Skip to main content

Happy New Year, Happy Baking!

It was a very blessed 2014, not only in terms of still being able to teach but to meet new lovely friends in my class. I will say it over and over, i am glad that i made the right choice to turn on to baking breads and give it all a go instead of taking a short course in computer.

I was in the hallway of this popular computer school, scanned the area, looked at the students sitting in their benches probably waiting for the prof to show up and i did not like what i saw. I left after just a few minutes and told myself, it better be something else.

I love to bake. Before i enrolled in OBMCI's food service, i already bake cookies, cakes, and pies but was never successful with breads. When i saw an opportunity to get an apprenticeship in Purefoods Flour and Bakery product research and development, i had to wait for two months to get in. The wait was worth it. That was not enough though, i had to go to Binan and do some apprenticing, finish up 700 hours of work (i was paid handsomely for it amazingly) and decided to buy a large oven and a mixer to round off things.

I am saying all these because bread making is not like baking cookies. It seems to be a common theme, every month, students think that 4-5 days is enough to turn them into a master baker, or that all the breads they see in my website were made by someone who took a 3 day baking course.

I wish it was true, so everyone will be happy. But sad to say, it is not. Patience, hard work. timing, diligence. It is not enough to just see the breads done. Listen. Read the recipe. Follow the recipe.

Question. ''Shirley, bakit yung Hard Monay na ginawa ko ang liit, 2 hours ko ng pinaalsa pero maliit pa rin.?'' When this guy brought the bread to me, it was super alsado, owing to the 2 hour proof. I showed him a 100 gram bread and asked him if it was the size he wanted, and he said yes. "'well then Sir, you should have weighed them 100 grams instead of 45 grams, because a 45 gram dough will not look like a 100 gram bread even if you proof it for 4 hours."

Sometimes, we need to ask how and why, simply reading the recipe is not enough when you make breads. Certainly, bread making is not for lazy people. Read and find out why your bread turns out different from yesterday's batch. Love it. All this back and forth, all this bread talk is making me want to bake again even if my back hurts pretty bad.

To my students from last year, special mention to my December class who made me laugh even if i could barely take a shower, i love you guys!!! You are the reason why i still do this, so i can find people like you. I pray that you all come to love this craft as much as i did.

Below are some photos from last year's baking class.

Flavored Baguettinis!

Free form Pandesal, done without the baston style because AH is at 58%.

Honey Oatmeal, Artisan Style

This last one is my lunch, so tata for now. See you in my class!!!


Tesya Mercado said…
Hi Ms. Shirley, how can I purchase the ebook and cd? how much po? I am a beginner and don't have much money, mag-aral po muna ako on my own and ibili ko muna ng equipment yung money ko kasi wala po kaming maraming pera kung hindi naman po ako matuto sa ebook then dun na lang po ako mag eenroll sa class nyo.

Salamat po.

Popular posts from this blog

3rd Class Flour, What's It All About

For starters i cannot make this Hard Monay if i did not bring any 3rd class flour or soft weak flour to New York. Once i ran out of 3rd class and tried Cake Flour, it turned bad, do not even think of using All Purpose, it will be soft but not chewy as this one made with yes, 3rd class indeed. So third class is hard to find here in the US if you will use that term. You have to say or look for soft wheat flour, that's it, not hard wheat flour, not cake or All purpose but something in between these two. It is easy to find in the Phil., just ask your local bakery suppliers and they know it is Tercera. Tercera is not for bread, bakers use it basically for cookies, cakes and other pastries, but we bakers know how to create bread recipes using part of this flour with the bread flour or hard wheat flour. It makes a softer version of any of your fave breads, with a cheaper price tag. Plus if i own a bakery, i get to use the third class for my cakes and cookies, lowering my food cost i…

Baking Pandesal, Once Again on Proofing

I finished my one one one last August, fortunately my student arrived and made it on time before i left or went back to New York. Originally, she was asking for a September 23 to 27 date and since my flight was September 7, i had to decline her request.

I was surprised to hear from her a couple of days later when she changed her mind and decided to go home so she can catch up with me. Paid her deposit and we set the date. 3 days later, she sent me a photo of one of her cook, badly burned and all bandaged up from the hospital. Class postpone. I prayed for her that she gets well so my student can still make it. I was thinking, she would have to wait till December and well, December being a busy month, i have a feeling we will not make it and i have to return her deposit.

Praise G-d, she made it and we had a really really fun session. Her goal was to bake Pandesal and Ensaimada. She has a restaurant in Taiwan and she caters to Pinoys there selling Chicken Inasal which judging from her st…

July Session

This is the only session I had so far where i used 2 different brands of flour which is Globe by Universal Robina and Sun Moon Star by Pilmico.Now, if you have attended my class, and I know some of my former students still read my blog then you know that i preach water and adore first class flours with a high protein content. Anything that is lower than my expected level is out of the book just like this popular brand I will call Brit (not it's real name). If you know your history and you bake breads, you know what this brand is. Now, you can certainly email me so I can divulge to you in secret what this horrible I mean disappointing brand of first class is.First off, it does not deserve it's price tag. Too expensive for an over P800.00 per sack flour when a P720.00 sack can use up more water. Why is that important? Well, too long to discuss but I hope your teacher can tell you why. If not, then you went to the wrong school.So here I am, using my student's flour ( they alr…