Category Archives: Baking School

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Professional Baking Course: Week Two

Coming back from the long Labour Day weekend, our baking class began at 9 a.m. so we were past the early morning bake. After a little ‘theory’ class time where we went through some quick tests (health and safety, etc.) and laying out in general what the year would cover, we then went into the kitchen and basically oriented ourselves a little more on important things like:

Where’s the salt (not where you’d think)? How many refrigerators are there and what are they each for? How many things can you do at once (mix thing A while watching thing B bake and putting things C on trays) and not mess any up? Where’s the parchment paper? Where do you put wet canisters?

None of it earth shattering in importance but you still need to know these minor kitchen details. AND they’ll be entirely different when you work in another kitchen.

Apologies again as I didn’t take photos each day. The first two are all text but the last two are crammed with pics.

What we’ve made: MONDAY, our class was split up into small teams of three and our group mixed up a huge batch of bran raisin muffin batter. It was a LOT wetter than you’d expect a muffin batter to be. However, as it sits overnight, the bran soaks up a lot of the moisture and by morning, when the muffins are scooped into the pans and baked, it has solidified a fair bit.

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Scones&FrenchBread

CIVI Pro Baking Class, Week One

Finally! Yes, it’s finally Aug 29th and day one of baking class at the CIVI* begin for my 2011-2012 session. I’ve been looking forward to this day with great excitement for a while now and it’s really, actually here.

CIVI

Can I get a “Woohoo!!”*

* What is CIVI? The official name for the baking end of VIU is actually “The Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island” Pretty fancy, eh?

Being that the first couple of days are mostly orientation, we spend the majority of days one and two just going through the basic inauguration into the University: After introductions from our teachers, Mr Martin Barnett and Chef Ken Harper, we meet a few of the important people in the bureaucratic background, taken for a quick tour of the corners we’ll haunt, such as the Food Lab, got our Student Cards, hit up the bookstore to spend more money, etc.. Wednesday we had off (but lots of reading homework) due to the Uni having a “pre-class” staff meeting. Since Pro Baking is starting almost 2 weeks early in order to be ready to pump out breakfast goodies when school officially opens, our teachers are taken away for that day.

At last, Thursday came along and we are now actually, really, ready to bake! Continue reading

Changing Courses: Pro Baking on the Horizon

The Yumarama Bread Blog is about to see a slight change in focus. It seems, you see, that I’ve somehow got myself enrolled into a Professional Baking Course at the local university  - Vancouver Island University, a.k.a. VIU, a.k.a The Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island –  which happens to be literally 5 minutes away from home.

What’s the focus and how will it affect what I post here?

The course is focused on a number of baking practices and areas, aside from straight up bread making. The course outline states:

“In addition to theory courses, the program covers artisan and commercial breads, rolls, sweet yeast products, pies, puff pastry, cookies, cakes, decoration, icing and finishing, French pastries, muffins, cup cakes, marzipan and chocolate. Also covered in the program are safety, conventional kitchen skills, sanitation, personal skills, and elementary management procedures. Students will also be trained in the operation and use of our newly built wood-fired brick oven (the first in a Canadian Educational facility).”

Basically, it’s a “full on bakery” education, less emphasis on bread lab (where the primary focus would be delving intricately into specific kinds of breads) and more on learning overall production skills, managing time and creation of multiple types of baked goods. I’ll also be getting back into cakes which I had stepped away from for the last couple of years.

  

The main instructors are department head Mr. Martin Barnett (above, left) and Pastry Chef Ken Harper. 

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