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: