Life as a Pastry Student: The Great Bread Debate

From blog.ice.edu, by Institute of Culinary Education
Life as a Pastry Student: The Great Bread Debate

 

By Alison MahoneyStudent, School of Pastry & Baking Arts

 

For as long as I can remember, I have had a love affair with bread. Growing up Italian, good bread was compulsory at every meal and, as a vegetarian, it’s sometimes the only item I can eat on the menu (and you won’t hear me complaining about it). So why would a self-proclaimed “avid home baker” and bread lover never make bread? That’s right, this baker—who has laughed in the face of the French macaron and homemade puff pastry—has run away from bread-making like I was the only woman left in the zombie apocalypse. And the reason is yeast. Yeast has always scared the daylights out of me, because yeast is, after all, a fickle mistress.

ICE - Bread Program - Sim Cass - Pastry School - Baking School - Baking Student

So, just imagine my shock, awe and utter trepidation when I heard our first class at ICE was Bread 101. Not only would I have to use a scale for the first time and make sure that all of my measurements were perfectly accurate, but I would also have to face my greatest baking demon head on. Luckily for us, our chef calmly walked us through process of making bread. It didn’t look that hard, and I was fascinated by what I was learning about my former foe; who knew that sugar feeds yeast, while salt slows it down? I was starting to feel slightly more excited. 

 

Read on to learn how Alison conquered her fear of bread baking.