Well as of March 8, 2011 I am officially a “Master Baker.” What is that you may ask? Here is a definition of a Master Baker, “A baker at this level and for this designation participates in a broad range of complex, technical or professional work activities, performed in a wide variety of contexts with a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy. Responsibility for the work of others and allocation of resources is present. He/she must have the technical and administrative skills necessary to operate and manage the production area of a full-line independent or in-store commercial bakery. He/she must produce high quality bakery foods, and demonstrate a basic knowledge about the principles of sanitation, management, retail sales/merchandising and training.”
Originally this process was to take two years, I completed four different courses in just over eight months. Some of the stuff I already knew and other information will help me become better at what I do.
15 years ago I started working for my present employer as a pan washer. That’s right… eight hours a day I washed pans. I only did that for maybe five months and got promoted to the mixing room as a scaler. There I learned how to cream butter and sugar to hold air to make a delicious cake. I began to understand how gluten made a product strong and gave it structure.
I worked in the mixing room for five years and got taken out of there and given the title of “Production Assistant.” This job offered new responsibilities and a deeper understanding of how the whole bakery operated.
Three years ago, I got a new job within the bakery. I was placed in charge of the “Research and Development Department.” My employers realized that for us to stay functional in this ever changing world we needed new products and my job was to create them.
In 2010, I stream lined our liquor cake products making them less labor intensive and created 11 new varieties. I also began dabbling in breakfast breads. So far this year two new fruit based cakes as well as some chocolate cakes and a reduced sugar cake have been developed and the breakfast breads continue to expand.
All this I did just from my previous experience. My employer finally began to see that for me to continue to grow and evolve an education would benefit us both.
We all know that ESH is necessary for our recovery to grow. And I now realize that it isn’t just limited to meetings or message boards, but also in our real lives. I now have been given the tools for my ESH in the baking world to continue to grow.
Very soon I will be receiving my fourth diploma from this course and will proudly display it on my wall with the others. The pride is not for myself, but for my Higher Power. A Power that gave me a second chance after a rocky childhood and battling my own demons with addiction. A pride that is nothing short of 100% gratitude.