Why baking is in my DNA

Passion, it’s all about passion. Not only for baking, it is something more, it is something that we (I have a twin brother and I often use “we”), well, I have in my DNA.

My grandfather was a baker, a pastry chef, he started working in a bakery when he was 7 years old. He spent his whole life in his workshop and even after his retirement he continued to work in bakeries, he helped lots of young bakers to learn the “white art”. He was really inspiring. When I was 6 or 7 I used to spend hours in his bakery, staring at him, at his gestures, at his incredibly fast movements, all in perfect sync.

My father was blind, since he was 3 years old, so he had to develop alternative skills. He was great in many ways, he was a Philosophy teacher at the high school and he was also able to do incredible things with his hands. I learned from him to repair a cassette recorder, to replace a broken water pipe, to build small wood objects, to play piano, to swim, even to fish (our family comes from Portovenere, close to the Cinque Terre, in Liguria, Italy). This explains why I love to use my hands to get in touch with the world around me. Baking is sort of the paradigm of using hands. Hands, flour, water and salt. Nothing else, well, one more thing, passion. Without passion you could easily give up, baking is rewarding but it also requires a lot of patience and time.

I’ve a degree in Law, I’ve been working in the Information Technology industry for almost 20 years, in different countries, but I would stop working tomorrow if I had the opportunity to start a bakery. My roots are in the past, in the small, simple things. From this point of view, baking bread is something ancestral. My dream is to buy a country house, with a big garden where to grow everything I need, to bake bread, to go “off grid”.

So far this is a dream, I keep working with computers, I travel a lot (50-60 flights per year) but every time I can spend one or two days at home, with the beloved ones, I bake bread, croissants, pancakes, focaccia and we love it.

Copyright © Stefano Ferro 2017-2018

This post appeared for the first time in July 2017 on www.weekendbakery.com, a Dutch website dedicated to home baking. Read here the original version.


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