The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Can you complete a 5 question interview for me? Bakers

savvyscrapper's picture
savvyscrapper

Can you complete a 5 question interview for me? Bakers

Hoping to find a few people who could answer simple questions for me for a paper that I am writing. 

1) Do you have a certification or degree in baking?  Do you feel it necessary to have a degree to become a baker?

2) What flours do you like to work with the most?

3) What is the biggest challenge in baking bread?

4) Favorite tool that you could not live without

5) Biggest lesson that you would share with others regarding baking.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

1) no   1) yes   When baking for other people, a baker should be formally educated and know how to meet health standards. 

2) I like to work with wheat because it is easier and more predictable, but I choose to work with rye & spelt and einkorn.  

3) Finding an economical way to bake it.  One that requires less energy yet is flavourful and presents the best crust & crumb.

4) my senses   (touch, smell, taste, sight)  

5) my favorite rye formula  

jannrn's picture
jannrn

1. Ok...I agree with Mini....I bake for friends and family...so no....but if you are opening a bakery to serve the public at large, then yes.

2. I love to use sprouted flours, especially wheat and quinoa. I am still experimenting with alot of them and plan to grow my own, sprout it and grind it myself. Trying to get back to a healthier more basic lifestyle.

3. Depends on when....I again agree with Mini....those are always challenges...right now, we are living in a camper while looking for land. So I am either baking in a gas camper oven with the heating element right down the middle (burns most things) or in my Zojirushi bread machine...(doesn't knead or rise long enough)...so there are MANY challenges! Before we sold our home, I baked MASTERPIECES in a "real" oven!!

4. Again, I agree with Mini...I couldn't bake ANYTHING without my senses! And what would be the point??

5. Don't be afraid of Yeast....it is SO friendly and forgiving! I have many friends who think I am a marvel because I use yeast or starters.....I try to tell them to TRY IT!! It has been an amazing and continueing journey! I LOVE baking!!

Good luck with your paper! I hope you get alot of responses! Oh and Mini....PLEASE share your favorite rye formula with me! I just got some new rye flour!!

Jannrn

gen6tex's picture
gen6tex

1. no and NO

2. King Arthur flours are my fav

3. achieving consistency (variations in temp, humidity, altitude, hydration levels, ugh I hated my hard well water)

4. a discerning sense of smell and my 50+ year old pastry cutter

5. Either you love it or you don't. If you love to bake, do it every day if you can.

I'm a sourdough girl.

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

1) Do you have a certification or degree in baking?  Do you feel it necessary to have a degree to become a baker?

No and no, although a degree in business may be helpful to a professional baker.

2) What flours do you like to work with the most?

Hard spring wheat, oat, and barley.  I mill my own.

3) What is the biggest challenge in baking bread?

Remembering to start things soon enough and remembering that you have something going.  A pan of overproofed dough is a sad sight to behold, and remembering this morning that you needed to set up a pre-soak last evening is worthless.  Baking bread is not difficult, but it is not an instant thing.  It requires both forethought and patience.

4) Favorite tool that you could not live without

Well, that's a hard one.  My electronic scale and my bench mixer with dough hook are both critical, but without my grain mill I would have no use for either so I guess I have to say my grain mill is my most favorite tool.

5) Biggest lesson that you would share with others regarding baking.

Don't be frightened to try making bread.  The absolute worst that can happen is that you have a solid brick from which to make breadcrumbs.  They will be better breadcrumbs than you could buy, unless you forget the loaf in the oven until it is solid black, but that's the same for a frozen pizza too, isn't it?  If the ingredients you use smell good, the bread can't be poison.  Your oven can't explode, not even if you use beet sugar.  If you try to make one kind of bread and it turns out differently than you expected, chances are that it's just another type of bread.  Go with the flow, and try again once this loaf is eaten.  There are numerous ways to make even one type of bread, so don't think that if you don't do every step just exactly so, the world will end and you will be branded a failure for all time.  Most likely your spouse will think you are wonderful for even trying, and if he doesn't, you probably shouldn't have married him.  So there.  *laugh*

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

1.  No and yes if you are a pro.

2. AP, Rye WW and Bread flour

3. Slashing followed by - A heavily blistered crust

4.  An oven  followed by a scale

5  Baking bread is like everything else.  Skill won't make you successful but having the right character attributes will/  We all start out with no baking skills but those that have determination, fairness, decency and honesty (especially with oneself) a work ethic, never give up attitude will acquire all the skills needed for baking well as part of the baking process.   The skills come as part of the building character process.  Without the right character attributes, skills won't come.  Avoid the success killers-  fear pride and ego.   Baking is no differnt than anything else. when it comes to success.

loydb's picture
loydb

> 1) Do you have a certification or degree in baking?  Do you feel it necessary to have a degree to become a baker?

No. No. If you're going to be a professional, I do think that basic culinary training is necessary (sanitation, regulations, etc.)

> 2) What flours do you like to work with the most?

Home-milled wheat.

> 3) What is the biggest challenge in baking bread?

For me, getting a great rise and oven spring out of fresh milled whole grains.

> 4) Favorite tool that you could not live without

I would say my DLX, but it has been missing for two months and I'm still turning out bread, so it must be my Retsel mill.

> 5) Biggest lesson that you would share with others regarding baking.

With a little organization, it simply isn't that hard to turn out good homebaked loaves. Your family will thank you.

 

Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

OK

1) Do you have a certification or degree in baking?  Do you feel it necessary to have a degree to become a baker?

No, no

2) What flours do you like to work with the most?

Wheat, rye

3) What is the biggest challenge in baking bread?

getting consistant results

4) Favorite tool that you could not live without

my hands

5) Biggest lesson that you would share with others regarding baking.

have fun

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi sawyscrapper,

1) Do you have a certification or degree in baking?  Do you feel it necessary to have a degree to become a baker?

Yes, I have both baking and teaching qualifications beyond graduate level, and am studying for an MSc in Food Policy

To become a baker, you need standard food hygiene and health and safety knowledge before you start.   You need a means of acquiring practical baking skills in abundance by being able to practice....a LOT, in the care of an expert baker, making a full range of real commercial products.   To reach the higher levels, and to be considered a masterbaker, I believe it is essential to have academic learning too.

2) What flours do you like to work with the most?

I am UK-based.   I use Marriage's Organic Strong White Flour and Wholemeal as my mainstream bread flours.   I use local organic flour, from Gilchesters' in Northumberland, ground as high extraction [Farmhouse] and fine white [Ciabatta].   I use an organic wholegrain rye flour from a Welsh watermill, Bacheldre, and I use an organic light rye from Shipton Mill.

3) What is the biggest challenge in baking bread?

Being able to look into the minutiae of all the complexities of the processes, and also being able to see it all as a big picture which all fits together.

4) Favorite tool that you could not live without

Struggling to pick one; my hands?

5) Biggest lesson that you would share with others regarding baking.

As with everything in life; it is always worth investing time and effort into learning at a deeper level in order to produce your best possible work.   Always keep moving forward.

Best wishes

Andy