The Story of Bread Master Class at CAI

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If you have a wish to participate in the upcoming Bread Master Class, which will take place from 13th to 15th of June, 2017, check out the story of our student Maria Karaivanova.

During my first semester at Culinary Arts Institute we had many different classes, which enriched our view of the culinary world and helped in the process of developing our skills.
I don’t know if it is because of the fact that I am Bulgarian and the bread is the most basic part of our eating habits, but the Bread Master Class was the one that got this home-like feeling to it, mixed together with high educational atmosphere.
The Bread Master Class took place in the CAI kitchen in the period from 17th to 20th of January, 2017. It was led by Chef Presian Petrov, who owns a bakery where all breads and other products are prepared by completely natural fermentation of the dough.
The first class started off with a presentation in which the Chef explained the importance of the sour dough and natural fermentation, of the high quality flour and the basic ratios for each bread. He shared experience from his own bakery and from the time he spent with his teachers. During the other 3 days we have been shown and participated in the making of different types of starters, we learned a variety of kneading and shaping techniques.
We have learned that in order to make bread of high quality one needs to have deep understanding of each ingredient which is used in the process of bread making and of all other factors which impact the product. We were discussing the importance of the types of flour, the temperatures, the humidity and the equipment, which is used.
I have learned that the making of bread requires a great deal of patience. Patience in terms of the speed with which a person can learn a new skill and also in terms of the time, which is needed to complete one piece of bread. Surprisingly the time we spent waiting was as rewarding as the practical part of the class. Chef Presian was telling us interesting stories from his bakery and from the days, when he was learning from the best bread makers worldwide.
A very useful and of course pleasant part of the class was the tasting of each bread. We were comparing the different breads and were taught how to distinguish the good one not only by its taste, but by its appearance: the crust and the inside structure.
Through this whole experience I have learned not only the basics of artisanal bread making, but also to have respect  for the products, for the process and for the complexity of the profession of the bread maker.