So I’ve a question… “What do you think is my most important baking implement?”
I’ve asked that particular question to a number of folks over the years and I’ve heard answers from my convection oven, my mixer, dutch ovens, various pans or knives. All of these answers, while important to me are not the one I’m thinking of when I pose the question.
Never has anyone ever responded “a pencil” (or the modern equivalent of my computer).
I take copious notes (and pictures) of my bakes. I write down my variables and try to control and repeat what works. I download pics of other bakers’ bakes and take notes on their methods. A couple of years ago I started following the Great British Baking Show with Paul Hollywood and Mary Barry. As a result I began to use the British-method of measuring by gram weight rather than volume for my recipes. Recently I was watching #Masterclass of #DominiqueAnsel on his method for making Sourdough Croissants. In the lesson he described how daily he has his head bakers from each of his restaurants world-wide text him a picture of their croissant cross-sections as a method of quality-control.
Note-taking is important to me for learning and getting better.
Since I began being serious about my note-taking I’ve iteratively and incrementally improved my bakes. My notes and pictures (and recently Facebook’s “Your Memory from 4 Years Ago” notifications) bear this out to be true. I have learned, become better and (more importantly) consistent in my bakes.
I’ve a long way to go. Perfecting Sourdough Bread, Croissants and Pastries I’ve come to realize will be a rest of my life journey…. But what a tasty one to embark on!