The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Teaching others

TRK's picture
TRK

Teaching others

I was reminded recently how much fun it can be to pass on my excitement about baking to others.  I have one friend who read the NYT no knead bread article and got very excited.  He started baking a lot.  I gave him some of my starter and helped him adapt the recipe to it, and he has been going strong ever since.  He has talked a few times about wanting to try other methods, but hasn't made the leap yet.

 Yesterday I had a friend ask me for a brioche recipe because she wanted to bake her mother a birthday present.  I loaned her BBA and helped her pick out a couple of medium brioche pans.  She has never baked bread before.  She called me with a couple questions last night, and came in to work this morning with some really good brioche and a huge smile on her face.  I told her to keep the book for a while and try some of the other recipes.  

 There is something really satisfying about passing on my love of baking and seeing the excitement I felt in somebody else.  It has gotten to the point that a number of my friends will call me out of the blue with baking questions, often in the middle of a project.  Anybody else had a fun teaching others to bake? 

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

 Yes I have many friends that  pick my brains on all kinds of baking, and I love it.

                     qahtan

GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture
GrapevineTXolda...

the love of baking and sharing, whether it is a baked item or a recipe, matters not, it's all good. 

I wish my grandmother were alive.  She would be so proud to know that she was the one that truly inspired me.  I was never afraid to venture out on my own with a recipe, and all because of the reassurances that I received from her.  I hope I do her proud when someone asks me a question, I give a treat, or I simply relay my joy of baking. 

TRK, I was thinking of sharing my BBA with my sister.  She recently visited and fell in love with a loaf of my sourdough.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I can't part with my copy.  I need to simply break down and get her one, perhaps for her b/d.

Thanks for sharing your story.  I indulged and got to share mine too.  Special, so special, 'Thanks Grandma'.

Marni's picture
Marni

I've coached  friends through their first challah baking experiences, including one who is now a dear friend though practically a stranger when I taught her.  She sweetly reminds me periodically that I'm the one who started her off making her own challah, and I honestly don't remember much about it - what a shame since it meant so much and had such an effect on her.  We just never know what the effects of our actions will be...

Marni

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

When I was a kid my dad and I went kite flying one day. It was one of the truly great days of my childhood.

 

When I was home as an adult I reminisced about that golden day... and dad had absoloutely no memory of it.

 

When we sow seeds, we don't know what will sprout from them. We might not even remember sowing the seeds.... but that doesn't make the effort any less meaningful.

 

Mike

 

Marni's picture
Marni

Those childhood memories are so special. I'm hoping I'm creating good memories too, as well as teaching a life skill when I get my kids  involved in my baking.  One of them loves to mix with his hands and knead, and they all love to shape their own little loaves- especially if it involves braiding and twists.  Anytime kids get to work with their parents on a joint project, is a good time in my thinking. 

Marni

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My father barbequed. Period. He did not cook otherwise while my mother was well. However, I and the other 4 kids loved to help prepare holiday meals. Our kitchen was big enough for 6 or 7 people to work together productively, and we did. 600 blintzes? Not a problem when you have 2 kids making crepes, each with his or her own stove, one managing the cooling crepes and 2 filling and folding. 

I have always done most of the cooking at home, at least for the past 25-30 years. My 2 sons didn't get much involved in cooking as children, but as adults they do essentially all the cooking in their own families. My older son's wife happens to be a wonderful cook, but Jonathan telecommutes and his wife works really long hours. Working from home, he can prepare braises that have to cook all day, for example. Joel, well he just loves to cook. 

My grandchildren are serious chow hounds with eclectic tastes. I would be surprised if they don't grow up to be accomplished cooks too.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I love talking about bread baking and love to share what I've learned. Right now, I'm trying to get one of my daughters-in-law who has expressed the intention of baking bread to "just do it." 

She is Greek and Jewish and has a birthday next week. Her (surprise) copy of Maggie Glezer's "A Blessings of Bread" should have been delivered today. 

David

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I sent my nearly 50 year old son some of my starter and a dough whisk and a couple of basic recipes, and he seems to enjoy baking bread. I worry because I don't think he looks after his starter properly so when we talk I make a point of asking whether he has fed his "other pet" lately? I know he makes bread for parties and impresses the girls. He lives in Paso Robles, CA and has super clay soil so for his birthday I'm sending Kiko Denzer's "Build Your Own Earth Oven". I guess I taught him long distance, A.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

"I worry because I don't think he looks after his starter properly so when we talk I make a point of asking whether he has fed his "other pet" lately?" 

Nah ... I'm not going there. ;-)

David

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hey, he doesn't have any kids for me to worry about and that's my job, right? I just don't want him making mediocre bread and blaming it on my starter. I sometimes feel that he thinks it is not manly to fuss over his starter, you know how (some of you) guys are...A.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Annie. 

When he names his starter after you, you know you have him hooked. 

Hmmm ... Some people get a dog, and you know they are thinking about having children. You don't suppose ... 

David

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

I love to teach people to bake...that was the reason I started sourdoughhome.com. It's the reason I answer all my emails from the web site. And I teach classes as well. Some small classes, some large.

 

One great thing about adult education is the students all want to be there. And that makes classes such a joy!

 

I've taught one on one for free, and classes up to about 20 people for money. I liked teaching all the classes...... one thing many people don't understand is how much you learn by teaching others. Students ask questions, and you have to think hard to answer them. But you, the teacher, learn from the questions you are asked.

 

Mike

 

Susan's picture
Susan

My first bread class was conducted yesterday for two friends. And it was so much fun! They surprised me with soup, salad, strawberry shortcake and a bottle of wine for lunch. And later they went home with a loaf of warm sourdough. Hope I get to do that again soon.

Susan from San Diego

Mochamom's picture
Mochamom

My daughter (now 4) has been baking with me since she was 2. She has caught the bug, and LOVES to "make" with mommy. I can tell you she knows way more than I did at her age. She can even tell you how to make a sourdough starter (no kidding-LOL).
Doesn't exactly count as a class, as she is my only student ;-).