We were taught to follow ways and rules within commercial kitchens and were given the opportunity to learn how our jobs in the kitchen influences healthy eating habits and customers with food allergies or special needs. Mary helped finish off our long day of lectures with a wonderfully moist and delicious slice of gluten-free carrot cake. I don't think I've ever had such a breathtaking bite of gluten-free goodness in my life. It's astonishing the amazing formulas bakers are coming up with these days to alter their recipes to suit special dietary needs.
The class has been divided into 2 equal portions of students now....and we're currently working together in pairs in our daily baking. One portion of the class is doing "Breads" with Chef Mary in the laboratory next door; and we on this side with Chef James are doing "Breakfast Pastries"! It's so much fun trading goodies at the end of the day with our classmates next door! I just love freshly baked bread! We will be doing a bread class as well when we eventually swap over and change instructors.
My partner; Nicole and I love how we've been teamed up together. We seem to get along so well; and we have a natural understanding. Things are so efficient, fair and well sorted out. I hope we stay partners throughout the classes...*grin* James mentioned that we'd have to switch pairs with every class component..but *sigh* we have mess ups...and I seem to be making at least one a day! (this story will be kept for another time) hehe... but she forgives me with a smile and an "It's okay" I don't want to lose my Nicole! *laughs*
The amount of pastry and bread we churn out every morning is probably enough to feed an army! The smell of all that sweet dough and pastry is really driving me nuts! *in a good way of course*. We bring home most of the baked goods; and I give them away to friends I've made working at the lobby at my apartment complex. They love me now..*giggle* Who wouldn't? I come in everyday at about 3pm with arms full of delicious freshly baked goodies!
So what have we made? Hmmm....
So far; Here's a couple to start you drooling...I'll save some for posts within the week.
Soft and delicious Sweet Dough used for cinnamon rolls and sticky buns!It made the entire lab smell like cinnabon! It was incredible! I love the smell of freshly baked cinnamon scrolls in the oven.
Brioche!*drool* Su 'hearts' brioche-s! Haha~ I brought home a couple of these little babies and stuck in smears of peanut butter and jelly! How un-French of me... but *sigh* it's so YUM! Nicole kept talking about them with pb+j all day! I had to go home to try it!
We learnt how to mold them into the traditional Brioche a tete~Adorable little fluted breads aren't they?
Rolling the dough and shaping was lots of fun! Ours didn't turn out as nice as James's but I guess they'll be better after more practice. He's probably done at least thousands of these! I can't wait to learn lots from him. He's incredibly talented and wise. It's really amazing for young man like himself to be so well versed and experienced in both pastry and culinary arts. He's currently a Hot new addition to the series of cake decorating competitions on cable TV in the US (FoodNetwork). I've yet to watch an episode myself. *sigh* it's frustrating waiting for the cable guy to repair my TV channels. It's probably going to be next week before I get all my channels working correctly. Anyone seen him on TV yet? Before we went home for the day; Chef James loaded us up with small tasks as homework. We were to do a short paper on the History of Brioche;... Graeme came up with a quick answer to my entire paper; Brioche = France.
Haha~ ...I wish it were so easy.
Pumpkin + Cranberry loaf with a lovely crisp crumb topping!
Chocolate chip Hazelnut loaf
Making all of these in a commercial environment is really quite a challenge. We had to constantly be clean and prepared; quick, ready and alert. At the end of the day; I often felt exhausted from running around and all wrinkly in my palms from all that washing in the sink. It's heaps of fun though; waking up at 6 every morning, looking forward to a full day of working in the kitchen.... it really is like how I dreamt it would be like.
I've got more homework to finish off and i'll be climbing into my sheets soon...Catch ya soon guys!