The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi from Chicago -- new baking-school student

flour-girl's picture

Hi from Chicago -- new baking-school student

Hi --

I'm a former newspaper reporter who has decided to go to culinary school to study bread baking.

Classes don't start for a few weeks, but I've started a blog chronicling my adventures.

I'd love you to check it out at

Let me know what you think!


tammielin's picture

Welcome!  I'm new about 2 days before you.  I envy you going to school to bake.  I've been wanting to do that for YEARS, but I have an epileptic daughter (18), teenage son (16)  and a widow of 13 years, so the chance of me going back to school is pretty slim at this point in time.  There is always hope though....Good Luck in your new adventure!  I'll keep up with your blog!!!

flour-girl's picture

Thanks for following along. After much searching, I was able to find a school here that was more affordable -- but they are quite expensive. I'm convinced, though, that school certainly isn't necessary. You can learn so much from books and fellow bakers and just simple practice in the kitchen.

Maybe I can pass along to you a few things I learn at school through my blog, though?

Thanks for reading,


ehanner's picture


I took a look at your Blog and read your carreer change story. It looks like you have a course plotted to get yourself some creds and find work in the industry. Hey, one step at a time you can make great progress and it sounds like you are ambitious. Good luck.

The Fresh loaf might turn out to be a very good resource for you. Your school will teach you some of what you need to work in a commercial bakery or kitchen. Here we have many excellent bakers willing to help people who want to learn how to make the best bread possible. The things that hurt the bread industry in the past (need to produce large amounts in a short time ) are the things that if understood, will help you become a great baker today.

If I have learned one thing while trying to be a good artisan baker it is that time is your friend. Using less yeast, controlling tempeture and allowing the flour to give up it's natural sweet and nutty flavor will make you a believer.

I suggest you buy or find in a library first a copy of "Bread" by Jeffery Hamelman. There are many good bread authors but Hamelman is just the ticket for you. Every recipe is clear and includes all the background on the method for extracting the most flavor. Many of us here are firmly in the path of Hamelmans methods.

If you haven't discovered Bakers Percents and a digital Gram scale, you should make it a priority. Scales are a must and grams are way easier to keep in mind.

I look forward to seeing your posts here and show us your work as you get going.


flour-girl's picture

Thanks for your thoughtful welcome, Eric. I'm so new to all of this. I look forward to checking out some of your recommended books.

I hope you'll keep reading.

Take care,