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  • Building Blocks with Membership Purchase

Building Blocks with Membership Purchase

  • 07/02/2024
  • 08/27/2024
  • 5 sessions
  • 07/02/2024, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EDT)
  • 07/16/2024, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EDT)
  • 07/30/2024, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EDT)
  • 08/13/2024, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EDT)
  • 08/27/2024, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EDT)
  • Zoom


  • Level 1 Bundle includes 2 members.
  • Level 2 Bundle includes up to 3 members.
  • Level 3 Bundle includes 5 members.
  • Level 4 Bundle includes 7 members.
  • Level 5 Bundle includes 9 members.
  • Level 6 Bundle includes 12 members.
  • Level 7 Bundle includes 15 members.


Building Blocks Series:  

  • July 2 - 4-5PM EDT - Steps in Bread Baking 
  • July 16 - 4-5PM EDT - Ingredients & Their Functions
  • July 30 - 4-5PM EDT - Baker's Math
  • August 13 - 4-5PM EDT - Mixing Styles
  • August 27 - 4-5PM EDT - Yeasted Preferments

All bread baking builds upon foundational knowledge. We work from a standard set of building blocks to make consistent, reproducible breads; those blocks are critical tools in our baking practice. Bakers speak a common language and understand the world of formulas using a simplified mathematical approach. Ingredients play fundamental roles. Predictable scientific transformations happen in controlled environments. Deepen your knowledge of these baking facts while providing consistency in your baking outcomes. Create predictability in your schedule, clarity in communication with other bakers, and accelerate your education. 

This robust series is available only to members of the Guild.  Join today so that you can learn with us.  Memberships are available for individuals and for companies.  Company-level memberships allow you to include team members and colleagues in the benefits of membership, including enrolling additional students for this series.  You can join and register for Building Blocks at the same time here.

Building Blocks también se ofrecerá en español a partir de septiembre. Únase a nuestra lista de correo para obtener más información.  (Building Blocks will also be offered in Spanish starting in September. Join our mailing list to learn more.)

Steps in Bread Baking - July 2 (4 - 5 PM)

Bread baking follows a specific routine. Understanding what is happening in these fundamental steps and how to adjust and refine the timeline allows the baker to control the process rather than the product controlling the baker. Recognizing the measurable scientific transformations in the baking timeline also allows the baker to employ best practices for production and problem-solve common flaws. 

Ingredients & Their Functions - July 16 (4 - 5 PM)

Just a few ingredients can yield innumerable outcomes if you understand how to manage each ingredient and how it behaves during mixing and baking. Join us to understand the properties of everyday items such as flour, fat, salt, yeast, and eggs and how to manipulate them to achieve your desired product characteristics. 

Baker's Math - July 30 (4 - 5 PM)

Skilled and experienced bakers view their formulas mathematically, using a set of ratios to determine a formulation. Understanding these simple ratios and manipulations allows bakers to anticipate outcomes before they ever scale an ingredient and to formulate it accurately. The bonus is that this technique directly translates into accurate, scalable growth, saving the baker time and money. Once you’ve cracked the code of baker’s math, you’ll wonder how you ever baked without this understanding. 

Mixing Styles - August 13 (4 - 5 PM)

In the era of automated mixers, it’s easy to fall into a mindset of automation. How and how much you mix your dough directly impacts the final product's texture, flavor, shelf life, and overall quality. Not all doughs can use the same approach to mixing.  Join us to learn best practices in controlling fermentation, crumb quality, and volume through understanding the three common mixing styles: short, improved, and intensive. 

Yeasted Preferments - August 27 (4 - 5 PM)

Not all preferments are created equal! Minor changes in your preferment and dough make-up can yield dramatic differences in outcomes. Understand the role of hydration, salt, and yeast percentages in your final product's timeline, flavor, and texture. We will explore using pate fermentee, poolish, biga, and sponges. 

Melina Kelson, Education and Events Manager

Melina Kelson has always been happiest making, discussing, and enjoying thoughtfully prepared foods. Melina is a Certified Master Baker, Certified Executive Pastry Chef, a Certified Bread Baker, Certified Viennoiserie Baker, Certified Sous Chef, and Certified Hospitality Educator. She spent 18 years teaching baking and pastry arts in a highly regarded professional program. There, she took the lead on writing artisan bread and laminated dough classes and helped drive the curriculum along the path of continuous improvement.

She served four terms on the Board of Directors of The Bread Bakers Guild of America, and was the three-time Director of WheatStalk (Camp Bread) and the chair of the Certification Committee, which has written defining and well-regarded levels for bakers. She has been the Education and Events Manager for the Bread Bakers Guild of America since 2022.

Her deep commitment to sustainability informs her approach to baking and living. An edible landscape surrounds her wood-fired oven, where she operated a micro-bakery, Bootleg Batard, just outside Chicago. She also partners with local small grain associations for grain research and development in a changing environment.

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Questions about membership? Please contact us:

The Bread Bakers Guild of America
P.O. Box 8679
Cranston, RI 02920

T - 707.935.1468
E -

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