Welcome to Baker’s Hours

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Baker’s hours can be a rather flexible term. Among people in the industry it refers to the early morning hours around 4:00 in the morning when most bakers would start work to have breakfast pastries ready for sale when the bakery, or restaurant opens. Many bakers may chose to go a step further and work through the night finishing their day when the rest of the world is just waking up. One of my first jobs as a baker was working such a shift.

My day started off at 10:00 at night. I would work through the night like many others in my chosen field, finishing at 6:00 in the morning. I would then attend college courses from 8:00 – Noon before ending my day with an apprenticeship with a European Master Pastry Chef. As I look back on this ridiculously hectic time of my life, I realize that it was the hard work and sacrifices that I made then that has brought me to where I am now. Despite all the good in my life that has come as a result of that time, it also has its drawbacks.

As a result of the many long 20+ hour days I forced myself to endure, I now am a chronic insomniac. To be exact, I have what is called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, a common problem among shift workers. Put simply, while a normal person’s biological clock tells their brain to be active during the day, and sleep at night, my body clock tells my brain to be active during the night, and sleep during the day.

Now that I no longer work those over night shifts anymore, I have been able to acclimate myself to a somewhat “normal” sleep pattern. Still, there are nights when I lay in bed unable to turn off my brain. As a result, the title ‘Baker’s Hours’ as I use it, refers to the time when I usually write… at night.

Despite the title, this blog will cover a broad range of topics not necessarily about baking, but still related to the food industry as a whole. If it concerns anything to do with bread, pastry, chocolate, sugar, desserts, or food in general for that matter, I’ll probably be writing about it here.

I claim to be an expert of nothing. I just happen to have technical knowledge gained from my years of working in the food service industry that may be helpful to the average person. Besides, to me, calling yourself an expert in anything would imply that you know everything there is to know about that given topic. The way I look at it is that there are always… ALWAYS learning opportunities out there, and no matter how informed you think you are there is always… ALWAYS someone out there who knows more than you.

Labels that I will gladly associate myself with are: Proficient, Capable, Talented, Skilled, Adept, Competent, Dexterous, Practiced, Knowledgeable, Qualified, and Accomplished. At the risk of sounding pretentious, maybe I’ll even let Brilliant slide in too.

Welcome to Baker’s Hours

1 comments
chant808
chant808

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome... wow, I have that too, from working nights for so many years. People don't understand, and I had no idea there was an actual term for it. Sounds like you've had some fascinating experiences. Look forward to reading your insights!

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