It’s Sour Dough Bake Sale day at NAIT and all the baking students have been at school since 4 a.m.
Instructor Alan Dumonceaux has already lost an eighth of his finger but he’s too busy to get a stitch, so he wears one rubber glove on his hand while he pushes cart after cart of beautiful bread down the hallways.
“Baking is a hard job,” Dumonceaux said. “It’s heavy work.”
This is just his day job however. In the evenings, Dumonceaux teaches Artisan Bread Baking to bread enthusiasts.
“Artisan bread baking is so hot right now,” said NAIT spokesperson Rayne Kuntz. “It’s growing in popularity and there’s a real demand for it.”
The premise of the course is to educate people on how to make good bread and how to identify what good bread tastes like, smells like, and looks like.
“It’s for people who are passionate about eating really good bread and want to get a better understanding of it,” Dumonceaux said. “Most of them are home bakers. We do get some professional students who want to expand their knowledge, but most of them just bake at home.”
The class makes three different breads each night and students are sent home to culture their own sour dough as homework.
“A lot of people don’t really understand what really good bread is,” Dumonceaux said. “My first outcome is to teach people what good bread is supposed to be like.”
Dumonceaux has learned under the best. Didier Rosada, one of the most respected bakers in the world, came to NAIT for five days in September and worked with faculty members from the baking program and culinary arts program.
“It was fantastic,” Dumonceaux said. “Didier Rosada is one of North America’s premiere bakers and he’s coming back in May.”
There are two Artisan Bread Baking courses available through NAIT. Level I is a prerequisite for Level II, which is further comprehension of what really good bread is.
Level I starts up again on Jan. 19 and runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Level II goes from April 6 to 13 at the same time on the same nights.
For more information, go to nait.ca or register by phoning the NAIT continuing education office at 780-471-6248.
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