The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First Blog Entry

Flourgirl's picture
Flourgirl

First Blog Entry

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...

Comments

Darkstar's picture
Darkstar

Flourgirl,

 

I think you have taken this life experience and learned a valuable lesson from it. You seem to know you have a desire to bake in a certain way and that is a good thing. The apprenticeship you are in currently can teach you things about baking but not necessarily the artistic or artisan types I understand you desire. It seems however you have learned things about the business of baking you can take with you to your next position. Additionally you will walk out of your internship with something that gets your foot farther in the door for jobs than other applicants; practical real world experience in the industry that interests you.

 

Keep on pursuing your desires and good luck to you!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Your energy/determination incredible. You sound like a perfectionist, so I hope you don't mind..it's cardamom.

Flourgirl's picture
Flourgirl

Yeah I knew I was spelling cardamom wrong, but couldn't figure out the correct spelling.  I use it all the time, but it comes in a large sized container and we just reload it into less bulky jar with no label that I have ever noticed.  It's funny, because I just got a really nice spice catalog in the mail and was thinking, hmmm... I should look it up because I know I'm not spelling that right.    But, that would of involved actually moving from my chair and my feet told me not to move, they were sore.  And to be truthful, I didn't think anyone was really going to read this very closely.

As for being a perfectionist, nah, not really.  But I can say I do measure everything pretty carefully.  I was driving my trainer bananas because I was not only weighing the 1 1/2 lb. lump of dough to make the braids, I was weighing the three 1/2 lb. lumps each big lump was cut into.  But, I never have been good at guestimating (another strange misspell :)  the weight of things, especially things less then a bowling ball.

So, thanks for the spelling correction, I don't think I would of pulled that out of a hat!

Flourgirl's picture
Flourgirl

I am back to posting again and at a new apprenticeship!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

How's it goin? what's a typical day now? Well never mind..I see your other post!