The Fundamentals of Baking: Precision and Play Winter 2022

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Class Details

Baking is often regarded as a rather precise art, demanding close attention to measurement, temperature, and time. Yet it also rewards experimentation, as evident in baked goods that combine cultural traditions, accommodate dietary needs, and surprise us with unexpected but delightful combinations of flavors and textures. In this course, you will receive a hands-on introduction to baking and recipe development. We will learn to make a set of basic baked goods (bread, cake, pastry), paying attention to both established recipes and the principles that inform them. We will then explore and prepare variations, reading reflections by a diverse group of bakers and trying out their techniques (examples of readings include excerpts from Peter Reinhart, The Bread Bakers Apprentice, and Joanne Chang, Pastry Love). As a final project, each student will be asked to develop and present a baked product of their own, accompanied by a set of polished “recipe notes” modeled on the cookbooks and blogs we have read together.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 10
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: final project or presentation, class participation, brief readings and written reflections
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: brief application
Unit Notes: Caleb owns Two Bear Bakery and bakes for Caretaker Farm in Williamstown. He also teaches outdoor cooking at Four Winds Learning Community in Lanesborough. Previously, he was a founder of Alchemy Collective Cafe in Berkeley, CA.
Materials/Lab Fee: none

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