End of demo weeks

Croissants made in the lab

Sour rye w/dried apricots. Cinnamon buns

Orange pistacchio biscotti and croissants
Tomorrow is our last day for level 2 demos which has been everything from lean to rich doughs and laminated ones to donuts. We recently made croissants and various products using danish laminated dough. Compared to making laminated puff pastry I would say they are more frustrating because of how difficult it is to roll out the dough. The croissant dough gets tougher after every turn while the danish is soft and sticky making it difficult to ensure even lamination of butter. Next week I will be on the laminated station so hopefully I will be able to get these down buy the end of next week. :)


Level 2...START!

This is the beginning week of our level two classes and so far it has being a lot of fun. We have learned how to make various shapes and sizes of bread and buns including: baguette, whole wheat and white loaves, dinner buns, epis rye and other items like bagels. Everything needs to go into the proofer ( a mildly humid and warm environment where yeast can quickly multiply and give volume) pretty early in the morning so by the time 10:30 rolls around we are done producing and just focus on baking and packaging.
 It’s a shame we aren’t able to create artisan style breads in this level because I have been curious in how they are made, with their crisp crust and openly porous centers. Rolling small buns is something to get the hang of and using both hands is going to take some work; it’s not a simple roll into a ball method but the dough is rolled tightly as to create a nice round and smooth surface.

My good friends from animation threw a BBQ last night ( such a good time) and since the tiramisu I made last time was such a hit I decided to make it again. I never fold in raw egg whites into the mascarpone but this time I had a brilliant idea of folding in Italian meringue!
Egg whites when foamed and folded in give a nice light volume to the cream but the idea of eating raw whites turns me off and throwing in whipped cream is just blasphemy!
So instead I used Italian meringue which is basically whipped egg whites but they are cooked by slowly pouring in very hot syrup. The volume created this way is nearly double that of French meringue and a lot more stable, plus it creates an awesome white colour.
  For the mascarpone base I do the usual egg yolk vanilla bean custard folded into the REAL mascarpone (in Italy the cows feed on various wild herbs and flowers giving the cream a distinctive aroma rather than what you will find locally).
I have to say this variance worked out really well! The cream is smooth but light and tastes awesome!


Practical 1

This week we had our practical exam so it was a very long and unnecessarily stressful week. It really ended up not being too bad; some of us really worked ourselves up too much over it so when it was all over we kinda shot ourselves in the foot on that one.

We had to make two dozen of each: blueberry muffins, raisin scones, turnovers, rosettes and shell sand cookies. We also had to make two bars of strudels, three apple pies and a tray of brownies. We got two days to complete everything including finishing off and decorating. It may seem a lot but when you plan it out on paper it really runs smoothly.

I was able to make both the puff and pie dough on the first day as well as the brownies, sand cookies, raisin scones and muffins. I also had enough time to roll out my pie dough for the next day. On day two I made the puff pastries and pies and finished off the brownies.

It was a busy week in general, glad it is over, and so marks the end of level one. Next level is breads and sweet yeast goods.