The Holy Grail of French bakers

The blog of cooking-ez.com

While browsing through the recipes on this site, you may have noticed that while I adore cooking (everything, in fact, to do with eating and drinking), I am particularly drawn to bakery: bread, viennoiseries and all that goes with them – it’s a real passion of mine; I love making them and I enjoy eating them just as much.

For a long time I made do, finding recipes and information here and there, getting quite a long way by trial and error. But an idea was gradually taking root in my mind: I really needed to go and learn properly, and from real bakers.

The best plan seemed to be to take a CAP course (vocational qualification with certificate) in baking. This meant I would need to find not only the time necessary, but also the money (and this training doesn’t come cheap) and somewhere to do it.

I can tell you, it didn’t take long to decide on the “where”. As any French baker in the know will tell you, there’s one institute that really counts: the Institut National de la Boulangerie Pâtisserie (INBP) in Rouen – more or less the Holy Grail of professional bakers in France. If I had to come up with an analogy from a parallel universe, it would be the Harvard or MIT of bakers, no less.

INBP

From first having the idea to actually making this project happen took several years. To get on this famous course in Rouen I had to raid my piggy bank and clear five and a half months of sabbatical leave, temporarily leaving behind the world of IT in Brest and, along the way, dipping a toe back into student life (and as a rather “mature” student, you might have guessed).

Well, I managed it. Now here I am, training in Rouen since the beginning of January 2018, totally immersed in the world of baking!

I can sum it all up for you quite easily in two words: exciting and exhausting.




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Post Author: CookAzon

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