“Bread week” started last week and continues this week – that means two weeks of all flour and yeast all the time! I love it all.
These posts are becoming harder to know where to start, I have so much to say about each day of the week. Each bread day has been a longer day than in previous weeks too, covering a lot material.
Bread week is also literally more filling too – with samples of each bread! Good thing kneading all the dough by hand takes some real effort. No need to bring carbs for lunch or eat carbs in general, for that matter. My lunches have consisted of fruit and vegetables each day, knowing we will be sampling.
Once again, we donate almost all of the bread to food runners (a Food Bank program), and take up to a quarter of what we make home if we want/can. I can’t eat that much so I often take less than that home.
We look at everything we bake at the end of each day, to assess the “crumb” inside and compare with other stations to see how theirs turned out. We learn if more or less kneading would have made a difference. It’s fun to see the differences and understand why, some bread has more holes and others less. To the untrained eye you may not be able to notice, but we are being trained to look for these things.
I am amazed daily. Bread week is fun – with a lot of flour! I have been making something new everyday. Things I have had before but never made, like a baguette, and some that I’ve never eaten had before, like rye beer rolls.
It has been nice to do have savory switch up, after the first few weeks full of so much sugar!
But I think the highlight for me this week was that we completed our first test at the top of the week. The instructors mark very fast and we received our test the next day, I was very happy with my mark. But I studied a lot for it. I studied they way I probably should have studied in first year science, back in my SFU days – 15 years ago.
The test results gave me a surge of motivation and reinforced my career change decision. I am starting to feel like I was made to do this. It’s been an amazing experience so far (can I say amazing anymore times?)!
I often think about what I’ll do when this ends, but then I realize I don’t have time to think about it either. I am trying to focus on enjoying school and being creative. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be here.
We get to create our own bread recipe this week, and I love recipe development. My creative side just squeals with excitement for all the possibilities….
The big challenge for me this week has been making baguettes, and it will continue this week because we make them everyday to practice the shaping – its not that easy! By friday of last week, we’d made them three times and noticed improvements across the class. You have to shape them perfectly without over working the dough (or you get tough bread). We have this coming week to practice – practice makes perfect – and I am determined to make a perfect baguette. They start out in a shape called a batard (a football-like shape) and the shaping process takes a few steps to get it right. I don’t like batards. Darn you, baguette! I’m coming for you this week – look out!
Onward to bread week part II. Wish me luck with my baguette!