Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Introduction to Pastry and Baking: Class Two — Shaped Bread

“If you learn something new every day, you can teach something new every day.” Martha Stewart 

“The three W’s of baking: wheat + wet + work makes gluten” 
Reeni Aragon 

Shaped Bread Class: Knots, Swirls, and Braided Dinner Rolls
Cammi and I started cooking and baking together before I married her father back when she was six or seven years old. For those who know us, we are a good team in the kitchen and have catered some large cocktail parties and dinners together (she’s saved me on more than one occasion). Not only is Cammi a natural but she’s also a smart and fast worker.

Egg Wash on the Large Challah Breads
Our roles have been clearly defined, or at least until now: she’s the baker and I’m the cook. Now that we’re taking the Institute for Culinary Education’s 12-class Introduction to Pastry and Baking together, not only are we learning about techniques in the pastry kitchen, we are having to learn how to work together as a team and not just as each others helper.

Sliced Challah Bread
In our second class with Chef Reeni Aragon, who was substituting for Melanie Underwood, the class made shaped breads, traditional challah bread and braided/knotted dinner rolls. We made both of these eggy breads using the same dough, a "soft dough" which was made with 100% high-gluten flour, lots of eggs and slightly different proofing techniques.

Fougasse is a traditional Provencal Flatbread Similar to Focaccia
We also created a Provencal flatbread called fougasse, which looks like a tree.  

Fougasse Just Out of the Oven 
And, sesame seed flatbreads. Both the fougasse and flatbread were made from the same one-step bread dough that called for 50% all-purpose and 50% high-gluten flour.

We took turns measuring, mixing, kneading and shaping and both kept tracking of which dough was in the proofing box and when to pull each of the breads from the oven.

Twelve Braided Dinner Rolls

Perhaps, most importantly, we each took turns teaching each other and being taught. 

Shaped Dinner Rolls: Snail, Braid and Knot

In class three, we will move on to Pies and Tarts with Flaky Pastry Dough.

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