Last we talked, I was just working on ciabatta and focaccia. That was followed my many things!
Sorry, this might be a long, catch-up post...
Next up in class was sourdough. Not my favorite bread but it was fun to make. We have a good sour starter going at school so it had a very good taste. Unfortunately, I made it on a Friday and not in time to get it checked. I had to freeze it and so Alan didn't get it fresh. I was pretty sad about that.
The next week of class was pretty hectic. Our group is working through some 'issues' and it definitely showed in our work. Some of our items just didn't work out. I will be going in early this week to try some of the items again.
Let's talk about some of the items that did work out. Bürli is a fantastic artisan bread. I has a great flavor and color. It is a small loaf. I don't have much to say about it other than we ate the entire loaf. We cut it into slices and I had mine toasted with 'The Bees Knees' peanut butter. :)
Next in class was more artisan breads. Pugliese, como, and pan au levain. Pan au levain is a bit sour and has a nice crumb. The pugliese has an interesting crumb with holes, kind of like ciabatta. The como was my favorite of the three. We ended up using it to make BLTs. It makes a great sandwich bread. Mmmmmmmm...
The next thing we worked on is a process called autolyse. Autolyse refers to a period of rest after you mix the flour and water. You do this before the addition of yeast and other ingredients. We made two loaves of rye bread, one using the regular method and one using autolyse. We did this as an experiment to see the pros and cons of each method. In the end, it seems that the autolyse might be more time efficient if you have a good process set up, it also made a dough that was much easier to work with, better crumb, and the color was better too.
After all this bread, is where our group started to break down. Bread time was a bit less hectic. We then started working on sweet dough and brioche. Stuff that takes time, patience, and the brains enough to really measure exactly. The dough recipes were used for multiple items so if you mess up the dough, you mess up multiple skill checks. Ugh.
The sticky buns turned out ok, not great, but ok. The cinnamon roles were awful. The brioche turned into hockey pucks. The donuts were overproofed. The dough is extremely sticky and takes time to work with it. The proofing is also very tricky. I will be doing all of these again this week.
On Friday, we worked on a couple of interesting things. Panettone, an Italian bread, generally found in stores around Christmas time. It is a rich bread with pistachios, golden raisins, regular raisins, and candied orange peel. Chef told me it makes great french toast. I will confirm that. It makes GREAT french toast. We used a mini loaf for that and then I gave a loaf to some friends in Eugene.
The other thing we worked on was baba. This dough/batter is richer than the brioche we made and is baked in molds that are thimble shaped. Once baked, you let them get stale and then you soak them in a spiced/flavored simple syrup that has rum or some other spirit. It is supposed to soak up better if stale. We didn't do any of the soaking business. We just baked them and they looked lovely. They got tall and are a good golden color (we got them checked off today!).
This week, we will be working on laminated doughs. That means bricks of butter, croissants and danish pastries.