Home Bakers

Adam T's picture
Adam T

 Long time no post!

Just wanted to say hi and let you know how things have been going here in Kingston, On. Canada. 

We had a very successful Hot Cross bun season this past Easter and did not suffer the same consistency issues as last year. Which was a huge releif for me! 

It's been a while since I have tried out any new breads at work or at home. Mostly sourdough pizzas!

I was hiring recently, and was messaged by a member of this site "Khadija C", who had recently moved to Kingston and was looking to take on a career in baking. She bakes fequently at home, and will be starting her first shift tonight!

I also hired another frequent home baker, who is familiar with our products, through our cook book, as well as a regular customer in the stores cafe. Her name is Calantha and she had her first shift last night. 

I am looking forward to working with the both of them, as they bring a passion and excitement to baking that is not often seen in applicants. It's nice to have staff who are interested in baking personally, rather than just doing it for a job. 




Khadija C 2011 July 8

 Thanks for the kind words, Adam.


Since Friday, I've had three (overnight) shifts in the bread bakery.  I've also done one (daytime) training session in the pastry department, where I learned to prepare the muffin batters and scone doughs that the bread department bakes off in the morning.  Then I had a couple of days off, and I'm back to work tonight/tomorrow. 


So far, I've been really having a blast, and I feel so incredibly lucky and happy to have this opportunity.  I am definitely a rookie, the work is tiring, and I'm still adjusting to night shift work.  But being there, constantly learning, and just being able to do what I love is so gratifying!

I've also developed a bit of confidence to finally post on this site.  I have been a lurker here for too long (and at the FreshLoaf for even longer).  I have learned so much from so many of the regular posters here, and would like to start joining some discussions.


During my time off, I baked an adapted version of Hamelman's multigrain levain.  I had high hopes for this bread, and thought I might even post some photos here.  Well, this was probably the greatest baking failure I've had in a long time.  Having just come off my first run on the night shift, my patterns were really out of whack.  I let my levain ferment for longer than I would have liked.  I also overproved the shaped loaves.  

The result was a bread that was too sour for my taste, though it was perfect for my partner and would be fine for lots of other people.  (I have a preference for sourdough that has a yeasty, mildly acidic, slightly sweet taste, so I try to take my preferments earlier rather than later.)  The bigger problem was that the overproved loaves, with all those grains, collapsed during baking into ugly pancakes.  I think there were a couple of other problems, but those were the big ones.  The bread doesn't actually taste bad, but it's not what I was aiming for.  It's like a 1980s style health food bread.


Oh well, I'm jumping right back in the saddle. I'm now resting up for my shift tonight and refreshing my starter.  I will mix up a new levain and soakers before I head off to work, and try again with mixing and fermenting and baking tomorrow.  I'll try to get up the confidence to post photos of the next round, even if they aren't picture perfect.



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