Bake Shop Skills

Grandma Coombs

My Grandma Lois was a great cook and baker. Every summer on our annual week-long visit she would feed us so much food we wouldn’t need to eat for months. Homemade bread with every meal. Almost everything was made from scratch. She seemed to be in the kitchen all day long.

In an effort to become a better baker myself I have enrolled in an 18 week Bake Shop Skills class. I plan on posting pictures, recipes and techniques I learn in the class here. Class started on the 18th of January.

One of the things we learned in the first class was gluten content of wheat-based flours. I knew that the different varieties of flour had different gluten content, but had no idea how much or what difference it made.

Gluten is a protein that forms when liquid is added to the flour and the mixture is agitated. The more agitation the more gluten that is produced (flours with higher gluten content will produce more gluten when agitated as well). I’m sure there will be much more on this subject as it affects texture and density of bread. Its no wonder some things I have baked have turned out with odd textures and consistencies – I have left things in the Kitchen Aid mixing for way too long, while I watched TV or talked with my partner.

Here is a basic chart of the gluten content in common flours:

Gluten Content of Flour
14% Bread
11% All Purpose (AP)
8% Pastry
7% Cake

Good luck finding Pastry flour or reasonably priced cake flour in your regular super market – most only have AP and Bread flours.


  1. I don’t think I have seen that picture. Oh, I miss her! And I miss her cooking! I look forward to reading your blog. Your class schedule sounds like so much fun. I cant wait to hear where your field trip is!

  2. Hey Jeff!
    I love your blog, I feel like I don’t have to take notes anymore!
    I’m very excited about the class and can’t wait for thursday to be here.

  3. Monica – that picture is from Melanie – so I think she has the original. Its a cool picture isnt is? I’m looking for the one of Grandma and Grandpa in the kitchen (its a black and white one from the beat explosion – I’ve seen it before so I know someone must have a copy…) The class is a lot of fun:) I cant wait for the weekend so I can bake something.

    Rafi – LOL – this weeks was almost a direct copy from my notes – but I imagine its really what I found interesting from the class because I left a couple things off that she said.

    Thanks for the comments:)

  4. Are you talking about the picture that Wendy has on Facebook? The one where Grandma is putting a bandage on Grandpa wearing an apron? I asked her for a copy but she never responded. I would love a copy of that one. I will have to ask her again.

    1. You mean this one?

      Its nice but Im thinking of the one where the beets exploded all over the wall (I think its in the genealogy book as a photo copy)

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