One of the most significant events that has happened since the last post is bringing my bread into school for people to critique. I shared my bread with around 12 TALONS students and teachers and got reviews from most of them as well. Here are some of the reviews…
|Phia (cheese & regular bread)||Irregular shape, excess flower on the bottom, dense (maybe a longer rising time?) + tastes good! Would eat again|
|Mich (regular bread)||appealing appearance, nice texture, tastes good! -bit dense|
|Sophia (cheese bread)||SO GOOD 11/10|
|Emily (cheese bread and regular bread)||good crust, flavour, a bit moist|
|Charlotte (cheese bread)||Really good! Crust is really good, good texture, although the inside is a little dense + wet. A little too much flour on the bottom, good cheesiness. The cheese on the crust is amazing, 100% would eat again.|
|Aislyn (regular bread)||Flavourful, good texture, sick crust, maybe a bit dense!|
I found this process extremely helpful, understanding what people like, dislike, and aspects (such as the flour on the bottom) I had never thought about before. I have spent time addressing how to fix these problems and in the end I know this experience will help me perfect my craft. For example, one of the most common comments was that the bread was dense – I have figured out that with the cheese bread I did not let it sit enough and keeping it inside a container trapped all the moisture which made it very dense. However, the regular bread had enough time to sit after being baked so I am not sure how to make it less dense and more fluffy. This is definitely something I will be bringing up with my mentor this week.
This weekend I am planning on baking cinnamon buns and trying out the recipe before bringing it into school the next week for more people to try!
What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why
As I have mentioned before is the fact that he is on chemo therapy and is often very busy and tired. Other than that mixed with my busy schedule, something that I have noticed is it’s really tempting to ask vague questions during sessions and basically want my mentor to show me everything. This is a problem because 1. it is not time efficient, and 2. it doesn’t help me retain any knowledge and help me work towards being more dependent. To prevent these things from happening, I have had to challenge myself to be concise with my questions and ask what I need to know.
What is working well? Why?
What is working well is his openness and eagerness to help me try new things. We both want to get to a point where I can bake complex breads ( mostly so we can both eat them) and trying new things is how to get there. He is also very proactive; for example, before baking my first cheese bread I told him my plan and instead of waiting for me to do it and respond to any problems, he gave me some tips that could help. That being said, he is still allowing me to make mistakes and not holding my hand the entire way. I believe this is the key to successful experiential learning.
What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?
Something that could be working better is baking more in general, but specifically with my mentor. I think that I’m experienced enough now that baking along side him will only benefit me. By working with him I can watch his technique for things like mixing the dough or letting it rise. The reason I want to watch him bake is because some techniques can only be learned and developed over time, so things he may take for granted, I will learn a lot from. I will make sure this happens by talking to him as soon as possible to make plans. I will also formulate a plan of what we will be baking and get the ingredients ahead of time so it cause him less stress and it easier overall.
That’s all for now, I’ll check back in soon!