Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Roasting garlic, mixing sourdough, bashing butter, boiling pretzels, and on and on. What do all of these have in common? Messes!! Flour everywhere. Dough bits stuck to the toaster oven. Baking soda splashing on my stove as it hits the hot water. These are all part of my daily routine as I bake up a storm. It can feel like a hurricane plowed through the kitchen after a busy day. The worst part is that as a one-man show, clean-up always falls on me. My 3 year-old isn't too keen on assisting, unless she's making a bigger mess.


The good news is that the clean up doesn't bother me very much. While it's not my favorite part of the day, it gives me some time to reflect on what I accomplished that day and honestly, I enjoy seeing the big mess turn into a sparkly clean kitchen. Okay, not really sparkly but much cleaner.  


Dough. It's so fun to work with! As I've mentioned before, I am pretty obsessed with sourdough. One of my favorite things about it is preparing the dough completely by hand, which means larger messes and more involved clean-up. It's so fun for me to feel the difference in the dough between each step of the process, which is lengthy to allow the dough time to ferment and develop the flavor it is known for. 

Bashed butter. Stress relief for a baker.

Butter. Such a key ingredient for many bakers! I always used to use butter sparingly, not understanding how important of a tool it is in so many baked goods. Not only that, but I'm also learning about the different types of butter. All of my French pastry mentors (via cookbooks, recipes, and some TV shows) talk about using the right type of butter, especially for laminated doughs, like danish pastry dough. Unless you're looking for it, the European style butters, which have a higher fat content, can be hard to find. Not only is the flavor boosted with this special butter, it also allows the pastry to bake properly. If the water content of the butter is too high, too much steam will escape and cause some issues with the final product.  

At the end of the day, this is often where I end up, chilaxing in the cool basement with my bread and una cerveza, reveling in the yumminess of both and thinking about my customers enjoying their baked goods. That's really what it's all about. Creating delicious bites to make other people happy and satiated.