Rachel Crawford had a love of making sourdough long before the coronavirus pandemic started the world's obsession with baking bread.
The CIT retail baking student had become friends with her sourdough starter and enjoys the time-consuming and therapeutic process of proving the dough.
"It's literally flour, water, salt, and you can create this amazing thing that will turn out different every single time, depending on one tiny little tweak that you make to the recipe," Miss Crawford said.
She will be putting her baking skills to the ultimate test in the WorldSkills national championships in Perth next month. After it was postponed multiple times, Australia's best apprentices will finally have the chance to compete. The winners will then go on to the international competition in Shanghai next year.
Over three intense days, the competitors in the retail baking section will have to make every product they normally would learn during their apprenticeship.
"We've got to do some sourdoughs, baguettes, croissants, danishes, white breads, grain breads, brioche - a little bit of everything.
"We've just got to try and manage our time and make sure that we're getting products to a specific weight that's given to us and also using specific ingredients as well that we have to pretty much learn to use."
Competitors have also been asked to design and create a bread sculpture to the theme 'taste of Australia', similar to the showstopper round in the Great Australian Bake Off.
"It's definitely been the most difficult part of the competition for training for me, that's for sure," Miss Crawford said.
Her creation will have an Australian nature theme and is likely to showcase a massive Aussie meat pie.
She's also been dabbling with Australian native ingredients such as lemon myrtle and Tasmanian pepperberry.
When CIT classes return next week, she'll be taking her preparations to the next level. Guided by her teachers and mentor, she'll be practising under the time constraints she'll face during the real competition.
"I've been in training for this for over a year now, going into CIT two times a week just to make sure that I'm as prepared as I can be.
"It's a very supportive environment and I'm so lucky to be able to train in this in this situation that I have."
With both parents being chefs by trade, it seemed inevitable she would end up working with food.
"It's just kind of always been in the family, so growing up I was cooking with them and my first job was helping my mum in the food van... I haven't seen myself being able to do anything else."
She looks up to the incredible creations of Las Vegas pastry chef Amaury Guichon and would love to learn from the top pastry chefs in France one day.
Despite her work and study life being dominated by baking and food, she still bakes for friends and family in her down time.
"I still make sourdough on my days off. I love it, I just have to do it," she said.
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