The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Practice - why does it work ?

kendalm's picture

Practice - why does it work ?

Well I had a baking extravaganza this weekend - pizza, croissants, baguettes and today canele.  I took a snap (with my flour encrusted phone - sorry for the lack of phoographic quality).  This bake had very few uncooked tops which if anyone has tried canele knows that cooking tops is a challenge since they like to rise or 'muffin top'.  I have no idea why with repetition, certain things just improve.  but to the bigger point - all y'all, sometimes its just a good thing to resign yourself to all the science and tips and tricks and just bake over and over - and accept the fact that even with tons of practice, you will have flops.  happy baking folks ;) 


deblacksmith's picture

After retirement I thought blacksmithing at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.  I have now retired from that too.  But I used to tell students that there were 4 stages of learning to blacksmith

·        First: Unconscious incompetence.

·        Second: conscious incompetence. 

·        Third: Conscious competence.

·        Fourth: Unconscious competence.

I think this applies to baking too.  Most professional smiths don’t realize why they do something.


This likely applies to advanced bakers too. 

kendalm's picture

That a really great way to describe learning.  Never thought of it that way.  As an interesting coincidence I was just saying that making croissants is a bit like making a samurai sword....not that I ever made a sword before ;) 

DanAyo's picture

Well said, DeBlackSmith!

Those that are fortunate and work hard enough to accomplish “unconscious competence” should remind themselves from time to time that their skill is special and be humbled because of it. Never take it for granted...

Words can be powerful, and at times life changing.

Benito's picture

This is so very true, I love it.