I told you I’d be taking a class at King Arthur Flour sometime soon.
Of course, I wasn’t exactly clear on what kind of class I was considering.
King Arthur Flour offers classes in pretty much any avenue related to baking one could consider. I was naturally interested in classes such as “Beauty and the Baguette”, “Lofty Layers: Crafting Croissants”, and “Bread: Principles and Practice”, however, it was “Setting up a Successful Bakery” which I brought to Hubby’s attention as we sat nibbling treats from the King Arthur Bakery in September, 2016.
Not expecting him to so adamantly agree, for months I skirted the thought of attending the class. You see, for over a year now, Hubby and I have been toying with the idea of starting a bakery.
No, let’s be real, Hubby has been suggesting it, and I have been dragging my feet in even allowing in-depth conversations about it to take place.
Not because I don’t want to do it. Not because I don’t think I could do it. But simply because it is new and big and scary and all consuming.
This three-day class was a means of facing the fear of the conversation head on. If, by the end of the class, I wasn’t running home to hide under the covers or nervously twitching at the thought of every little component which goes into starting a bakery, I figured it might be something to seriously consider.
The class is a professional level class, so right from the get go I felt like an impostor. Sure, I’ve been baking pretty much every other day for the past two years or so, but part of me feared someone would ask for my professional baker credentials upon entry to the class.
Fortunately, they did not.
In addition to not knowing if my credentials would pass the professional level class, I also was unsure how much hands on baking would take place. This seemed more of an informative class, so the fear of having to cook on demand got into my subconscious.
So much so, that days before the class I had a dream I was at the class. The room was set up like a normal baking school and I was actively baking, however, the class wasn’t in Vermont. It was in Pawhuska, Oklahoma at The Pioneer Woman’s ranch in her lodge often featured in her Food Network show. Though I’m certain my apprehensions caused the dream, surprisingly, the dream soothed me in the days before our trek up to Vermont.
From the first minute our instructor began speaking, his words were laced with gold. The information I jotted down along with the ability to ask questions and learn about the kind of machinery actually used in small bakeries was well worth the price of the class.
In answer to my wondering of Would we bake? the answer was yes. Our instructor walked us through the bakery production of three different highly versatile doughs: brioche, croissant, and French bread. With each dough, we not only learned tricks of the trade, but we also had the opportunity to touch, smell, and make different baked goods.
Pain au chocolat
Layers baby (ignore the burn scar on my hand!)
French dough with poolish
How bakeries can manage to bake so much bread in a day
I might need to get a few more baking sheets
We even got certificates!
I don’t know what the future holds. All I can say is, each day the elation of what I was a part of grew. From simply sponging up all our instructor, a college dropout who was told point blank, “You’re American, you can’t bake”, had to say, to breathing in buttery dough and touching freshly baked bread, I knew this was something I love.
An encouraging conversation I had with one of my classmates was with another woman from Jersey. She shared with me that she was reading a book about Elon Musk, who I’d heard of, but didn’t know too much about. She reminded me that he is the man who wants to build a town on Mars. She followed this with, “If he can build a town on Mars, you can open a bakery.”
And with that comment, she pretty much made my day.