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Personal Literacy: Baking Bread


Melissa Marshall

on 12 March 2017

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Transcript of Personal Literacy: Baking Bread

Defining Literacy
Baking Bread as a Specific Literacy
There are many different kinds of baking, with different forms of literacy. The knowledge you need to bake a cake or cookies is very different than the knowledge needed to bake a loaf of bread.
Features of Bread-Baking Literacy
To attain literacy in baking bread, it is important to touch the dough. Most of the descriptive language is tactile. It's also important to have guidance from a more experienced baker.
How did I learn?
Practice, repetition, and tons of failure
Specific Vocabulary
mixture of yeast, warm liquid, sugar, and flour that pre-ferments before making dough; 'biga' and 'poolish' are forms of sponges for sourdough bread

Social Context
Many of my earliest and happiest memories are of baking with my family, which set the stage for further interest later in life...
Personal Literacy: Baking Bread
NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English):

Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the 21st century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies. These literacies are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities, and social trajectories of individuals and groups.

NCTE Position Statement, NCTE Definition of 21st Century Literacies. http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/21stcentdefinition

Baking is linked to my 'particular history'
Baking BREAD is one aspect of my
'range of abilities and
One of the major differences between types of baking is the leavening. Leavening is the method used to incorporate air bubbles into the dough.
Mechanical leavening
Chemical leavening
Biological leavening
Beating egg whites or creaming butter and sugar are forms of mechanical leavening.
Baking soda and baking powder are forms of chemical leavening.
Yeasts, both wild and commercially produced, are forms of biological leavening.
Breads made with wild yeast are called "sourdough."
Melissa Marshall, LLED 350
Rise vs. Proof
Both terms refer to the resting period for dough to ferment — but what is the difference?
Gluten development
gluten provides the structure for most bread and must be developed during the mixing and kneading process; bread with insufficient gluten development has a hard, crumbly texture and doesn't rise well
combine ingredients until elastic and slightly tacky (not sticky)
Not ready...
Ready to knead!
extra mixing with hands to further develop gluten; must stretch, fold, and turn dough simultaneously
After kneading, this dough is smooth, elastic, and springy
When is the bread finished baking?
The bread should be brown and sound hollow when tapped.
My whole family likes to cook and bake, but bread-baking is specifically something that my father and I often did together as a special project.

My middle school offered a Home Ec course, but I knew more about baking than my teacher.

As an adult, I enrolled in several baking courses.
My Definition
Literacy is the ability to decode and understand some form of subject-specific knowledge and to be able to use that knowledge either in different applications or to further your understanding of the subject.
The community that possesses this literacy:
Improving Baking
The best ways to gain further literacy in baking would be to enroll in more classes or to bake professionally.
I made this
pain au chocolat
in a baking class!
Baking Literacy Focus
Because baking encompasses a wide range of literacies, my personal literacy focuses on bread leavened with commercially produced yeast.
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