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About This Blog

The Unabaker Speaks is the record of my ongoing explorations, and observations regarding the craft of cooking with a primary though not exclusive focus upon pastry making, bread craft, the elements of bread science, and world bread making traditions. The Unabaker Speaks is dedicated to sharing knowledge, and teaching beginners.

I have no monetary goals with this blog. There are no advertisements. I do not make endorsements, or accept anything for mentioning another person's work. I only attend to the blog on occasions when the mood strikes, or the weather is not conducive for work outside, or for riding my bike. The Unabaker Speaks is simply a place to park some thoughts and writings, to record and display, and encourage others the use of my Kitchen, Bread and Bake Shop calculating tools. Those tools are unique and useful. If anything at all comes from this blog, making them available to any interested cook or baker is enough. Sharing knowledge, and suggesting better ways to do the same thing is always part of The Unabaker syllabus. 

I hope to provide an undiluted account of my personal experience, trials and errors, and the values that emerged from a forty-year professional and personal quest. As a student of Philosophy and Logic, a writer and traveler, Unabaker has a different take on the art and craft of cooking and baking, its trends, and the industry that allows it to flourish. His unique, sometimes humorous perspective regarding the important role these play in the overall intellectual and emotional well-being of a community is displayed in these pages.

As the site develops, so too a catalogue of kitchen recipes and baker's formulae, along with practical suggestions, expert tips and detailed methodology. Articles focused upon specific aspects of the craft, as well as book reviews, and unvarnished reports of my personal cooking and baking projects will be continuous, if intermittent, threads. Since I reside in Thailand, occasional rambles relating to how to bake when it gets really, really hot, reports of travels, observations about Thai culture and cuisine, and why it's taken me almost 10 years in that happy kingdom to achieve bare functional literacy will hopefully provide less demanding, and perhaps amusing reading.

The Unabaker Speaks honors the memory, the efforts, and the friendship of all of those who have toiled alongside. 


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The Kitchen Formula Calculator v3

The Kitchen Formula Calculator v3 is a formula writing tool I developed in 2020. It’s specifically designed for recipes that cooks, not bakers, make. In other words, everything, but bread. It provides an efficient format for composing recipes, is easy to read, and using it quickly becomes second nature after a few entries. The Kitchen Formula Calculator is a record keeping device, a recipe development tool, and an analytical tool. To be able to compare various similar formulae is something all cooks do. For this, it’s exceptional.   If you’re a culinary instructor, using The Kitchen Formula Calculator teaches the metric system, the virtues of singular units of measure, describes a very useful recipe formatting style that can serve students their entire careers, and could be a central part of a course that teaches proper recipe writing skills. If this is not part of the syllabus, it ought to be. If you write commercial articles, or make professional seminar presentations, it will help

Birth of The Unabaker

For years, the Chef resisted all of McDoo's entreaties and cajoling. The pleading and rationalizing, the gentler persuasions, as well, the occasional conversation ending throwaway commentary about hard headedness, willfulness, and "stubbornosity" (a classic McDooism). All efforts of his longtime friend waved away with only bare considerations given. But, McDoo, stranger he was not to the old Chef's grumpy self assurance, persisted. Eventually, even boulders crumble, he reasoned. "Dammit Baker! What a pity? What luminous dumbness? What selfishness? How grossly inconsiderate, this hardness of heart! Damn your stoic intransigence! A pall upon kindness and duty! What about History, Philosophy, Art? What of Science, Aesthetics? How does Gastronomy carry on? Your place in the pantheon? What point be our petty lives if we cannot be remembered? If we cannot relinquish what we've learned?" McDoo's been known on occasions to put on grand airs; a flair for th

Meditations On Baking, Part 1

These notes reflect a learning curve that began as a chef’s apprentice in 1979. By 2005 during a less glorious career phase I had reached a temporary stopping point, so I began a compilation of my Chef’s notes as a distraction. Originally intended as a gift for my first-born son which I hoped would put the baker's fire in him, it took initial form as a short and sweet how-to guide with an accompanying formula calculating tool, and a jar of sourdough culture. I’ve been reading and studying baking, and adding notes ever since. The original very modest formula calculator has undergone fifteen updates, each one elaborating and refining the design, as well as functions and practical applications. I intend to post it in the near future, along with a quick start guide, plus a much more detailed guide for more advanced bakers. By the time this project began, my son was 22. He had trained in my kitchens, wetting his feet at age nine, and growing up surrounded by talented cooks. His i