The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Codruta's Internship at the Back Home Bakery

  • Pin It
mcs's picture
mcs

Codruta's Internship at the Back Home Bakery

Hello Everybody,
As you may know, for the last two weeks of August until Labor Day, baker Codruta Popa (TFL screen name codruta) who writes the wonderful blog codrudepaine.ro worked as a Back Home Bakery intern. 

In preparation for opening a bakery in her hometown of Timisoara, Romania, (still in the planning stages at this point), we tackled the usual task of making plenty of bread and pastries.  The goal was to give her as much experience as possible in each of the different areas of the baking process, and as you'll see in the photos below, she excelled in each area.  Although the styles of our breads that she and I make often differ in variety and consistency, I tried my best to see that she was proficient as possible in handling everything from two-handed roll shaping to laminating pastries to mixing and shaping 77% hydration baguettes.

Enough of the chit-chat, and on to the pictures. 

Don't forget to check out the video at the end of the post, of Codruta using the sheeter to create the beginning stages of Palmiers. 


Working with new and different doughs is always interesting, isn't it?  Here's some two-handed shaping, sour rye, focaccia, and Sal's Rolls aka mini-baguettes. 

 


Above is the stretch and fold of 20 pounds (9 kg) of focaccia dough.  The key to working new doughs?  No fear!

 


From top left to bottom right:  Baguette crumb, Buckwheat Flaxseed loaves and Portuguese Sweet Bread Rolls, Cherry Danish, Rustic White and Sour Rye loaves

 


Codruta looks like she's having a good time making Peach Turnovers and Apfelstrudel.  Both were made with puff pastry dough that she had laminated from start-to finish a few days before.

 


More pastries.  All of these were new for Codruta, and she enjoyed making them more than she had expected.  Cutting the Bear Claws, Shaping for the Cheese and Cherry Danishes, Putting the final touches on an Apfelstrudel and a tray full of shaped croissants.

 


Two-handed preshaping with 77% hydration dough is not easy!  Shaping a baguette.  Scoring with a lame that she brought as a gift.  The end result is perfect!

 


Set-up and ready to go at the Kalispell Market.  Everything came out great.

 


A happy baker showing off some perfect bread.

And last but not least, check out this short video of Codruta working with puff pastry and doing the first stages of Palmier making.

 

Thanks Codruta for all of your hard work and I wish you all the best in your future work as a professional baker!

-Mark
http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

 

Comments

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Mark,

Thank you for such a detailed write-up about Codruta's internship!  

The pictures of the loaves you made are wonderful.  I particularly love the shaping on your cheese danish.  So very pretty.

I am amazed by the long hours and the variety of breads you make and that all get done on time for the market even when you are taking the time to teach someone the 'ropes'.  Very impressive indeed.

Looks like Codruta keep up well with the 'production line' and I am sure she has gleaned plenty to add to her already expansive repertoire of breads.  

By the way, what are Palmiers?

Again, thanks for such a wonderful and thorough write-up of Codruta's stay with you in Montana.

Take Care,

Janet

mcs's picture
mcs

Thanks for the compliments.  Palmiers are puff pastry rolled in sugar (we use Organic sugar for some extra flavor and to pretend that they are healthy for you).  After they are made into a roll like in the video, then they are frozen/cooled and sliced 1/2" thick, dipped in sugar again (organic, of course) then baked.  Normally, they are done as a 'double roll-up' but we do them as a single roll up so they survive our bumpy driveway and pot-hole ridden road to the farmers' market.

Take Care,
-Mark

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Mark,

A picture is worth a thousand words.  I remember having those as a child although they were shaped differently.  Never knew the name for them....just that they were delicious!  I remember how they had a wonderful crunch but then seemed to melt in my mouth.  I am sure the sugar then was not organic :-(  Not much was in those days....

Thanks for the detailed description and the memory.  :-)

Janet

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

to complete.  She will always remember her 2 weeks with you and never forget what a great help you were to her.

2 internships back to back with Andy and Mark had to be difficult for her but she has no fear and fear is what makes one fail.

Can't i for her to get her own bakery up and running so Fresh Loafians can visit her and see her happy with what her labor can produce .

 

mcs's picture
mcs

Glad to always see your input here at TFL.  As Codruta gets closer to opening the doors at their bakery she'll be posting about it here and on her Romanian blog.

-Mark

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thank you Mark for sharing this with us. Codruta is a talented homebaker, and with your help she easily becomes a professional baker.

I really wish her the best with her new career.

 

mcs's picture
mcs

As you know, Codruta was already a very talented baker when she arrived.  Now she has added some more tools to her belt and a better idea of how the production process of a professional baker works.  While here, she spoke several times of the positive input she has received from you throughout the past year.

-Mark

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

I see that you use the perforated forms/pans for baguettes. Do you place them on the hearth stone or on a rack above the oven floor?

Next, the beautiful Codruta, however does she manage all that baking yet remain so thin? Color me green with envy.

cheers,

gary

mcs's picture
mcs

I place the baguette screens right on the oven rack.  All of the breads are baked in convection ovens, so I fit three screens (15 baguettes) in the oven at a time.  An interesting fact:  each of the baguettes loses 100g of water during the bake, so that's 1500g of water per bake!
Codruta has a healthy diet.

-Mark

CJtheDeuce's picture
CJtheDeuce

Mark

Your ability & willingness to teach difficult techniques to new people is wonderful. Codruta & those before her are better bakers because of you !

Thank You

Charlie

mcs's picture
mcs

It's always nice to teach bakers who are both eager to learn and also willing to put up with my abrasive and yet quite witty (even if I say so myself) personality.  Happy Baking.

-Mark

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Thanks for sharing

we are enjoying Cordruta's dream and journey, good  pictures and account thankyou.

yozza

mcs's picture
mcs

It seems TFL members like yourself are always happy to see the success of their fellow bakers.  Thanks.

-Mark

isand66's picture
isand66

Great post Mark and thanks for sharing.

I'm sure between you and And,y Cordruta couldn't have asked for better people to teach her the ropes and pepare her for her new adventure.

Regards,

Ian

mcs's picture
mcs

As a former teacher and current baker, I certainly enjoy working with people that are willing and enthusiastic about the baking process.

-Mark

mwilson's picture
mwilson

This is what bakers' dreams are made of. And Codruta is living it! Jealous!

Mark you have walked us through an awe inspiring showcase of your work and it all seems so effortless. You are a true master and natural teacher by the looks of it. Codruta must have had such a great time with you.

I am always in awe of your baguettes. The crumb is consistently amazing. Please share your formula and method.

Best wishes to you both.

Regards,
Michael

mcs's picture
mcs

I'm glad you enjoy the play-by-play of the internship.  There were many, many, more pictures of the bread baking and pastry making and hopefully Codruta will share them on her blog. 

I won't give you the exact method on the baguette method since it's my livelyhood, but I will tell you some fundamentals of the mix/formula:
-77% hydration with 12% protein flour
-minimal mix with 3 stretch and folds over one hour
-36 hour bulk ferment in refrigerator

If you haven't seen this thread by Jane, check it out as it served as my original inspiration. 

-Mark


codruta's picture
codruta

Thank you Mark for writing this post. I will write more on my romanian blog... in fact... I have a lot of photos and so many new things to share with my readers, I will probably make several posts :)

Thank you for teaching me new techniques and helping me improve my skills, for giving me confidence that I have what it takes to become a professional baker. Now I have no doubts that I can follow my dream and succeed in this career. Time spent in your bakery confirmed what I always thought: that baking is a life style, a life style that I am willing, prepared and impatient to begin.

 

ps. I never thought I would like to make pastries, but thanks to you, a sheeter is now on my shopping list. I'm looking forward to the moment I'll be able to make by myself the best croissants ever! :)

 

TFL readers, stay close, because I will write more soon.

 

Best wishes to everyone and keep on baking!

 

Codruta

(www.codrudepaine.ro)

CJtheDeuce's picture
CJtheDeuce

Codruta

The same thing happened to me . I went to Montana with the idea  that I was only going to improve my shaping skills & practice breads. Now my family & friends love it when I bake Marks pastry recipes.

Charlie

mcs's picture
mcs

Well now that you're accumulating your bakery equipment, it only seems natural that you'd get yourself a sheeter to complete the set. 

-Mark

mcs's picture
mcs

OK, then I'll be waiting to see your extensive posts on your Romanian blog.

Good job on working with the croissant and puff pastry dough (and breads too of course).  This week we'll be just finishing up the large batch of puff pastry dough you laminated while you were here.

-Mark