I am keen to tell you about the results of the The Survey that was sent out on September 20th.
I wish to send a hearty thanks to several hundred of you who filled it in and shared your thoughts with me. I was heartened by the warmth of so many of the contributions placed into the Comments section, and at such times I know that my enthusiasm for the craft of baking is appreciated by many who have joined PANARY’s baking community.
The three main questions were overwhelmingly endorsed:
Qn 1, would you like to see excerpts of my book, work-in-progress? 90% said YES
Qn. 2, interested in purchasing baker’s equipment through the website? 84% for YES
Qn. 3, fancy a regular (weekly?) email featuring bakers’ tips? 93% for YAY
As a result, these are the things I am going to attend to immediately:
- Regular newsletters, fortnightly, with tips as well as PANARY news, and periodic excerpts from the book.
- Availability of my equipment list for any who request it as an interim measure before I can mount Equipment Sales as a section on the website. If you wish to make a purchase, we arrange payment through bank transfer or cheque.
You have provided many issues and topics for me to consider deeply. Some of them concern the quality of the experience you get when attending a PANARY course, some were to do with the future direction PANARY should take in providing its core service of teaching breadmaking and nurturing students’ emerging skills. For all of it I am grateful, and can truthfully say that I intend to implement many suggestions.
MY RESPONSES to your Comments
There will be new one-day courses created, e.g.,
- different types of sponges and their recommended use;
- mixed grain breads, capturing styles more Germanic and Nordic
- patisserie/viennoiserie/ e.g. Danish
The website section on Course Descriptions will feature a simple indication of courses being sub-divided into
A new system of follow-up emails after you have attended a course will
- encourage your questions about implementing techniques you learned on the course
- Provide more guidance on how to choose the next most appropriate course and when
- offer discounts on further courses that will follow a sliding scale such as 5% off a second course; 10% off third; 15% off fourth
Some quick answers to some direct questions:
Would I consider one-to-one workshops or giving advice by phone or Skype?
1 – to – 1 is already covered by my consultancy service, but they are more costly than a 1-day course. Phone/Skype sessions seems a good idea, but will take planning, and may possibly be a thing for the future.
As well as equipment, why not sell Stoate’s flour over internet?
It is already available from Cann Mills website.
Could you make half an hour at the end of the day available for families to come in and see what has been going on?
Yes, they are already welcome, but the invitation could be made more prominent on the website.
For the future
The possibility of paid subscription to receive book excerpts, videos, online tutorials that reinforce what has been learnt on a course.
As you could imagine this is a big step, particularly for a baker boy who does not have his strength located in IT.
Two sponges on their way to fully blown ripeness. Notice how helpful it is to have clear plastic tubs so that you can examine the structure deep in the body of the sponge.
Quantities of the different yeasts:
1 x 7gm sachet of Instant dried yeast would be equivalent to : 15 gm fresh yeast 10 gm active dried yeast
Fresh yeast is the type most used by pro bakers. It must be refrigerated
Instant dried yeast was a new strain developed by yeast manufacturers, quicker to feed and generate gas. It includes an E-number that is an emulsifier, and works well whether it is tumbled through the dry flour (as manufacturer recommends) or thoroughly whisked in the dough liquor.
Active dried yeast was developed in yeast factories at roughly the same time as fresh yeast (middle of 19th century), and has absolutely no additives, hence is approved by the Real Bread Campaign. It is recommended to whisk it into the dough liquor, but not necessary to feed it sugar as often recommended.
Well, Panarians, thanks again for your contributions to the survey, and I hope you are generally pleased with my responses.
Good baking, Paul