Monday, November 9, 2009

A Warm, Crusty Baguette!

It feels good to be baking again! I just started "P-Block" (weird) which is more commonly known as "Specialty Breads". YAY! I love breads. I love working with them, smelling them baking, and learning more about breads in general. You can be a little bit rough and a little bit gentle, and you have to be able to "know" things by using your eyes and hands to tell if the dough is just right! It's an ancient process and food, and it's so cool to be able to participate in the process. We're doing the same thing that alllll those people back in the day did!

I had to wake up at 4am this morning, and since it was the first day of class, I had the classic "I can't sleep" sleep. Waking up every hour, worried I'd miss my alarm, or forget something crucial, having bad dreams, etc. Not good! I knew it was going to be a long day.

My partner and I, in addition to our regular schedule, were also "stewards". So we had to arrive early enough at the storeroom to pick up the food order, deliver it, put it all away, bring the cart back, grab dishes and utensils for our breakfast bar, and later on take care of trash, sanitation, and assign cleaning duties at the end of the day. It was a lot of responsibility for Day 1 of the class, but we did a good job!

This is a production class, so there's no time to lollygag! Each station makes a few breads and every two days we'll rotate to get a feel for all of them. I was on the "enriched dough" station, meaning the bread is more than just the basic 4 ingredients (flour, water, yeast, and salt) - it's got fats, dairy, nuts, etc.

We got to make up some sunflower seed rolls, as well as brioche! It looked and smelled so delicious in the mixer, and we'll bake it off tomorrow! We also scaled out some ingredients for another bread we'll mix and bake tomorrow: Day of the Dead bread. Interesting!

At the end of the day, we will usually do product evaluation. Chef K will look over the breads, cut them open, and we'll all observe and taste, making comments on what's good and what needs improvement.

Today we got sent home with some fresh bread! I nabbed a half of a baguette and some butter.. yum what a tasty snack! I had just enough time to attempt a short nap between class and work.

I've still got some more pictures from my chocolates class to share, so I'll put those up sometime this week when I get a chance. I'll be tucking in early for this class... 8:30pm? 9pm? That's the only way I'm going to make it!!!

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