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Reflection – First week of school accomplished!

After waiting for a year on the waiting list, I am FINALLY in baking school! I was almost ready to change my field of study, but am extremely glad and excited that I got in at the last moment. What a week it has been!

It has also been a tiring week, from the early mornings to all the books and supplies that I have to carry from home to school and vice versa everyday. I know that will eventually change as my body gets used to this new time of waking up, getting ready, getting to the skytrain and taking it to school.

Oh Man! This week has just been choc-a-blocked with so much information. I have learned so much though! I have learnt about scaling ingredients in grams (as opposed to cups, teaspoons, & tablespoons) on a really old balance scale. This process includes having a counter balance, a “boat” and making sure that both sides are hovering and not touching either of the bottom posts heavily if at all. You must also make sure that the ball is at 0 before balancing your items. After you counter balance, you can then adjust the ball to the amount of the first ingredient, add it to the boat, and balance it. Subsequent ingredients can be added to the boat and balanced after you move the ball to the “new” number (amount in the boat plus new ingredient weight.)

Another concept I have learned about is called bakers’s percentage. On Thursday (Day 4) we were told to scale down a baking powder biscuit recipe to just one dozen. To accomplish this you must divide the ingredient weight by the flour weight. We then did a cause and effect experiment with the scaled down recipes to see what would happen if you added, took away, or changed some items (eg. too much baking powder, only 1 kind of flour instead of 2, etc.) Needless to say, the biscuits that had too much baking powder left an after taste in your mouth that wasn’t the greatest.

I have also learned that eggs are an emulsifier (bonding agent) as one side of the yolk likes water & the other likes fat. I found this very interesting.

At first I found baker’s percentage daunting as it seem like canvas and another source (possibly a textbook) didn’t share the same way of doing it, after the numeracy workbook it made a lot more sense. I also struggled with the amount of things we had to do per night such as reading in addition to canvas. I was relieved when I heard that it would be less later.

If I have other problems with work (such as “applied” math) I won’t hesitate to get help from a classmate or from the teacher.

In the next course, I am excited to start baking goods, having less of a crammed course, working more with my team inside and out of the lab & being more hands on!

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