Brainstorming has always been my go-to for coming up with new ideas. Actively thinking about a problem and coming up with solutions, often in a group setting. This week however I tried something a little more relaxed. I attempted to sit back and think in a quiet setting to allow my ideas to “incubate”. I even took a relaxing walk as I was thinking about the problem.

My problem is: 

The Advanced Baking course is repetitive, dated, and skewed toward one area of baking. 

The things that I find to be the most problematic are: 

  1. How do I ensure that the curriculum covers all areas thoroughly and meets the individual student needs/wants?
  2. How do I work in the bakeshop experience as part of the curriculum?
  3. Can I use the baking curriculum as a means of preparation so students can write their own recipes in advanced baking and direct their own inquiries?

A glance into the process:

My thoughts were mostly focused on question number three but in the process, I got a bit of resolution for all three issues. It kind of flowed like this…

If I set up the baking curriculum to include all of the units of study then students will have all the knowledge they need to make baked goods of all types. By using the Johnson and Wales curriculum as an example I can make sure we study ALL areas thoroughly. Maybe I can do a side by side comparison of Johnson and Wales and the Culinary Institute of America?

Then in Advanced Baking we can focus on the way recipes are constructed and the ratios necessary for each type of baked good. This will give them the info they need to write recipes. We can also master recipe testing in Advanced which is a big part of perfecting products for the bakeshop experience. Then they can scale recipes to larger/smaller quantities which is also a bakeshop skill.

My takeaway of incubating:

My mind doesn’t rest! Every free second it brings this back to the front of my thoughts so I can focus on it again. I’ve gone on some pretty wild tangents but with the current budget situation in my district, I’m sure none of those have any hope of surviving. An example is the purchase of a professional convection oven so we can bake more effectively. We have to fight to get them to replace regular equipment when it breaks so asking for a new piece of equipment doesn’t even have hope.  Then again maybe I can find someone willing to donate one…

 

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