What is it About Bakers?

What is it about bakers? Do they unknowingly smell like baked goods like a secret pheromone effect? When learning someone is a professional baker, do you suddenly feel happy and hungry? I know I do. It seems like some sort of magic that basic ingredients like flour, water, yeast, and salt can inspire such a diversity of baked goods. They are very passionate about what they do. Many are bakers by birth. They have flour running in their blood! Without bakers shaping civilization, we may still be eating whole grain gruel fried on rocks.

How did this profession evolve?

We know our relationship with food changed with the discovery of fire. It was a short time in the scope of human evolution before cooking with fire was transformed into baking in ovens. The Romans were the first to formalize baking into a profession. Organizations were created to ensure bread quality and innovation in early Rome. When baking for an emperor you better have your quality system in place!

By the Middle Ages bread fell out of favor. Much like today’s craze of low carb diets and gluten inducing health concerns, people of the middle ages gave up bread due to crop failure, disease, and nomadic barbarians.


Bread stated making a comeback by the end of the Middle Ages and bakers guilds formed in France (1200 AD). The guild was called Tameliers, which translated to flour sifters, had a four year apprenticeship. Bakers had become recognized for the skill involved in baking as a profession. Being a member of a guild provided many benefits. A baker who supplied bread to a hospital could exchange bread for medical care. By the end of the Middle Ages, production of bread followed laws written by the guilds and royalty. Bakers guilds were highly regarded and bakers were seen as skilled artisans.

Bakers had become a necessary part of their communities.

Providing nutritious well-crafted baked goods to neighbors and a source of income for entire families. The renaissance saw the increase in regulations for the baking tradesmen. Laws regulated pricing, weight of finished goods, production, and adulteration of ingredients of bakeries.

You could say that bread was the first government regulated processed food.

Eventually the industrial revolution hit and many aspects of baking became mechanized. New bakery equipment helped bakers keep up with the growing demands for baked goods. Bakers now utilized technology and science to produce constantly delicious nutritious bread.  The art of baking is still dominant in the profession with many bakers still tracing family ties back many generations.

Several organizations exist today to support bakers and the baking industry. When the first baker mastered the first fluffy loaf of bread, they taught the next and so on and so on. That tradition continues today. Bakers learn from each other. You can’t teach passion, but once the flour gets into your blood you are sure to become part of the family.

For more information on the history of bread baking checkout The Science of Baking: A history of bread. And everything baking related be sure to stop by BAKERpedia!

dough bread bakers


bakery-bread-eb90-weight gain from bread

Bread Makes You Fat

This was the immediate reaction from family and friends when I told them about my plan to embark on a 90-Day bread-eating journey. But I know weight gain from bread is a myth. This is no late-night whim. The truth is, I’ve been considering doing this for a long time. It started with a thought: “What if I can eat my favorite food—bread—every day?” Then it grew into a challenge:

“What if I can eat a loaf of bread every day?”

A quick check on the nutrition labels of my bread at home proved that this challenge made sense. I could definitely eat a loaf everyday, get all the nutrition I need to stay healthy and not put on weight. Just to make sure, I brought in Registered and Licensed Dietitian Connie Evers, MSc., to keep a watchful eye on my calorie-intake and BMI.

How much bread can you eat and not gain weight?

Basically, succeeding in this challenge comes down to input vs output. I’m in my mid 40s, size 6-8 (which fluctuates between summer and winter) and 145 lbs. I don’t smoke or drink and I don’t take any recreational or prescription drugs. I am a mother of three boys, an entrepreneur, scientist, foodie, baker, Chihuly fan and a lover of the outdoors who runs, cycles and swims at least three times a week. Other than that, I lead a normal life. My eating habits and cravings are pretty normal. Some people may even call me…boring.


So why not challenge people’s negative perception of eating bread, while eating my fill of delicious loaves? I’m not worried about weight gain from bread, because as a baker I’ve been working with bread and researching it for a long, long time.

I contacted all my baker friends and told them about the challenge. Their reaction? Immediately sending over loaves and loaves of bread with all the nutritional labels intact! I have been so overwhelmed with their support! Not only are they cheering me on but they are also keen on providing me with my lots of bread. I feel so loved.

thanks-support-eb90-weight gain from bread

I should explain how I know all these bakers. My business, BAKERpedia, serves the commercial baking industry. We provide a knowledge base that is freely available to help bakers with all their scientific questions. We also offer technical support and consulting services to bakeries who are at the tipping point of business expansion. In the short two and a half years BAKERpedia’s been in business, I’ve met a lot of wonderful people in the food industry who are hungry for knowledge. Most of them are searching for reliable information and ways to be innovative with their products.

I’m proud to say we have always done our best to help all bakers and equipment suppliers to enhance their businesses and have generally helped the entire baking ecosystem thrive. If this is their way of giving back to BAKERpedia, I am deeply touched and definitely encouraged—not only to continue making BAKERpedia a success, but to go all out on this ambitious bread-eating journey.

Taking on the challenge

Today is the very first day of my challenge, and the list of bakers who want to send me bread keeps growing. That means, I get to eat more of my favorite food for free over the next 90 days! If you run a bakery and would like to support me, send your lovely loaves to:

707 SW Washington St., #1100, Portland, OR 97205. Attn: Ms Ana Rinck, Operations Manager, BAKERpedia. 

Thank you for feeding me and helping give bread a good name!