I first became acquainted with baking through watching my grandmother and mother bake the most amazing desserts. But that’s not when I decided I wanted to make baking and pastry my career. Growing up I wanted nothing to do with food and eating. I could use a little more of that nowadays.
When I finally got interested in food after I was married there was no internet and not much in the way of schools – at least close to me. However, the St. Louis Community Çommunity Çollege at Forrest Park was highly regarded for their Restaurant and Hospitality school. While it did not concentrate on baking and pastry, it gave me access to food science books. At the time professional books were not available to consumers like they are now.
So, I started on the journey to teach myself. I wanted to learn not only good recipes and different types of baking and pastry but I wanted to be able to create my own and therein lies the problem. Baking and pastry are more science dependant than is food. If you don’t know where to use baking powder instead of baking soda or ratios to flour, it is a lot of trial and error. The books listed below became my teachers in one way or another. Continue reading