A lesson in baking.

On average, my mornings begin around 2 a.m. That's when my mental alarm thinks it should start going off every hour until my actual alarm sounds. After rolling off a dear friend's couch puffy-eyed, I have nice yawn, get ready and head to the bakery. It's still dark out.

When I get there the head baker has already pulled the first batches of bread out of the oven. And I think we can all agree that smell was sent straight from heaven! For the rest of us it's nonstop sticking to a very precise regimen. Everything has a time, a weight, a temperature, and a technique. Something like this: Prep ingredients, clean, prep table, pre-shape dough, tidy up, final shape and place dough in basket, set timer, tidy up again...

When keeping a schedule like this, it's probably important to love what you're doing.  And I do.

Valuable lesson of the week

Before starting my first week in the bakery, I tried imagining what a typical day might look like. I fully expected to be "Jenn the do-girl" doing simple tasks like weighing flour, watching from the side, and sweeping up. But that wasn't the case at all!

On Friday, Zak asked me how everything was going. I told him how happy I was to be thrown in to work with the rest of the team and that I thought I'd be doing much simpler tasks. He responded with a powerful, "Isn't it all simple?"

And it is simple. I love the simplicity of the art of making bread. But, simple doesn't mean easy or that any less care is taken. It's basic ingredients (flour, water, salt) plus a lot of love and passion. It's a lesson that I've taken home with me to apply to the rest of my life.  I believe that's what our time here is all about, the simple things. Dinner around a table, choosing to call someone and not text, just sitting and talking with the one you love, karaoke nights with friends.  

Basic things plus a lot of love and passion.  An important lesson in baking.



Bread is better broken with you.

Like a lot of us, I've spent most of my adult life in search of purpose. So I'm not wasting space on this earth. Selfishly taking in oxygen without anything to give back. But how do you even begin? It's easy to romanticize purpose, it's another thing to find it. I'm surrounded by people who have found passion and that doesn't make living without it any easier.

Rewind to four years ago. I began working as a fashion model, and in that time I had the great opportunity to travel to different parts of the world for work. A dream come true, right? Truth is, it was a dream that my dad had for me for as long as I can remember and I thought I could make it my own.

I love food way too much to be model anyway! In fact, every trip I take is planned around where I'll be eating. Example - I went to France and said, “I guess we can see the Eiffel Tower... I mean, it is right around the corner from that little boulangerie with the fresh baguettes.”

All things food. That's my heart.

Sometimes it's simpler than it seems. Sometimes you know you the best after all. Sometimes life calls for the cautious step, and other times you just have to run with it. A good friend said my journey so far seems serendipitous. I must be on the right road. This is me running with it.

Today, I'm heading down to Miami to begin an apprenticeship at Zak the Baker. It'll be two months of intensive training under a guy who learned at bakeries and farms all over Europe. Many of the bakers and chefs that I admire were able to master their craft because they once apprenticed. I'm charmed to also have the chance. And when I'm done, I'm coming back home to open a place of my own!

From model to food enthusiast to apprentice, I'll be blogging my every experience, leaving nothing out. Come with. Bread is better broken with you.