The Things I've Learnt From Being An Alpha Baker:
Things I've Learnt Number One:
ALWAYS double the recipe if something looks good. And maybe triple the recipe if it's Kouign Amann which are my number one favourite out of The Baking Bible. Even better the second time around. This is a genius recipe.
And proof of the pudding that I may have learnt something during the Alpha Baker experience is that I found these a doddle! A breeze! Lucky they turned out well because if they'd failed I would have had to say all I got out of two years of baking was a bad case of hubris.
Things I've Learnt Number Two:
You ALWAYS NEED that new kitchen tool. Another cake tin, an angel food cake
hair comb cutter, a rotary apple peeler: you name it, you need it. And Alpha Bakers are always ready with advice on new stuff.
Things I've Learnt Number Three:
Similar to Number Two you can never have too many different types of sugar, flour, liquor or butter in stock at any one time. And if you live in the tropics than you may need to invest in a much bigger fridge/freezer to keep them all in. I thought about doing a calculation of all the butter I've bought over the two years but I'm not sure I want to know. It's true, ignorance is bliss in some things.
Things I've Learnt Number Four:
Your colleagues will be disappointed and angry if you suddenly stop bringing them baked goods on a weekly basis. Especially after the Kouign Amann. Boy, did they like them.
Things I've Learnt Number Five:
Don't be fooled by descriptions of a cake with molasses in it as delicious. It's not.
And I still have 7/8ths of a bottle of molasses languishing in my fridge. I think I might return it to Rose. She seems to like it.
Things I've Learnt Number Six:
Life is much richer from having been part of the Alpha Bakers and from the generous, funny and downright lovely people that make up the ABs. A special mention to our tireless leader, Marie, who baked each week without fail AND wrote two posts each week AND kept us all in line - which is no mean feat for the lively (and often contrary) bunch of bakers that make up the Alpha Bakers. Thanks to Marie, Rose Levy Beranbaum and all the rest for an entertaining and fulfilling two years.
But the molasses is still in the mail.