These first couple of in-depth weeks have been quite fun. So far, I have met with my mentor twice, but have not seen them recently due to some personal issues that arose in their life. From what I have seen, though, is that she is very experienced in the food area. She has told me that her grandmother was a professional baker, and she is the reason that my mentor fell in love with it. Over the next 5 decades, it has been her main hobby and favorite pass time. Although it was never necessarily a career for her, she always brings baked things over to any holidays or family occasions that she attends. Although this is just a part of our culture, no one follows that rule as strictly and generously as she does. With how many such occasions there are, this certainly is a large job for her to handle. Overall, it is a very enjoyable one because of the exciting process and the look on people’s faces as they see the final product.
From the two times that we have met, I have learned little things here and there about the bread-making process, such as the various ways to regulate temperature in an oven, the difference in ovens and appliances, and how to use yeast more effectively. Also, I have also learned to feel more comfortable around dough and have more experience in handling it. With this, the process of preparing the pastry is much easier, more efficient, relaxing, and fun. For example, some of the things that I’ve made to start off this project are baguettes and brioche. The baguettes were quite sturdy (or brick-like) yet were very well cooked in the middle. It was only after that I grasped the concept of oven fans. On the other hand, the brioche (very buttery bread characterized by its softness and slight sweetness) did turn out just like I hoped.
I am very excited to continue baking and researching this process!