My mom and I would constantly have the oven roaring during Christmas time. When I was little, I would stand by in the kitchen, watching her roll out doughs for cookies, pies, pastries: all kinds of desserts. And that was when I still thought that bread from the machine was "homemade." Later on, I was even more interested in baking, feeling relaxed when I creamed the butter and sugar or assembled a tart. I even was beginning to reconsider my choice of going into the culinary program rather than baking and pastry.
That is, however, until my first day at the lamination station in Baking I class with Chef Dan Tabor. I felt so out of my comfort zone, as if nothing was perfect enough. Exasperated, I fought my way through the three days that made up my station. Each day, the butter seemed to always soften up too much, or the detrempe was too dry. The sheeter even caused my partner and I problems at one point. Nothing seemed to be flowing the way it had when I was baking in my kitchen.
Finally, I approached Chef Dan and told him the issues I was having, and discussed that I need to take a deep breath and just let the process guide me.
Although I continued to struggle throughout baking (one fateful day, scaling errors forced me to make 45 pounds of butterscotch scones), I learned more than ever. Most of this learning was centered around the importance of respecting the process of baking. One cannot just believe that things will "turn out the way they should." I gained a much greater and more knowledgable outlook on baking, as a whole, in this class, but all in all, I think I'll stick to cooking.