Sunday, July 26, 2009

mr smith and his white bread

Sunday morning, alone in the bakery, my favorite time of the week. I can get office work done without any interruptions. If the phone rings, it goes to voicemail. It only lasts about an hour and a half. Retail folks arrive and it's all over. The whirlwind begins again.

Great day yesterday. Store was very busy, and the markets cleaned out. The market numbers are surpassing last year. Kudos to the staff at the GCM. They have done a great job promoting that market. On Wednesday we had a customer at the GCM ask about placing an order for goods to be delivered to the market on Saturday. We explained that we don't take orders for goods to be delivered to any of our markets. She was slightly disappointed, and came to the Evanston store to pick it up. I can't tell you how happy I am to pick up a retail sale, as a result of one of our markets. It wasn't a huge sale but I'd like to think it, one of many that I don't know about.

I'm comfortable that the whole certification process is evolving for the better. Since I've been involved, there have been many things that I've wanted to change. Now that I'm the committee chair, I'm trying to do just that. This upcoming test, is the first one that we've added baguettes and removed white bread. It wasn't real difficult to get the board to agree to this. Since the beginning, we had white bread as a part of the master baker exam. I've said it in this forum many times, a baguette is a true example of a baker's ability. People don't eat white bread anymore. Mr. Smith gets two loaves of unsliced buttercrust bread every Thursday, at noon. Other than that we don't make it. We make a batch for that and the rest goes in the store. Actually goes in the bread pudding come Monday. As a part of the exam, the baguette is made with the formula 100 flour, 65 water, 2 salt, 1.5 yeast and .2 malt. It is mandated that it be made using twenty five percent, prefermented flour. Style of preferment is up to the candidate. You've heard it here, before, "a real baker can get flavour from flour, water , yeast and salt". We mandated a baked weight, to be decided the first day of the test. They must also be fifty five centimeters in length, once baked. Hearth baked, no dopey dimples on the bottom. Dimples on the bottom of a baguette belong at Subway. Gonna be interesting to see, how the candidates do.

Got an oven timer goin' off. Only store folk upstairs. Got ap[ple pies comin' out the oven. I had to practice the pie formula we are going to use next weekend as a part of the CB test. When you evaluate a pie always turn it over. Takes skill to get nice colour on a pie bottom, cream pies excluded.


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