. See http://www.opb.org/programs/artbeat/videos/view/67-Steve-Cheseborough
Thoroughly enjoyed the video about you and your music. Thanks for posting it.
Susan from San Diego
That's a great video and I enjoyed both your commentary and music. Funny thing, I never thought about the old blues music being 'loud and clear', I always pictured it sounding all crackly like the old recordings. Thanks.
Thanks so much for posting your video. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it and listening to you play and talk about the '20's and '30's blues. I sort of play the guitar and harmonica but NOT close to as well as you play. I love blues. Quite a few rock artist have "borrowed" from the old blues artists; Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Mick Jagger to name a few. It's such great, soulful music. I have a cherished CD of Little Walter Jacobs playing harmonica. He's something else when it comes to playing harmonica, probably the greatest blues harmonica player of all time. Here's a link.
Thanks so much for your link and it's really great meeting you through your music.
Hey! I was just placing some library holds and noticed you are going to be at the local libraries this week. I did a quick double take: "Hey, I know that guy from The Fresh Loaf!"
Err... this weekend is going to be crazy busy, but I'll see if I can catch you either at Rockwood or Gregory Heights. I've read Francis Davis's book on The Blues and listen to Blues quite often (Howlin Wolf, Sunny Terry & Brownie McGee, Lightnin Hopkins, Son House, Taj Mahal, etc.), but I'd love to learn more.
Even if I don't manage to catch it, I hope it goes well.
Floyd -- Sure, stop by and say hello. And bring bread! And give me your email; I'll let you know where else I'm playing. Cheers, SC
My occupation is a little hard to explain. Here is what my business card says:
Experimental Test Pilot, Amateur Generalist, Corporate Gypsy, Spook Look-a-Like, Wild Yeast Farmer, Bio-reaction Attendant, Professional Skeptic, Spirits Disposal Counselor, Verbal Assassin, Opinion Consultant, Change Engineer.
an engineer trying to bake good bread. Have Nutrimill
I agree Steve, such wonderful beautiful music. I have always enjoyed the blues. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your talent.
Thank you all for the compliments on my music. Downhome blues and homemade bread go together very well! If anyone is interested in hosting a house concert, contact me through my website or email me at chezztone at gmail. Lots of fun for you and your friends. We can bake and serve fresh bread at the concert! Cheers, SC
-- Steve Cheseboroughwww.opb.org/programs/artbeat/videos/view/67-Steve-Cheseboroughwww.stevecheseborough.comhttp://cdbaby.com/cd/cheseborough1http://cdbaby.com/cd/cheseborough2www.myspace.com/stevecheseborough
I am a technician at a small chemical company.
Psychologist on this list? (don't worry, I'm not analyzing any of you ;-) I'm analyzing my hydration ratios!)
I work in a hospital, training student psychologists; see a few private patients, write technical education materials, some consulting.
Baking and cooking are my therapy...fortunately my hubby and three kids are always hungry.
A bit of a brag: our local library had a bread baking class this weekend, so I went to network. My daughter, 11 yrs old, jumped in and made a lovely loaf of whole wheat bread...and held her own among the adults who were easily 40+ yrs older. I think she's a natural!
I'm a musicologist; I also love many crafts. I'd say that baking is the only one that causes me to gain weight, other than my new hobby, knitting, which also encourages weight gain in that it's hard for me to do it any way than sitting down. Bread making at least consumes some energy. Lately I find it very strange to keep company with people who are NOT obsessed with bread. How can people actually eat "normal" bread?
Beth, don't you find that, when you knit, you can't eat?
Although... can I really be considered a musician? I play the viola. (heh heh, yet another viola joke... ;-))
Beth, I've wondered how people can eat "normal" bread too - if by "normal", you mean that soft presliced marshmallow-like stuff that is sold in plastic bags at the supermarket.
Rosalie - when I started knitting 5 months ago, I was sometimes doing it more than 3 hours/day or more (not all at once, of course). I first took it up because I knew it would stop me from eating, but the inactivity is not necessarily good, either.
Re the idea of buying bread in a grocery store. My bread adventure started because I don't like supermarket whole wheat bread. I had baked bread before (and have been eating only homemade pizza for about 25 years), but had not been so serious about it. I recently heard about La Brea bread, and some of the stores here carry it out, but somehow I cannot get myself motivated to buy a sterile loaf of bread - if I can't smell the aroma, I don't want to buy it.
I am an archaeologist who is getting very serious about bread and its past.
My wife would say that our freezer would present an archeologist great opportunities to study "bread and its past."
Analyst/nurse @ Public Health Department; glass artist; ex-caterer/cooking teacher. I am planning on going to SFBI in November (hopefully!)
Retired software engineer, now working part-time as a school bus driver and enjoying life!
Teacher - degrees in Economics and english law, teacher training 11-19 year olds in business education and IT.
Now lead teacher on the children's oncology ward as part of a team in a children's hospital school teaching everything to anyone aged 2 1/2 to 19 and lovin' it!
I read in a post on the Pros area where hobbes seems to have gotten his dream job. Earlier I asked what everyone did. Now I wanted to ask what everyone wants to do? Would you change your occupation today if you could? Would you choose to be a famous baker, pastry chef?
Residential Youth Care Worker for troubled teens, soon to be an English teacher.
Befor you would say you would want to be a baker, I would like to try to explain what its like to be a baker. 1st qualifacation to be a baker is "that you are willing to take work" like a fish takes to water, (in other words you don't think about work, you just do it without thinking about it. Have no problem working nights, weekends, and in the days befor holidays are willing to work around the clock, 24 hours is not unuseual. I worked as a baker, (porter, benchman, mixer, breadbaker, cake baker, finisher, (decorator) and truck diver, for 13 years. I then bought a small bakery (after making all the mistakes in other bakeries) and operated it for 37 years. I really enjoyed being a baker, I also loved owning bakeries and operating them. All the pitfalls I mentioned earlier never bothered me a bit. Also I was very lucky, as my wife loved to sell bakery products, and majored in school in retail selling. Their is only one thing that I did not like about the bakery, it is the small margin of net bottom line profit, after all the expenses, ingredients, labor, overhead, and owners wages, the bottom line is around 5%, if you have a year, (which is once in awile) of 10% thats a fantastic year. With the hugh investment it takes to have a bakery, I had state of the art equipment, 42 pan oven, 2 double rack ovens, high speed mixer,(500 lb dough) a battery of hobart mixers 80 qt, 140 qt, 20 qt. 2-50 rack freezers, 35 rack refrigerator, moline set up etc. I had 50 employees in the shop and office, my wife had 150 in sales (mostly part time) we operated 5 stores, and baked for Bambergers (Macys) department stores, Paramus N.J, Monmouth N.J. and Rockway N.J. Also at one time owned a Baskin/Robbins ice cream store. I don't mean to discourage anyone from buying a bakery, it is a business with alot of action, my shop ran 24 hours aday, my only down time was sunday at noon to 6:PM. I still enjoy baking in my little condo oven.Baking as a hobby I think is great. One other thing which is not good in a retail bakery, the short shelf like you have on the products you sell, one day shelf life for the following, bread, rolls, buns, danish, and donots, cookies are good for 3 to 4 weeks. now if you do not sell it, it goes to the soup kitchen for free, after you pay all the expenses and get nothing for it, its just a loss, which I tried to keep a 2% but that is tough, otherwise it sneaks into the bottom line. I love to eat good bread or rolls, what I find in my local Publix super mkt taste like cardboard. Sorry about the long story, I hope you enjoy baking as much as I do.
Thanks for sharing your story with us. From the description of your operation it sounds like you have done a great deal of commercial baking and have a thorough understanding of the business. Always suspected the margins were low and the work hard and never ending. But I think dedication and hard work goes with the territory in any business in which you make up your mind you're going to succeed.
I've always believed that if you're happy in your work, then you're happy at least 2/3 to 3/4 of your waking hours. No sense spending time doing something you don't enjoy and/or feel is worthwhile. Anyway, I do thoroughly enjoy home baking. It's my therapy.
Best to you and happy baking.
EDIT: Sparks, you mentioned Publix supermarkets in your post. Are you located in Florida? I'm in St. Augustine. Just curious.
I am now retired and living in Juno Beach, Florida. I am glad to hear you enjoy baking, I find it a challenge to make it come out right. Its the best mental theripy.
Currently I own a cabinet shop, www.sheltoncabinets.com. Many years of my life were spent at sea as a Naval officer on destroyers and 25 years as a commercial fisherman.
Steve thanks for the link to your blues site.
I sailed on the destroyer U.S.S Strong DD758 many years ago as a radioman 3rd class, morse code and flashing light. The chief cook wanted me to be the ships baker, but after seeing what the ships galley was like, not much larger than a good sized kitchen, and in it was about 120 degrees, I wanted nothing to do with it. But later I agreed to make birthday cakes for the officers, and for that I got releived from my radio watch and had open gangway to the galley when I was hungry. Welcome aboard.
I was a secretary, now retired. Love working and playing around with graphics, into bread baking. have dabbled in machine embroidery, love doing tutorials relating to graphics, try to keep busy with the pc. Know how to install hard drives, and other components on a desktop but now use a laptop and a tablet.
I work for the Easter Bunny.
bomb guy. I had a wonderful time being a French Teacher, Mother and camp follower. Admire those young Army wives!! two children, but no grandchildren so I may need to borrow some. What an amazing group of people we are!!! Highmtnpam Ps I bake at 9200 ft
NPR news and classical music announcer/producer.
Retired Computer Programmer - remembers the days when 1 megabyte of memory was the size of a walk in closet.
Who also baked for caterers and restaurants so I could be a stay at home mother and volunteer. Now I help take care of my first grandchild who will be crawling any day now!
I'm a housewife with two young kids (2 and 5) and a freelance writer. I plan to spend more time on my writing career when the little guy starts preschool in September. I bake bread once or twice a week using fresh-ground flour. And I do a lot of laundry!
In order to earn money to buy flour, yeast and salt I work as a lawyer. 35 years as a lawyer but 50+ years as an avid bread baker.
Six days a week as a foundry foreman, one day a week baking bread. That is, if they let me have the one day off.
This darn economy :)
I'm in grad school right now getting a Masters in Conservation Biology. I got my undergrad degree in Zoology with minors in Spanish and Applied Math (I don't exactly know what I want to be when I grow up) and spend the majority of my time in the lab or mucking about in my garden. I run and bake as a stress release. Well, I run so that I can bake more...
I work as a machinist. My wife transferred to Duluth and I ended up at Moline Machinery.
It was amazing at how many different processes and stuff there is depending on what the line is for. It really sparked my interest in the how and whys of breads.
Been lurking here quite a bit just trying to learn.