The Baker’s Percentage

I am a writer learning how to bake artisan breads, not as a career but to fill my tummy during breaks. – PhWriter11

Happy New Year to all Readers! A collection of my thoughts to share with you because I’m glad to have you back on my page.

Lately I have been into bread and pastry making. With success, I have revised recipes to come up with my version of the white bread, soda bread, ciabatta, beer bread, cake base, cinnamon rolls, swedish cookies, meringues and basic pie crust. Of course there are also disappointments, frustrations and disasters in my baking adventures. That makes baking more interesting for me.

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swedish chef is in the house

Quick Beer Bread 005 (3)

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cake base 001 011 cake base 001 005 McJonsson Wheat bread 007 mcj bread 022 McJonsson Bread (12) bake it or burn it 001 017 bake it or burn it 001 019 Kanebullar 007 Prune BRead (2) McJonsson White BRead (3) jonsson bageri 044 McJonsson's Apple Pie 041 candy's bday cake 005 photos from home jan 2013 001 008 candy's bday cake 008 mcj bread 050 photos from home jan 2013 001 007 Jordgubbstårta 02 032

I like how  the dough rises , how the cake fluffs in a pan, how eggs and butter blend into a nice cream, how powder sugar melts with milk, how yeast bubbles with warm water, how the crust browns inside the oven, how the cinnamon sugar caramelizes, how the chocolate surrenders to my stirring and become ganache, and how the bread comes out golden brown when flipped to cool.

Same way I master the art of making bread, do I get familiar with shelf life of these baked goodies. I’ve had a couple of loaves that turned mildewy after days sitting on the table. I’ve had snickerdoodles still edible coming way past Christmas when all gifts have been opened.

And disasters are always expected when a novice tweaks a recipe. I’ve had burnt caramel in ramekins too when I tried doing it quicker in the microwave. I had a loaf that turned out to be a weapon and graded class 3 as self defense gadget. And a boule that expanded horrendously to become an alien’s brain.

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I found helpful tips and techniques from other bakers’ links too.  I need to keep these in mind every time I handle the dough and perfect making artisan breads. And while checking out alternatives for baking stone, I stumbled on the Baker’s Math. Initially, I thought it is a bit too much going through all those hassles understanding the formula. Then as I read on, I realized the mistakes I made with my disaster loaves. From the formulas I gathered, I was enlightened on the correlation of  flour and water in bread making. Trial and error will always be part of the fun, but at least now I can attempt to chase those bubbles in my freshly baked bread like a professional baker.

With the baker’s percentage put into good use, I will have more things to write about. Seeing all my baked creations makes me feel better. Indeed baking is one of those things you just have to try to learn how to do right with a few mistakes acceptable.

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And I wrap up my writings today with a Phwriter11 quote, “To burp or not to burp, that is for humans”.