Since starting at Standard Baking I can feel a transformation in my abilities as a baker. The first day I walked into the bakery I was very overwhelmed with the work load, and everyone kept reminding me that it would only get busier when the summer months came. Over the past three months I have noticed an increase in my speed and an improvement in the quality of the product I put out. I am confident in knowing I can accomplish everything on time but I am still challenged everyday with new tasks. 

I was trained on two stations, AM pastry and AM shaper. In my last post I explained in detail my daily responsibilities for AM pastry. It is much harder to take pictures while on shape station because of the steady pace we need to maintain in order to make sure everything comes out correctly and on time. But I can explain, in word, my responsibilities while on shape station. I am in charge of shaping the italian and olive rolls, cheese and seeded fougasse, olive loaves, brioche, and demi baguettes. We offer these breads daily but also have special breads on certain days of the week. Fridays we offer challah, olive-onion focaccia, rustic baguettes and millers bread, I am also responsible for shaping these breads. I am also expected to mix pre-ferments. In addition to shaping breads I also must shape the morning buns, which is a laminated dough. 30 lbs of dough, butter and sugar that is given two sets of two, tri-folds, then rolled into large logs and cut to fit into muffin pans. 

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Morning bun: middle of second set of folds
Once I have shaped all of the morning breads I begin prep for the afternoon bakers and complete folds in our rustic, olive, Maine grain and levain doughs. 
 
 

My day starts bright and early. My feet hit the cold wood floor of my bedroom at 3am and the cement bakery floor at 3:30.
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Pastry Room
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My work area
There is no time to hesitate, the second I enter the bakery doors I am already turning on convection ovens and pulling croissants from the walk in. My first task of the day is to mix the scones, cranberry/walnut and blueberry/oat. 
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Cranberry/Walnut
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Blueberry/Oat
Once the cranberry/walnut are mixed I know my ovens are up to temp and I load the large convection oven with morning buns. I then head back to the pastry room to finish preparing the scones. I work off timers, always making sure I plan my time accordingly so that every time one goes off I am ready with something new to load into the ovens. It is a very effective way to work, it helps keep a steady pace and I am sure to get the pastries out in time for the driver who needs everything by 5am. 
After I have finished the scones I start egg washing all of the morning croissants, depending on the day of the week there could be anywhere from 2-4 full racks of croissants. 
Once I get all of the pastries out for our driver so he can box them up and deliver them all over the greater Portland area I am then able to move onto my other tasks such as preparing the buckle. Buckle is essentially a single layer cake, traditionally made with blueberries, topped with streusel. Here at Standard I have creative freedom with the choice of fruit in the buckle. During the summer we get fresh fruit from local farms delivered and I enjoy mix and matching them to create delicious combinations. I am also responsible for preparing the gingerbread, apricot and raspberry galettes, coconut macaroons, almond macaroons, almond croissants, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, brioche loaves and rolls, financier and madeleines. 
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Apricot Galette
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Raspberry Galette
After I have finished preparing and baking off all of the AM pastries I am then able to move onto prep for the next day. We prepare all of the dry ingredients for the scones the day before to ease the work load in the morning. We leave them in the walk-in so all we have to do is add the wet ingredients and fruit. I also prep the gingerbread batter, almond croissants and buckle batter. Once all of my tasks are finished I am able to go home and nap... Zzzzzzzzzz 
 

    Author

    My name is Kimberly Kral and I have a passion for baking.