A Stir The Pots Post

Holiday bread class

by | Sep 9, 2007 | Bread

Yesterday I attended a short class at my culinary school sponsored by the BBGA. The class was on holiday breads and was taught by bread instructor Karen Bornarth along with her assistant instructors Roger Gural and Johnson Yu. We met the day before and shared experience and stories on bakeries and bread over wine and canapes at the school.
Saturday morning we gathered in the small class room where I had first learned my baking skills about ten years ago! The room looked smaller and some what warn, with the addition of a small wood grain mill from Austria. The class was focused on holiday breads including: Kugelhopf,stollen,hot cross buns,and less traditional, pumpkin pecan,ginger stout bread, created by Amy Scherber and Karen Bornarth respectively.

Frankly I had already seen much of this sort production when I was in school, admittedly though I have forgotten a lot, but learned some interesting way’s in preventing mistakes that happened when trying to reproduce these kinds of fat and sugar laden pastries or breads! It was also refreshing my memory since I have primarily been baking breads more for eating with savory food only in a home baking enviornment.

One conversation in the gathering that was bandied around, was the lack of of people understanding the flavors of whole grain breads or ryes, a mission I am trying to promote, as if no one already knew!
We also talked about small retail bakeries and how the baking industry regulates or relegates that end of the business somewhat like all Mom and Pop operations to the four winds like other business’s have been. Idealist that I am, I espoused  that  US  bakers should be  certified so we could standardize the industry and be able to share our experience and perhaps even be able to work abroad without looking like some rag tag self taught wannabes with a smattering of this and that education. Finding only a few idealists and more capitalists  among this group I didn’t hold out much hope for my dream of neighborhood bakeries sprouting like I had seen in Europe, instead we are relegated to Organic food giants selling breads from large wholesale bakeries, as customers we lose the feeling of knowing our bakers, our butchers and fish mongers. Since the US bakers have lit up the baking competitions in Paris and there is a swell in the ranks of bakers pro and homebakers. With the BBGA’s growth will I hope be able to re-establish a school or place where bakers can be educated for the future and be  accredited or  certified  like in France.
Here are  some pictures  of the class I participated in,I’m looking forward to more in the future.


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