Monday, August 17, 2009

Bread Homework

So today was the beginning of the next class in my adventure to become a graduate of Western Culinary Institute. We started Baking Principals class and I will now be making 3 (yes 3) baguettes a day for the next six weeks. Not to mention various other breads each day. First you work with sugar for weeks and then get sick of sugar. Next you work with bread then get sick of bread. I am debating if I should become a vegetarian next. But knowing my luck we would then do a Carrot Cake each day for six weeks then I would stop eating altogether.

Our first written assignment today was an essay on our experience with bread.
I can hear you out there in the Internet universe laugh hysterically, but yes this was my homework.
So for your enjoyment here you go.

My Bread Background

I have to admit first of all that before coming to Western Culinary Institute I had only had two experiences with bread: the first being the biscuits that I have made in the past for my family, and the second being the consumer of bread. In no way, shape or form had I made a loaf of bread (let alone knew how to do it). But with this little experience in the world of breads I still knew that I wanted to be a baker. It would be a little bakery in my hometown of Redmond, OR that would give me that urge since I could finally reach the counter tops in our kitchen.

Gibbs Bakery was a little mom and pop bakery that was known for its amazing pastries and breads but it was also the only bakery in town besides Safeway, so everyone bought what they needed from the Gibbs Bakery. As a little girl, Saturday was the day to visit the bakery to pick up a weekly dose of a doughnut and rolls which were to go with dinner later on that evening. Seeing the people that worked there make everyone smile with the simple handing over of a maple bar, a beautifully decorated cake, or a fresh loaf of French bread in turn made me smile. How could anyone be mad after the sugary baked goodness of a pastry? So as I grew up I decided someday I would open up a bakery where I could have my own little piece of sweet heaven. A place to put smiles on people’s faces and make sure everyone walked out full. But of course, it would be in a different town since Gibbs had already staked their claim to the town of Redmond.

But as dreams go sometimes, the bakery was put on the back burner. I quickly found myself getting through high school and looking towards new adventures in the medical field. Nursing was calling my name but it soon turned out that I didn’t want to respond and thus, looked for a different path to follow. It would take quite a few large bumps in the road of life and a very supportive husband (and family) to finally get me to ask the question “What do I really want to do with my life”?

Baking a cupcake in a home kitchen and baking it in a professional bakery are two very different things but the experience for the person receiving the cupcake can be one in the same. Making people happy is one of the key reasons I decided to become a baker and if I can make the world a little better place handing out one cookie or baguette at a time then I am up to the challenge. Another reason I looked to baking was the immense creativity that is involved with each and everything you make. I have always been drawn to creative outlets, finding myself in the floral industry for many years for instance, while the normal desk job in a cubicle just doesn’t interest me in the least.

Becoming a baker overall is a way to make my life a meaningful adventure in which I took control and did the career that I had always dreamed of because I have been on the path where life was taking you down a path you didn’t want, and I won’t let it happen again. Making bread has become a favorite piece of the large puzzle of baking and I look forward to the coming weeks, expanding my knowledge and having fun in the process.


Fun wasn't it! (can you imagine me rolling my eyes)

So finally I would like to show you the pain and suffering our poor lab Lucy endured this weekend. Unfortunately, Max found a lump on her and it had to be removed. We don't yet know if it was cancer but she was forced to wear the ever fashionable dog halo to keep from licking her wound where the lump was removed (on her butt of all places, like having a lump alone isn't bad enough). Luckily the halo can't keep her from waggin' her tail, which has yet to stop since recovering from anesthesia.

1 comment:

Julie said...

So it sounds like you are having fun - but a little overload heh?