Thursday, August 14, 2008

First Day at the Bakery

When my alarm went off at 4AM today, I figured I got about 2 hours total of sleep. But this is what I signed up for, right? This is the job I've been longing after for time out of mind. So I got up, put on a big t-shirt, sneakers, and my blue bandana and headed out the door.

The bakery I'm working at is located in a Whole-Foods-type grocery store, so when the head baker, I'll call her Karen, let me in, the produce guy was just beginning to check his stock. It seemed sort of magical to haunt the behind-the-scenes storage rooms and walk-in freezers of the shop. One advantage of baking at a store, and something I've always fantasized about for my own home (when I have a gazillion dollars) is having the entire place serve as your pantry! No turbinado sugar? No bittersweet chocolate nibs? No problem! Take a cart and go down the baking aisle! No fresh blueberries? Hit the produce section.

Anyway, today was an easy introductory day. Karen is always ahead of the game, so she had made in advance several batters and frostings, so we were good to go. We baked/made:

1) Scones - apple cinnamon, blueberry, raspberry
2) Muffins - more types than I can remember
3) Cinnamon sticks - a breakfast pastry
4) Cookies - again, numerous types
5) Bars - brownies (normal and vegan), blondies, and apricot

We also iced several cakes. I have to work on frosting abilities and my piping. My rosettes are really not up to par yet. All in good time.

It is so novel for me to have giant bins of flour and sugar and nuts and grains. And industrial ovens! I can't believe I get to be in my ideal playland, but for work. But I am pretty exhausted, and the job does require that I'm on my feet for hours, so it's not all fun and games. It seems most jobs aren't . . . Well, nonetheless, I am excited to start this new adventure. Tomorrow I learn challah bread production!


Anonymous said...

Sounds fantastic - I'd like the backstage tour of a bakery as well! I'm doing a lot of cookie-baking right now (preliminary heats for the state fair, so to speak :)) and have been thinking wistfully about how nice it would be to have actual decorating talent. I've tried to learn rosettes and piping from books, but they always flopped - literally. Any chance you could show me the tricks next time we see you?

Also, just in case you haven't seen it - check out If nothing else, it seems that you're already way ahead in the profession by knowing how to spell :).

- Marian

Marianevans said...

I'd love to think sometime I could master piping enough to show you! Also, thanks for the tip to look at cake wrecks! What a hilarious site!