Forum seriously broken

Croc
Hi everyone, i droped in for my lurking session and it seem forum is very ill, it looks really bad and navigation is nightmare.

how is everyone going, i been very bussy with work, had to wrap up my baking cours after cert I due to work overload, but at the same time cert III was quite a let down, with class size more than doubled and with batches so small it was more less of a housewife course and not bakery course where some mixes i would have to take out of mixer (10Ltr) and do it by hand because paddle wouldn't reach the ingredients which would be fine if it wasn't comercial bakery course........


manual skills of head baker were great and i picked up quite a lot but other knowladge was quite shocking, to point where he belived that sourdough bread is normal yeasted bread with "bas light" liqud added to it and was looking odd at me when i said that dough can rise without comercial yeast......

there was few other issues that were getting on my nerves, where he would for months in to course still not show to us how to operate retardes or get us to play with peel, we get the point he knows how to use it so how about let us practice now?

.....


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Graham's picture
Graham 2008 September 19
That course sounds pretty crazy, croc. I met some students of another school recently and they had never made a dough without bread improver! But that particular school is now looking to add an artisan component to their teaching, so things are changing. Funny thing is it doesn't really need to be 'artisan', it just needs to be 'baking' and that would make a big difference! 

The site is behaving very badly in IE at present. Maedi has backed up everything and now has some time to fix issues. He has just finished his 2nd last term in year 12 and has a couple of weeks before the start of the final term. We both want this site functioning 100%!

BTW
There is an opportunity to join in and bake with Chris Brown (an excellent baker) and myself at the upcoming Bakefest on October 14 or 15 Sydney. Bakefest is a trade show but members of this forum and ABA people who would like to spend some time in the demo bakery are also welcome to contact me via PM. You will need to come between 6am and 11am to take part in the baking. Danubian (Boris) is hoping to come too.
Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2008 September 19
Hey all!
Croc, sounds like a crock that course, hope you can recover or show them something you have learned from all of the fine bakers here!
Graham, how are you? I made it back in one piece from Istanbul but dying to go back, met a baker who was baking since he was 7 years old, great stuff and I got formulas! I even met a expat Sheila from Oz an acquaintance of John Downes, it is a small world!

Hope your all well and can't wait to get to Oz, one of these days!

Jeremy
Graham's picture
Graham 2008 September 20
Hey Jez. Yes, wees all doing well in Queensland. My partner, Tris, just had a baby and the ambience is good. You will have to tell us all about Istanbul Jeremy...I have no idea about the baking scene or even what it is like to sit down and share a meal. It sounds like you had a great time and in good company.                                                      
Croc 2008 September 20
[quote=chembake]

Hi Croc, just too curious to know what part of Melbourne was your baking school located<grin>…


[/quote]

holmesglen moorabbin tafe, very nice place and very nice people in general but far from what i was after.



Croc 2008 September 20
[quote=Jeremy]Hey all!
Croc, sounds like a crock that course, hope you can recover or show them something you have learned from all of the fine bakers here!
Graham, how are you? I made it back in one piece from Istanbul but dying to go back, met a baker who was baking since he was 7 years old, great stuff and I got formulas! I even met a expat Sheila from Oz an acquaintance of John Downes, it is a small world!

Hope your all well and can't wait to get to Oz, one of these days!

Jeremy
[/quote]


yeh well i learn to take out all the good parts from whatever i'm doing so it wasn't complete waste of time but far from top quality i was expecting.
i had great time but i wasn't there to be entertained but to learn something more.

sounds like someone is on big adventure ! tell us more, if you coming down to melbourne i got beer in a fridge waiting for you.


chembake 2008 September 20

Hmm, ... as far as I can remember when I was still in Melbourne and have not remembered somebody teaching such artisan breadcraft to would be bakers in their breadbaking curriculum . That was circa 2006.

Further...the curriculum was geared to retail baking ,  similar to products  you can find in  Brumby, Coles, Bakers Delight where mixes are predominant....

Therefore I don't see any hope for aspiring artisan bakers to learn their craft from such schools but only  during their  jobs when they are lucky enough  to work with an artisan oriented  craftsman/baker..
Its just hard for such existing bakery training in those schools to accept the simplicity of traditional baking and its true that many of the bakers there still can't accept the fact that you can really bake bread without bakers yeast.

Graham's picture
Graham 2008 September 20
Imagine if these retail bakers suddenly found enough courage to turn away any truck that did not have baking essentials and good food...flour, salt, water, olives, etc. The baking industry is top heavy with ingredient manufacturers pushing their rubbish and process just like the pharmaceutical industry.

Why are our training institutions working to benefit crap retail bakeries and synthetic ingredient/process pushers to the detriment of everyone else...including bakers? Why are the Australian public paying to educate bakers to feed them rubbish?

It is interesting that most of the equipment in small-medium size bakeries used to make fluff bread can also be used to make the real thing. Even those older rotell ovens that Bakers Delight use can bake a good loaf...albeit not as efficiently as an oven with solid, retained heat. So the equipment is already in place we just need to cycle out poor process and poor ingredients.

We need a day of action when bakers turn away their own ingredient orders or the orders of their superiors that have no intrinsic role in the art of baking and the art of making good food for their community. Tell the driver to come back with something better or piss off..
Croc 2008 September 20
[quote=chembake]
Hmm, ... as far as I can remember when I was still in Melbourne and have not remembered somebody teaching such artisan breadcraft to would be bakers in their breadbaking curriculum . That was circa 2006.

Further...the curriculum was geared to retail baking ,  similar to products  you can find in  Brumby, Coles, Bakers Delight where mixes are predominant....

Therefore I don't see any hope for aspiring artisan bakers to learn their craft from such schools but only  during their  jobs when they are lucky enough  to work with an artisan oriented  craftsman/baker..
Its just hard for such existing bakery training in those schools to accept the simplicity of traditional baking and its true that many of the bakers there still can't accept the fact that you can really bake bread without bakers yeast.

[/quote]


thing is i have not signup for this course with false hopes.

i knew what i wanted very well and it had nothing to do with sourdough, artisan breads etc....

in fact that part was covered to some degree but by visiting chef that used to pop in to our class some days, he was chef that bakes as hobby, no different me or you or anyone around here, and i believe there was more to come with use of other chef/baker but this wasn't my main target with this course.

i'm talking about the normal retail bakery tasks, recipes that were huge let down, some items we were making out of bloody recipe book, seriously i might as well do that myself at home at night in couple of hours and not waste whole day on this nonsense.


other example, pastry 20 people in 10 groups of 2 but only one rolling machine........
i ended up using large rolling pin because i was bored to death standing for an hour to wait my turn......

easter, hot cross bans, our techer/baker did whole decoration of bans that we made that week, not single ban was decorated by student.......

i could keep going with examples but i don't want to put anyone to sleep :D



chembake 2008 September 21
Croc said:

, he was chef that bakes as hobby, no different me or you or anyone around here, and i believe there was ."

My reply:

Well to be clear I had already more than three decades of  comprehensive, professional baking  and confectionery experience in my belt;  that spans a spectrum of bakery,patisserie and confectionery  work, including its science and technology, therefore not any hobbyist chef or sourdough fundamentalist fella can put his weight on me...


Now, it seems you have no patience for attending  such seminars, therefore its better to work on that area first, then to have some focus, be attentive and deligent  and be before you try to pursue your goal of learning the ropes of real artisan baking the traditional way....

Now how I see that class.....
Actually what are you learning is the ordinary curriculum for  basic retail baking practiced on hot bread shops. that you likely detest... but you will find the basics as useful anyway....so get used to it...

but you will be unlikely an artisan baker by just attending that curriculum..

I suggest  after that training you have  to learn your stuff the hard way...swallow your pride, control your temper, implore an artisan baker of a certain bakery you fancy  to accept you as an apprentice and I will tell you if you are accepted your time and effort, plus lots of hard work, lack of sleep  and even possible bullying from your   crusty trainer and coworkers would be worthwhile  experience in the long run....


chembake 2008 September 21
Well, conventional retail baking is big business  and there will always be a market for such anywere in this world..
 I think traditional bakers should not feel insecure of their status as they have their own market....

What should change is the perspective of these artisanbakers and give mutual respect to tradespeople  in   the opposite fence...these hot bread shops and manufacturing bakers   have their bread and selective market, ...you( the artisan baker's crowds) have yours as well.. so both of your are supporting the baking industry  and therefore supporting the agriculture industry of the country where you live so there is no conflict in that...

Enough of this fundamentalist crap that is creating a divisive  attitude among the minds of would be bakers.. that is .the young people who would be bakery trade apprentices in the future... I have already seen vestiges of arrogance from this young artisan bakers  (that is unwise and uncalled for) as such attitude at a young age.  will likely impede further learning and growth in their selected trade...

Prejudice should be set aside and mutual respect should predominate across the breadbaking spectrum.

These would be bakers should have a balanced  understanding what esse ntial breadbaking is all about and should not be fed with this  silly and narrow perspective about the  best and worst bread  fodder...

Let them realize  in their own what bread line is best for them...

Graham's picture
Graham 2008 September 22
I can see your point, chembake...as usual you are expressing the real-world situation. 95% (estimate) of industry is geared to bake using products other than high quality produce with no additives.

A large amount of the bread dollar goes back to companies that supply bakers with industrial additives, and on education which shows bakers how to use these additives in their process. A de-skilled, de-natured baking process no-doubt has benefits for bakery owners, particularly franchise operations I imagine.

The looser is the baker and the bread eater. If this is the reality then you can not blame any of us for going off into a fantasy world once in a while. Personally I am happy to celebrate the baker who is getting drunk on leaven.

Chembake, I get the feeling that you are well supported by the industry but that you are also happy to speak out against poor quality practices. Is this the case?
Maedi's picture
Maedi 2008 September 22
[quote="Croc"]Hi everyone, i droped in for my lurking session and it seem forum is very ill, it looks really bad and navigation is nightmare.[/quote]

Hi Croc, every thing's now a-okay. Let me know if you still see something out of place.

Thanks,
Maedi
celia's picture
celia 2008 September 22
[quote=Graham]Hey Jez. Yes, wees all doing well in Queensland. My partner, Tris, just had a baby and the ambience is good.                  
[/quote]

CONGRATULATIONS, Graham!!!!  A new baby, that's WONDERFUL!  Photos?  :)

All the best, Celia
chembake 2008 September 22

I am independent technical person and therefore no food ingredients companies or other vested interest groups are supporting my views. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

It just that my decades of experience have made me realize the folly of your group’s puritannical attitudes in bread making. It does not make an artisan baker a wiser fellow than the retail baker ….nor good for the bakery business as a whole….

 Indeed,I am also unhappy with the current state of bakery training in which these bakery ingredients companies, franchise bakery groups, etc are partly to blame...but your groups fundamentalist mentality is not helping it either....

 

What your groups should do is to lobby for a drastic change in the local bakery curriculum, so that there will  be equal treatment of  both the modern and traditionalist bakery practices in the bakery trade training in any TAFE qualified institution..
Croc 2008 September 23
[quote=chembake]Croc said:

, he was chef that bakes as hobby, no different me or you or anyone around here, and i believe there was ."

My reply:

Well to be clear I had already more than three decades of  comprehensive, professional baking  and confectionery experience in my belt;  that spans a spectrum of bakery,patisserie and confectionery  work, including its science and technology, therefore not any hobbyist chef or sourdough fundamentalist fella can put his weight on me...


Now, it seems you have no patience for attending  such seminars, therefore its better to work on that area first, then to have some focus, be attentive and deligent  and be before you try to pursue your goal of learning the ropes of real artisan baking the traditional way....

Now how I see that class.....
Actually what are you learning is the ordinary curriculum for  basic retail baking practiced on hot bread shops. that you likely detest... but you will find the basics as useful anyway....so get used to it...

but you will be unlikely an artisan baker by just attending that curriculum..

I suggest  after that training you have  to learn your stuff the hard way...swallow your pride, control your temper, implore an artisan baker of a certain bakery you fancy  to accept you as an apprentice and I will tell you if you are accepted your time and effort, plus lots of hard work, lack of sleep  and even possible bullying from your   crusty trainer and coworkers would be worthwhile  experience in the long run....


[/quote]



dear god, what a absolute rubish.
i enjoyed every moment of this course but as i said it was NOT what i was after and it was NOTHING you would see in normal bakary so get of your high horse and get some facts streight before you post more of this lunacy.

i'm businessman in very different field that is looking at opening small bakary as hobby, i don't have time to waste on courses that are over crowded to point were you have to run batches so small that smalles mixer on hand is still too large for it.

swallow pride and control my temper? how about you swallow some FACTS.


Croc 2008 September 23
[quote=chembake] What your groups should do is to lobby for a drastic change in the local bakery curriculum, so that there will  be equal treatment of  both the modern and traditionalist bakery practices in the bakery trade training in any TAFE qualified institution..
[/quote]


things has change a lot, curriculum at that course isn't the main problem at all, its poor execution and over crowding that ruins it.


Croc 2008 September 23
[quote=Maedi][quote="Croc"]Hi everyone, i droped in for my lurking session and it seem forum is very ill, it looks really bad and navigation is nightmare.[/quote]

Hi Croc, every thing's now a-okay. Let me know if you still see something out of place.

Thanks,
Maedi
[/quote]


hi Maedi, yup looks healthy now :)
Croc 2008 September 23
[quote=celia][quote=Graham]Hey Jez. Yes, wees all doing well in Queensland. My partner, Tris, just had a baby and the ambience is good.                  
[/quote]

CONGRATULATIONS, Graham!!!!  A new baby, that's WONDERFUL!  Photos?  :)

All the best, Celia[/quote]



i somehow missed that one, CONGRATULATIONS.


as Celia said, where are the photos :)
Graham's picture
Graham 2008 September 23
[quote=Croc][quote=celia][quote=Graham]Hey Jez. Yes, wees all doing well in Queensland. My partner, Tris, just had a baby and the ambience is good.                  
[/quote]

CONGRATULATIONS, Graham!!!!  A new baby, that's WONDERFUL!  Photos?  :)

All the best, Celia[/quote]

i somehow missed that one, CONGRATULATIONS.

as Celia said, where are the photos :)[/quote]




Thank you Croc and Celia, I shall put up some pics soon but only because you are so insistent (!).

celia's picture
celia 2008 September 23

Yep, new baby.  That's why you're posting at 6am.  :D

(I'm always up at this time, probably the lasting influence of my old babies...hehe)
celia's picture
celia 2008 September 23
[quote=Jeremy]I even met a expat Sheila from Oz an acquaintance of John Downes, it is a small world!
[/quote]


You know, Jezza, we don't really like to be referred to as sheilas....

:)

What a fantastic and exciting life you lead!  Instanbul! Wow...

Celia

Graham's picture
Graham 2008 September 23
[quote=chembake]

It just that my decades of experience have made me realize the folly of your group’s puritannical attitudes in bread making. It does not make an artisan baker a wiser fellow than the retail baker ….nor good for the bakery business as a whole….

Indeed,I am also unhappy with the current state of bakery training in which these bakery ingredients companies, franchise bakery groups, etc are partly to blame...but your groups fundamentalist mentality is not helping it either....[/quote] 


Chembake if I have made puritannical or fundamentalist remarks, then that is just me having a rant and I really should learn to get off my high-horse. Our 'group' does not have any declared agendas...our opinions are all our own.

Like you, I enjoy the contrast of having both non-industry and industry baking as seperate entities. The frustration comes when industry baking tries to represent itself as something other than industry baking. I don't like to see people being duped. Stepping off high horse.....now!


chembake 2008 September 23

Croc said<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

“dear god, what a absolute rubish.
i enjoyed every moment of this course but as i said it was NOT what i was after and it was NOTHING you would see in normal bakary so get of your high horse and get some facts streight before you post more of this lunacy.

i'm businessman in very different field that is looking at opening small bakary as hobby, i don't have time to waste on courses that are over crowded to point were you have to run batches so small that smalles mixer on hand is still too large for it.

swallow pride and control my temper? how about you swallow some FACTS.”

 

Rubbish eh?…<grin>

Why I said that is that I had been asked many times for the same question that the student just don’t spare time for studies and want just a quick fix in learning anything …I always admonish them that if you don’t have patience for attending seminars  or taking short courses  but you want to know the stuff by heart then you have to do it the hard and time consuming way….there is no other effective method what will enable them to absorb the training…thoroughly, but only by working for it!

Besides you want realistic situation what you see in the normal bakery..! You can’t  get that easily from a baking school?
Get a life!.... and work in the bakery if that’s the way you want it
! < grin>

Being a businessman is not a reason, there is even such a fellow that was in his 40.s that attended such apprenticeship successfully and he experienced what I mentioned above in that post( ridicule ,lack of sleep, hard work etc) but was unmindful  of it as he was really keenly interested to learn but just have difficulty getting it in overcrowded classroom situation( just like your case)… He left much the reins of directly running his other commitments to his wife while he focused on his bakery and patisserie training for several months….! That was some sacrifice indeed just to  learn baking first hand by  the hard way!

In fact he was appreciative of my harsh suggestion  that spurred him to attend that realistic  training LOL! Good for him! As far as I know,  He is running a  successful patisserie shop right now….

On the other hand,

Well …you can’t change the situation of an overcrowded school then why not just find another one that you find has more congenial atmosphere. There is other of such schools in Melbourne?  There should be some better institution in CBD or other suburbs? …

Keep in mind that in classroom situation you will seldom find the trainers teaching their student to prepare bakery products in volumes ( you see in the bakery)but always  in small quantities  and occasionally  the mixes are too small for the mixers on hand….

I have no problems making a small piece of dough in a large mixer; just have to make adjustments with the type of agitator  to use as well as ,the  speed setting….or if you find it awkward  to look at or hear the odd sound of the machine slapping the tiny piece of dough around,        then get your hands dirty and have some exercise,

KNEAD IT!

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 September 23
Long time no see! Interesting discussion on schools and baking scene...but keep it quiet...please.

OOoooh! New baby! Lots of hugs for baby (girl or boy?). Congratulations, Graham and Tris! Yes, pix of fresh bun out of the oven please.


TP
Croc 2008 September 23
[quote=chembake]

Croc said

“dear god, what a absolute rubish.
i enjoyed every moment of this course but as i said it was NOT what i was after and it was NOTHING you would see in normal bakary so get of your high horse and get some facts streight before you post more of this lunacy.

i'm businessman in very different field that is looking at opening small bakary as hobby, i don't have time to waste on courses that are over crowded to point were you have to run batches so small that smalles mixer on hand is still too large for it.

swallow pride and control my temper? how about you swallow some FACTS.”

 

Rubbish eh?…<grin>

Why I said that is that I had been asked many times for the same question that the student just don’t spare time for studies and want just a quick fix in learning anything …I always admonish them that if you don’t have patience for attending seminars  or taking short courses  but you want to know the stuff by heart then you have to do it the hard and time consuming way….there is no other effective method what will enable them to absorb the training…thoroughly, but only by working for it!

Besides you want realistic situation what you see in the normal bakery..! You can’t  get that easily from a baking school?
Get a life!.... and work in the bakery if that’s the way you want it
! < grin>

Being a businessman is not a reason, there is even such a fellow that was in his 40.s that attended such apprenticeship successfully and he experienced what I mentioned above in that post( ridicule ,lack of sleep, hard work etc) but was unmindful  of it as he was really keenly interested to learn but just have difficulty getting it in overcrowded classroom situation( just like your case)… He left much the reins of directly running his other commitments to his wife while he focused on his bakery and patisserie training for several months….! That was some sacrifice indeed just to  learn baking first hand by  the hard way!

In fact he was appreciative of my harsh suggestion  that spurred him to attend that realistic  training LOL! Good for him! As far as I know,  He is running a  successful patisserie shop right now….

On the other hand,

Well …you can’t change the situation of an overcrowded school then why not just find another one that you find has more congenial atmosphere. There is other of such schools in Melbourne?  There should be some better institution in CBD or other suburbs? …

Keep in mind that in classroom situation you will seldom find the trainers teaching their student to prepare bakery products in volumes ( you see in the bakery)but always  in small quantities  and occasionally  the mixes are too small for the mixers on hand….

I have no problems making a small piece of dough in a large mixer; just have to make adjustments with the type of agitator  to use as well as ,the  speed setting….or if you find it awkward  to look at or hear the odd sound of the machine slapping the tiny piece of dough around,        then get your hands dirty and have some exercise,

KNEAD IT!

[/quote]


 you ignore 100% what i have said so i'm guessing you just love to hear sound of your own voice a lot, i'm not going to waste my time talking to someone so arrogant. i suggest you re read this thread before you post more useless dribble
Panevino 2008 September 23
Hey Graham, I don't think you should apologize for your high hoarse because it's a winner.  The baking paradigms are so different they can hardly speak to each other.  The industrialist are a fanatical bunch that cannot listen or see the writing on the wall.  Go into any industrial bakery and it's obvious that it's trying to emulate the real deal - but without the effort.  Ciabatta bread bases, sourdough made with vinegar, ingredients to make the crust crackle and bubble.  It's a bad joke.  They trick and deceive with their just add water baking technology.  Sometimes, if you look closely, usually hidden in a corner, you can see the boxes that the bread comes out of, frozen artisanal fraud that gets crisped up in their thaw and serve ovens - sometimes even wood burning ones!!  But the wood is made out of plastic and the bricks are paper mache.  The propane tank is behind the curtain, hissing with disdain.  It's the wizard of oz.  Never get off of that hoarse, however high.  It's better then those miniature horses that are becoming increasingly popular.

Tony


Graham's picture
Graham 2008 September 24
[quote=Panevino]But the wood is made out of plastic and the bricks are paper mache.

Tony

[/quote]

Tony, I do not think that anyone could have put it better.

And now, watch me pull a baby out of my hat. Thank you all for the kind words. What a wonderful place to be.

Millciti's picture
Millciti 2008 September 25

Beautiful Boy Graham ... Give Tris a Big hug from us!  And he is called....?

You might save some time if you just tell us all the details...:)

Terri
Graham's picture
Graham 2008 September 27
Hi all, I am just back from a canoeing trip. Thank you for the compliments, which I have also let Tristan know about. Tris gave birth two weeks ago today. We do not have a name yet and the baby is a boy if anyone wants to have a go. A name is something that we take our time with and do not stress about too much. Maedi took 1 year to name, but since then names have been appearing faster!
Graham's picture
Graham 2008 September 27
Terri I am very pleased to see another baby pic on the site...I hope you don't mind me posting it here.



"Elowen". Such a beautiful name for a gorgeous baby.


Millciti's picture
Millciti 2008 September 29
I actually put her in my gallery a few weeks ago... Before I realized that new pictures showed up on the home page... I was kinda embarrassed to see her picture up there with all the lovely loaves. So I quickly removed it...hoping no one had seen it.  But when I saw your lovely bun boy up there, the New Gramma in me just couldn't resist! 

As to a name... Her name is Celtic for Elm, and since her Dad is a Beaver, it somehow is a very lovely fit.  I am glad you are taking some time to pick the right name for your son.  There is more to a name than most people realize.  How we are called connects us to our destiny and who we are.  Tristan is also Celtic, by the way... but you probably know that.  So take your time, it will be a good name I am sure.


Terri
kingsley.sullivan 2008 October 2
We have been pushing foul smelly stuff uphill for a number of years to bring our TAFE to accept that breadmaking does not start and finish with Bakers Delight and Brumbies who supply the majority of the apprentices. 

Neither of these organisations appear to be interested in training their apprentices to gain a real understanding of breadmaking; it might produce competitors!

We recently had a major article in our state daily newspaper The West Australian, lauding the fact that the judges at the Royal Show judged the bread without tasting the entries.  I wrote a letter to the editor (which was published) suggesting that all wine judges and restaurant reviewers adopted the same criteria: look at it, smell it and then throw it out!

Until bread is treated with the respect it deserves as one of mankind's oldest manufactured foods, full of complexity, taste, flavour, aroma, texture and a joy to eat, we will have TAFE lecturers teaching it as a commodity and judges judging it as something you never put in your mouth!

If you want to learn the artisan craft of breadmaking, get a job with an artisan bakery which wants their apprentices to become true artisan bakers.   We are proud of all our apprentices and all those wonderful bakers we have graduated, the best of whom are still with us and leading our production.

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