Monday, December 14, 2009

Rough Week

I'm a little behind on the blogging once again, but this is my meager attempt to get up to speed. I've been battling a miserable head cold for most of the week (including today) so I haven't been feeling up for writing much. However, since this is the last week of class until January 4 I figured I should post a little something before the holiday break.

Man Can't Live On Bread Alone
We've been working on both quick breads and yeast breads, and let me tell you, I don't think breads are my forte. Last week, we were tested on our bread-making skills and were given the task of individually making an apple spice bread and scones. We've been working in teams for everything (and will be throughout the course for the most part), so the exam was the first time we've flown solo. Plus, we could only bring the list of ingredients, meaning we had to memorize the procedure.

Needless to say, this didn't go well for a lot of people — myself included. My spice bread was way too salty because I think my pinch of salt must have been too pinchy. That's really frustrating since my team had experience with the spice bread already so it should have come out fine. Grrr. My scones weren't great but they were at least edible. My team, and I think one other team, were never assigned scones during class (we got spice bread and crêpes), so we were kind of flying blind on that one. If you've never seen it made, it's hard to know that the scone dough is supposed to be super sticky, that it's best to mix it with your hands instead of a mixer or that you shouldn't roll it out much at all. The fact that they resembled scones at all was enough for me! All in all, last week was a bad baking week for me.

New Teams, More Bread

Every two weeks we are supposed to switch team members so that we can experience working with different personalities and skill levels. This week Chef Todd switched me from my partner Holly to my pastry pal Margaret. We already work great together at Paige's, so it's an extra special treat to be paired with her after my week of little failures. Today we worked on yeast breads, specifically brioche (first photo), focaccia (second photo), pretzels (third photo) and artisan-style rolls (last photo). I'm really breaded out at this point, but they did turn out pretty good. 
Photos are courtesy of Margaret and Autumn.

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