The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Where ya been baker-boy?

arlo's picture

Where ya been baker-boy?

Holy crap! What a year so far!

So did I go to Madison to be a pastry chef? Or did I stay in Michigan and start bread baking at one the nations best bakeries?




Well, I ended up staying in Michigan and striking out on my own for the first time in a very long time! With support of my once-fiance, and her still standing by myside in a sense, I made the move realitively easily and haven't looked back on it yet. So if you are reading this dear, thanks again for always listening to me and still being so kind of a person to me! Hope our birds are well!


What am I doing at Zingermans? Well, I am doing the 3:45 a.m. mixing, and french baking currently. Along with scaling, shaping and blah blah blah. But my primary focus is the 2nd shift mixing at 3:45 a.m. and the french at the moment. 3:45 a.m.? Yea, it is like sleeping in for me :) But there really isn't a second of down time at all- on any given day. Which I have come to enjoy truthfully. My 8+ hours are filled with dough. It keeps my mind off everything else in life. There is constant practice of shaping, scoring, baking, mixing and scaling. I am certainly thankful to have this position.

So here is some pics of some baguettes I mixed, scaled, pre-shaped, shaped, scored and baked!


 Pay no mind to the recycling bag or messy counter top...

Take care!




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Beautiful baggies!   

                                  Like your knives too!  

                                                                           Welcome back, Arlo!    :)

raidar's picture


Floydm's picture

Beautiful baguettes!


SylviaH's picture

Gorgeous baguettes! 


dabrownman's picture

on a brown bag.   Welcome back  and clean up that mess ;-)

Mebake's picture

Welcome back, Arlo! no matter what decision you make, we on TFL are all with you. Excellent job! the cumulative experience of working at reknown bakeries will be a priceless credit to your expertise. Do not despair, and press on taking more challenges, and most of all persevere. I'm sure you'll be the pastry chef you deserve to be.

And what an excellent looking pair of baguettes! you are outdoing us all!


hansjoakim's picture

Where you been, bakerboy?

Great to hear from you again, and you're back with some of the purtiest baguettes I've laid my eyes on... Terrific work, Arlo! I don't want you to spill any company secrets of course, but that crust and crumb look so good... Is it a poolish-based formula?

Oh, and what's in the "French baking" that you're doing? French sourdough breads or French patisserie?

Again, great to hear from you, Arlo! You're lucky to have found work that is this meaningful.

proth5's picture

Glad to hear you landed at Zingerman's. In my heart I knew that would be a great experience for you and it seems to be playing out well for you.

Nice bread! - but you know that...

LindyD's picture

I was hoping you would go with Zingerman's, Arlo, and was delighted to read your update.  

Don't envy your shift hours, but sure envy those gorgeous baguettes!

arlo's picture

Thanks for the comments everyone!

And yes Hans, I don't think it would be giving away secrets, considering any nerdy homebaker could easily guess the kind of baguette upon the smell and taste. That is for sure!

The baking I am leading is the French oven meaning the baguettes and variations. For a while I was doing the rye, but since the season is picking up and thus the volume, I am just covering the large baguette bakes now instead. Soon I will be doing the challah as well by the sounds of it!

Thanks again, I am thinking I will have some 'home-baked' goods tomorrow to share! Slightly unsure though : /

wally's picture

Arlo, those baguettes are just stunning.  Not just the grignes but especially the beautiful open crumb and creamy color.



breadsong's picture

Hi arlo,
Wow, those are beautiful baguettes - evidence of your skill, hard work, and practice.
Thanks for the update - sounds like you've got a great job, at a great bakery!
:^) breadsong