I havn't exactly been updating my posts the past 3 days from extremely hectic full days spent at school. What have I been doing all day there? ....*giggle* that's a secret... I have a surprise to share with everyone! I'll leave that for my next post~ A long pause from posting from me usually results in cool stuff in the next! and don't worry guys... I'm not going anywhere... Hehe..thanks for those who emailed me to see how I'm doing though. I know everyone must be anxious to know if I will still be keeping my blog active. Of course I am! I love it here :)
So... what have I been up to?
Breakfast pastries!.. yes.. it's 67 hours of Breakfast pastries.. We've done so many types in the past week; it's so hard to keep track of every single item. I try to go through my notes at night and retype the recipes to recall what I've done during the day to refresh my memory and have a better understanding of our practical work in the labs. Chef James has scheduled the class to allow us to learn to multi task in the kitchen and I feel it's a great way to keep us ready for the real world. It's lucky I have Nicole with me. We split tasks and share out the washing to quicken things up with unpleasant activities like scaling ingredients and drying washed utensils/tools. I seriously don't think I've done so many dirty dishes and pans in my life. *laughs* It's good practice though.. we learn to save on using too many and to keep as clean as we while we work to avoid a huge mess to wipe up at the end of the day.Chef James usually begins the day with a short lecture and note taking session for us to absorb what to aspect for the day. He tells us what to look out for during the day and gives us a run down of what is expected of us. This is just an example of all the things we have done within a day.
Notes were taken on yeasts; different types of pre-ferments for doughs, steps of baking good bread and mixing doughs. Chef James also introduced us to different types of breakfast pastries and where they come from. Before we are allowed to go; he sometimes gives us homework... *pout* I guess it's helpful to have done research about the day to come before actually digging right into our mixing bowls.
So what have we learnt about preferments and yeast? Well.. Here is a snapshot of an assignment I handed in last week.
Ideal temperature for fermenting yeast : 75-95 F (24-35 C)
Yeast is dormant : 34 F ( 2 C)
Yeast Dies : 138 F ( 59 C)
Types of yeast:
Fresh compressed yeast:-ivory colour; soft moist and crumbles easily. It is very perishable. Keep refrigerated. It will stay fresh for 8 weeks. Can be frozen for longer storage. Do not use if has a dark colour of dry spots.
-Yeast must be proofed prior to adding to dough mixture to test if it is still active.
-Dissolve in warm water with a pinch of sugar or flour. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and liquid should turn foamy and smell yeasty
Dehydrated yeast.-susceptible to moisture. Wrap well and keep in cooler after opening.
-It has 2 forms.
-( active dry yeast ) – must be re hydrated before use. Shelf life is 1 year from date of packaging.
-(instant dry yeast)- More concentrated, does not need re hydration before adding to dough. Small particles dissolve easily. Can mix with flour prior to adding liquid. Has 2 year shelf life if unopened.
These are beautifully shaped round sweet bread from Provence; often flavoured with lemon of orange zest, orange flower water and almonds. Personally; I thought they were delicious! We made the dough for these early in the morning and my tastebuds were begging for a taste from intoxicating aromas produced from the citrus blossom ingredients added into the dough! They were infused with wonderful flavours from added aniseed and covered in a sugary crust! Gibassiers are soft on the inside and crisp from the tossed sugar on its surface. YUM!
I loved these!!! It had a decadent chocolate almond glaze topping covered in powdered sugar for a crisp crust! The apricots in and almond paste bits in the centers were a great twist to our simple and traditional brioche recipes.
doesn't love donuts?! well..truth is; I'm not much of a fan. I like a donut or two some days.. but... I never really crave these deep-fried yeasted rings covered in sugary coatings of assorted colours much.
The cinnamon sugar ones are probably my favourite if I had to choose. Mini bite sized ones made from donut circles are yummy too~ It's just those custard filled and icing glazed ones which I tend to stay away from. Of course.. chocolate covered ones are always fun!
I remember feeling a little upset and nauseous from all that grease in the air after a full morning of tossing donuts in hot oil.
I know many have been requesting for full recipes from the NotterSchool; but unfortunately I can only share so much with everyone. I guess tips on baking and ideas to inspire should be shared online, but I personally feel it wouldn't exactly be appropriate to give out "everything"-- down to written recipes and long tested formulas from the school. It isn't exactly everything the diploma program is about either. I hope everyone can still try to be satisfied with just me telling stories about it. Of course; if it's my own recipe, I'll definitely have the proportions up for everyone to try! :)