Recording a bakery course
Day Five, and I am exhausted! After yesterdays baking session, I had to first have a nap, and then eat something before getting straight back into bed. I slept for ages, but still, I just can’t get myself up in the morning!
There’s a bit of lack of motivation seeping in. I have been getting frustrated.
Then again, maybe it's the hard work or use of muscles that don't normally move that's not making me want to get up.
My whole body aches though, and I just want to sleep. If only I can find the drive from last week to get up and get back at it.
Now I mentioned lack of motivation a moment ago, let me just make it clear, of course I’m still motivated by the project. I’m pumped about the whole thing.
But I'm just not getting it right this week. I seem to either make a mess of the delivery or bugger up the dough by not remembering the method.
It's so frustrating, I used to know these doughs so well I would nap in between prove times.
Fast forward 3 years and I’m not getting them right. I can’t remember the methods which doesn't help.
I also am using different equipment, and despite the flour being the same as I used types that I used previously with the recipes, there will often be a subtle change from different harvests that affects the end product.
To be fair, I can't even remember what each dough should look like when it comes out of the mixer.
That's pretty bad, I thought it would just come back to me, like the cutting, oven management and how to organise yourself.
I wish I had written the dough recipes down now!
The only way to know what to do, is to work out the recipes again. By practising them. It seems, that this week of filming, has come a bit early for me. Despite a good first day, I wasn't ready.
Let’s stop filming now, and go back to the test baking.
Then let's get these recipes right.
An Update To The Bakery School Plan
The baking side of the plan, hasn't really worked. Neither has the delivery and coach part either. I'm too rusty!
I've taken a couple of days off from dough, just to evaluate. Don't worry I'm not giving up! Now I just need to get my recipes right.
I'm going to have to bake a bread each day (pretty much) until I get the hang of the recipes that I created - Sounds pretty funny when put like that! But it's true, I'm not close enough to them yet.
It also leads to something else I am not confident in. My voice.
It's not something I have mentioned before, but I completely hate my voice. It's far too camp and despite doing my training on speaking a couple of weeks ago, I still don't know how to use it.
I listen to TV presenters and You Tubers, then I listen to my recordings and it just doesn't sound strong enough. And once I get a whiff of something, I'm on it like a rash. I literally went through every video I recorded and for many of them I took them down.
My voice is not good enough. I'm going to have to fix it. The guys at work make fun of me far too often.
I down think in a camp way, I'm quite aggressive really, but what comes out the mouth does not come across in the way it should be. I sound like Michael Jackson sometimes (his speech voice, not the singing), no wonder I don't always get listened too!
I'm going to have to get lessons, I've never got personal development lessons before, the last I had I suppose were guitar lessons some 15 years ago.
Put the whole personal coach thing is very on trend, my friend has actually built a business on servicing coaches sales copy, and grown it pretty quickly.
So I got back on my old friend Mr. Google and emailed a few.
They were all far away so it would have been a Skype job. But then I searched again in my local city, Brighton, and I found Ric!
That's it, Ric will be the man to help me!
I sent him an email and got a reply to say that he was on holiday. I'll have to wait a week or two, but at least it will get fixed!
The End Of The Search For The Dough Recipes!
I found them! The rest of my recipes. I located them on the laptop, at last! I knew I wouldn't have thrown them! Joy at last, something this week has gone right!
The file was listed under some funny name like "weekly plan," I probably should have searched more phrases previously, but I found it, that's the main thing.
So first mix tomorrow is going to be a brioche! I love making this dough. It's amazing how if you get every stage perfect, just how amazing it can taste.
Get it just slightly wrong and bamn, it's dry and (well in my opinion) like any other - pointless to eat.
Plus I've been keeping busy nonetheless, I made a sourdough today, well it's an overnight dough so really it was yesterday, and added a bit of spelt - It was fantastic!
I did actually bake it in the oven at work. I mean if I got caught by an area manager then I might get sacked, but that wouldn't be a disaster. It's a risk I'm prepared to take.
I'll keep doing it. Baking is what I want to do.
The dual bakery style (is this a revelation?)
I’m back again baking bread properly. The technique of borrowing an oven from my friend after crafting the dough at home is being put to the test.
It should work okay, but with the whole day being strung out going backwards and forwards is possibly going to test my patience. Fortunately writing a book has helped develop this trait (a little).
I really hope that the bread comes out right.
I’m still using equipment I’m not too familiar with. There are things that are different to what I would have done in a proper bakery.
I’m sat here writing this waiting for my bloomers to be ready so I can place in the car and cart them over to the oven place.
This will be the first bread I bake using the new process. I can’t help but feel a little bit nervous. Either it will be something that will work, or it won’t. It would be a disaster if it fell over in transport!
If I use some old school tricks, that I think I can, I’ll be able to do it. I hope so anyway.
There’s only one way to find out.
Maybe I’m just going to have to give up on baking!
No, I am not completely serious, but I am very pissed off.
What is it with me this month,I have a microwave oven at home, that’s no good for bread (or well anything!).
I borrow the oven at work but, that’s not really allowed.
And then I think I’ve cracked it I borrow my friends oven but after my last bake, it makes me wanna give up on the whole thing altogether.
I placed my sourdough boule which was relatively wet, but should’ve come out absolutely lovely. I was looking forward to a really even texture as it was developed, moulded and cut so well. I put it in the oven, added loads of steam for a nice deep crust.
I was really excited about how it sprung up initially, “it will make the perfect sourdough loaf,” I thought. About 25 minutes into the bake and I open the oven door to check the colour of the loaf, release a bit of steam, and see if the bottom of it is baking.
But upon opening the door, I discovered something that almost made me want to cry.
The perfect sourdough boule that I placed in the oven, was no more. The whole loaf looked as if it had been pushed over. I looked in dismay. “What on earth could it be this time?”
The dough was perfect!
I close the oven door in dismay and took it out. It was not worth any more time. I could never use it for a photo or video now. But why did this loaf go like this?
I think back. This happened before with the sourdough, in fact, the bloomers were like this yesterday! The Campagne and even some of the tin bread also had this angle in the bread. And then it clicked...
In need of a powerful oven, I underestimated just how powerful THIS oven is!
This oven is probably perfect if not amazing at baking frozen food. But soft bread dough just blows in the wind, the extraction fan is just too powerful.
Therefore, I cannot bake here! I’m going to have to re-think the whole operation!
This is got me really down now, everything I try and do, there’s always such a challenge. And even when I think I’ve solved a problem, another issue comes about!
Okay very, very stressed out about this situation, but I know this business is what I want to do, and what I’m destined to do, so I will do it. I’m just not quite sure how at the moment.
But I will.
Written by Gareth
"I'm sharing my love of artisan bread baking with others"