By Baker/Chef Adam “The Bearded Baker” Majewski
Though I kept the Bearded Baker’s last MasterClass pretty short, I hope that it was enough to keep you going on your journey through baking, whether as a hobby or a possible career. I didn’t go too far in-depth with each category of Bakehouse sanitation for a few different reasons. First being that in general, I feel a more in-depth MasterClasses on each category would be best to help inform others wanting to learn more. Second, I feel that a full MasterClass just on Food Storage is needed due to there being a lot to talk about when it comes to storing food and/or product.
Now when starting on a journey of learning to bake, many find it very scary, and for good reason, baking is a very technical form of cooking and depending on how much you decide to learn as a baker, it becomes very scientific over time. This also can include the ability to properly store food, based on when it needs to be used or when you want to use it.
To begin, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a home baker or a professional baker, and in fact whether you be a home cook or career chef, there are many types of storage for food, however there are only 2 basic forms of storage used by the majority of bakeries, restaurants, and other food establishments, that being Dry Storage and Cold Storage.
The type of storage to be employed is more or less based on the ingredients you have in your home or food establishment. Also, the proportion of dry storage to cold storage is based on what dishes or types of baked items you are creating in your kitchen or bakehouse/bakery. When you are baking unless you are using a lot of high perishable items such as ingredients for fruit-based pies, custard items, Ice cream, things that need refrigerations, most of your ingredients are considered dry storage items. Why this is because of the majority of the base ingredients which bakers use are things that do not need refrigeration of any kind; these items include but are not limited to, flour, sugar whether granulated or glucose-based, spices, salt, pepper, extracts, most fats, dried fruits, chocolate.
The items which need to be refrigerated normally are things that have a high perishability rate. These again include yet are not limited to Dairy Products, occasionally meat products, finished products, fish-based products, anything that normally perishes within a few days. Now there are a few items which many people get very confused about, wondering if you need to put in the refrigerator or if you can actually let them sit on the counter. Some of these items consist of, but again are not limited to, Eggs, Butter, Chocolate, Bananas, Apples, Melons, Pineapple. The two I really wanna talk about are eggs and butter, the reason is, that for both of these ingredients it all depends on circumstance. For the most part eggs as long as they’re in their shells, and as long as their shells don’t have any cracks in them they can be left at room temperature on your counter. As long as it is in their shell they will not go bad, at least for the most part. However the thing about as for eggs, the protein within the egg no matter what will degrade over time which then, in turn, changes the mouthfeel during cooking. And I would suggest that you still put eggs in the refrigerator, but only because putting your eggs in a chilled environment that doesn’t freeze them, will slow down the degradation process of the proteins. Also once you crack the eggs you either need to cook them immediately, or pack them in an airtight container, and refrigerate.
Butter as the other somewhat circumstantial ingredient, you can actually keep butter at room temperature, and you don’t have to worry about it going bad. The only thing you have to watch out for if you keep your butter at room temp is, rancidity. You do also need to make sure to cover the butter as well if you leave it on the counter, because if you don’t it will attract rodents, and if you have a cat they will attempt to lick at it if uncovered.
Before moving on to the next subject matter in the Bearded Baker MasterClasses, I would like to say though this is an expanded MasterClass from my sanitation MasterClass, it is still only a tip of a very large iceberg on food storage. I would also suggest everyone and anyone interested, learn all they can on food storage, as well general food preservation.
Until next time;
Love, Peace, And Chicken Grease!