The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New baking education resource from the SFBI

  • Pin It
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

New baking education resource from the SFBI

The San Francisco Baking Institute has just launched a new educational resource they call the "SFBI Baking Circle." This is a collection of several hundred brief videos demonstrating techniques used in making breads, viennoiserie and pastries. The videos are designed to supplement Michel Suas' textbook, "Advanced Bread and Pastry," but are useful for any baker without the textbook. There are some samples available for viewing, but access to the full collection requires a paid subscription ($83 for 2-years).


I have subscribed and have viewed most of the videos pertaining to bread baking. The quality of the videos is outstanding. Each video has print text and voice narration. The instructions are very clear. Most technique demonstrations are shown from two angles. The scope is very broad and covers very commonly used techniques such as shaping boules, bâtards and baguettes but also some more exotic techniques such as shaping French regional country breads, working with sugar and chocolate and advanced cake decorating techniques.


Is a subscription a good value? Well, that's pretty subjective. I think it's particularly valuable to a baker who does a wide range of baking and wants to supplement print books' instructions with video demonstrations. The videos of pastry and confection techniques are inspiring and informative, even if you seldom or never use them. These videos illustrate techniques but do not provide recipes. They cannot teach you to bake but can certainly help you improve the quality of what you bake.


Take a look and see what you think. Here's a link: 


http://sfbibakingcircle.com/


David

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thanks - had no idea this was available prior to your post. - breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks David!


I just ordered a copy of AB&P yesterday so these videos have come along at the perfect time.


Franko


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

The info I was sent states the $83 is an annual fee, but also offers:



Annual Novice Working Baker* or Student Baker Access: $53 annual fee
*Your hourly pay is less than $12/hour and/or your bakery employs fewer than 5 bakers.



http://sfbibakingcircle.com/pages/learn


Perhaps they give a (well deserved) discount to those who have taken the week-long courses.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I tried all the options to get the lower subscription. If you try to register as a student, they want the name of the culinary institute/school in which you're enrolled. I didn't honestly feel I could claim to be a registered student, having just taken a couple of workshops. But I didn't ask, either.


Some decades ago, I programmed an online database for handicapped children to be used by several community agencies. (I used dBase II, just to show you how long ago this was.) I showed my system to a colleague who, in addition to his medical training, had a computer science degree from Stanford. His comment was, "Hmmm ... Talented amateur." The story of my life. There are no special allowances for the pigeon hole in which I live.


David

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I thought that maybe they were offering you a two-year subscription for $83, which is the rate noted in your original post, because you've attended two of their week-long courses.  That certainly would make sense.  


The rate info that came with my email was $83 for one year.  


Since Franko is a professional baker, the baker rates might be of interest to him, although I've no idea how many novice bakers are employed at his bakery.


dBase II, eh.  I remember it well.  I also remember when the Internet was all text. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Lindy.


You know, I think you are correct. What threw me was somewhere it said that the subscription is renewed automatically for a second year. I'm now thinking this means they bill you for another $83, unless you cancel.


And - before the Internet - did you ever log onto the World Wide Web when it was hosted by CERN? I did.


David

Franko's picture
Franko

Unfortunately I can't claim novice status from a professional standpoint. If they had a discount for professional bakers who forgot a lot of stuff over the years, got lazy, and lost interest in continued learning until recently, I could easily fall into that slot. We do have one novice baker in our shop but I'm not sure she's decided on whether to make a career of it yet. If she does, I'll get her the book and videos since they cover a far broader range than what we bake in our shop.