Well, I did it! I finally baked something at culinary school! I know this may seem a bit strange, but safety and sanitation have finally ended and the baking has begun! We usually spend about 2 weeks on a particular subject (i.e. breads, sugars, cakes, chocolates), take a test and a practical, and then move on.
This week was a complete roller coaster. One day I loved class, the next day I was so frustrated, and then the next I was completely elated. Maybe I'm tired, maybe its PMS.... who knows. Let me explain. Monday was fine. Nothing too exciting. We took our ServeSafe exam, made some rolls, the end.
Tuesday was great! We made simple rolls (again), french bread, and some kind of white bread we rolled out and tied into knots. It was fun, and it felt really great when our teacher (who is very hard to please) complimented me on my technique and asked me to demonstrate to other members of our class. I'm not trying to brag, but hey, it feels good to be complimented. I think I left Tuesday with a great attitude considering the fact that our teacher turned the heat on to make the room a toasty 85 degrees to allow the bread to proof.... I think we swelled and sweated more than the bread.
Wednesday was more of a decline. You see, our teacher is trying to teach 2 classes as once, so he is quite absent during the learning process. Class has sort of become a "just start doing it and I'll come check it and make corrections." This method isn't terrible; I definitely believe that we learn more through trial and error, but it's just a bit frustrating when you have a question and there is no one to ask. Anyhow, we were paired off into groups of 2 except my group had 3. 2 is great, 3 not so much. Have you ever seen 3 people trying to measure out ingredients and mix 1 loaf of bread? I didn't think so. Its simply too many. It was hard to get involved, and honestly I could have really cared less about making another roll or biscuit.
Today (Thursday) was amazing! I had so much fun in class today. We finally started making some breads with a little more flavor and creativity. We made banana bread, focaccia and white bread for braiding. The foccacia was interesting to make. I had never worked with a bread that required making a sponge first. I flavored mine with garlic, basil, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Yum! It came out so moist and soft. The banana bread was fine... typical banana bread. To finish the day off we made a basic white bread to practice braiding methods. We worked with the 4 strand braid and created a really cool star. Audrey and I were partners today and ours turned out beautiful! We worked really well together. I was really proud of our bread and excited to see what it would look like after it came out of the oven. Sadly, class ended before ours finished proofing so it never made it to the oven. I don't know if chef put it in the oven after class or not. Oh well.
Next week we will be learning danishes and croissants. Chef says they are difficult to learn and doesn't expect much from us (thanks). My goal is to prove him wrong. Guess what I'll be studying this weekend? Until then.... happy baking.