Monday, January 31, 2011

Bread Basket

Okeedoke, we have a lot to get through, so here we go:

So, the first thing we have is from last Tuesday was a big deal for me. BAGELS!! I was so excited to get to make these, and I was also quite surprised by how easy they are to make. I mean, not easy, but not nearly the process I though they'd be.I have to say, they turned out pretty well. But, of course, everything tastes better when you've made them yourself, right? It's that taste of achievement. So, as you can see, we dug into them a little early. Dinner was kind of mediocre that night, and our chef had gotten some cream cheese. Could you blame us?

On that same night, we got to make baguettes. Now, FCI baguettes have the reputation of being some of the best in the city, and I have to agree. Whenever we get them in class, they're delicious and happy-making. So, of course, we were excited to make these ourselves. Ours were pretty good, but one of the downsides to our pastry kitchen is that we don't have bread ovens. So, a lot of our breads, baguettes included, don't get quite as crusty as you would like. That being said, the unit has been a great overview of bread-baking.

 The next thing we have are a little hard to see in the picture. They're five grain rolls, made with flax, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, and oats, and I have to say, I was a little unimpressed. I felt they were kind of dry, and I'm someone who loves multigrain bread. Oh well, maybe the recipe needs a little tweaking for my tastes.

And now we come to the oat bread, another whole grain bread. I thought this one was also a little dry for my tastes...surprising since it has dried milk powder and lard in it. Oops...did you think oat bread was healthy?! Well, it only had a little bit of lard, but still!

Ok, now on to some amazing Danish. I know some of these pictures are hard to see. I accidentally wrapped everything up before I took pictures, and it was too late (and I was too cranky) to open everything back up to take some better pictures. Hopefully, you get a good idea. Anyway, the last danish we made were all made the same way: almond cream, nuts, and raisin, all rolled up into a swirl, but these were different. We were able to take this dough and add different fillings (cream cheese, cherry and blueberry compotes, almond cream, nuts, etc) and make them into a variety of shapes (turnovers, pinwheels, bowties, bear claws, etc). I made most of mine with cream cheese filling and fruit compote, and a few others with almond and pecans. To put it succinctly....they were freaking awesome. Just sayin'.

Another repeat from the Viennoiserie unit were croissants. Oh darn, you mean I get more croissants? Well, these are going to be on our test this week, so it's good that we got a bit of a review. However, instead of manually cutting each piece, we got to use a croissant cutter, a specialized tool that looks like a rolling pin with little cut-outs on it. It certainly makes it easier to cut them, that's for sure. This time, we made almond croissants, ham and cheese croissants, and pains au chocolat...otherwise known as "the next day's breakfast." Go ahead,'re right to be jealous.

 Next up we have the tarte flambee. I'm not sure why this is called a tarte flambee, since nothing is actually flambeed. However, it's baguette dough that has been made into a pizza shape, and then topped with custard, gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and bacon. Oh man, does that sound good or what?!

And here's my partner, Berfe, enjoying her slice of tarte flambee!

And finally, we come to Saturday's class. We'll start off with the two muffins we made, banana and corn. They were great, but I think the corn muffins would've been better with whole corn kernels and diced jalapenos in them, but they were pretty damn good, nonetheless.

We also made ciabatta breads. Delicious!

We also made pizza dough, which we used in pissaladiere. Ok, I wasn't crazy about this at all! Caramelized onions, nicoise olives, and anchovies?! That's a LOT of flavor. I know it's a classic, but it's not for me.

What I can get behind, however, is sweet potato brioche. Oh yeah! We made ours three ways. One had caramelized shallot and blue cheese, one had a sweet potato custard and pecans, and the third was a craquelin, a Belgian-style brioche that is filled with sugar cubes that had been mascerated in orange (so that you got a little pop of orange sweetness when you bit into it...amazing).

Lastly, we have a flourless chocolate cake that I made at home for Adam's office. I was really happy with how this came out, and it was big hit at the office!

Phew...that's about it, I guess. I have one more class of breads before the exam, and then we go into petits fours. Should be fun!

1 comment:

  1. I am truly impressed. The funny thing is that the breads you don't like are the ones I don't like. I know you hate to hear this, but "like mother, like son." Keep up the good work and good luck on your exam.