January 31, 2008

I am Cursed with Breads! *ugh*

Remember the good ol' days when I'd whine post after post about my bread failures? Well.. I gave it all I had..and I hoped and prayed...for something edible; or just something which looked decent. I was convinced I could not make breads. It was my personality; impatience and spontaneous inaccuracies. There was no hope for breads in my oven; not until I joined Chef Mary and her assistant Daniel in their artisan bread bakery at the NotterSchool. I was optimistic again! I knew it if it wasn't happening here; it wouldn't happen for me anywhere else! Well... so?
How am I enjoying my new week of breads?
To be honest; I want to do more breakfast pastries. I miss Chef James and Louise! *sob* There was more to do; there were more fun colours and I kinda miss the smell of butter in the air. The breakfast pastry class was jammed packed with work and lots of pressure compared to artisan breads.

3 weeks of "Artisan Breads" is a compulsory component of the course and I understand how important it is to learn everything before you decide you hate it. Honestly; I am already heaving towards disliking it! *shrug* I know it's only the second day I've been doing breads; but it really is not something I'd love.
Chef Mary is great at teaching the subject and extremely knowledgeable and helpful... it's not the instructor...it's the topic! *sigh*
It's not "Su" to be baking shades of brown and beige. *giggle* Don't get me wrong; I truly appreciate an amazing loaf for the way it tastes and looks! The wonderful flavours from yeasts and toasty grains hidden within freshly baked loaves make my day perfect! Now that I've baked bread myself; it is safe to say.. I totally have my upmost respect for people who can bake good bread! For their patience and their wisdom and understanding of their product. Unlike what everyone else believes; being a bread baker is way beyond 'easy'. It needs a high level of attention, lots of patience and obnoxious bakers like me out of their way! *laughs* I take my hat off to those who are meticulous and generally calm+patient whilst in the midst of baking in large quantities. I personally am a bit of a perfectionist; but only in certain aspects of food. My favorite would probably be baking with heaps of sugar and its Aesthetics...*giggle*
I know you can possibly 'prettify' bread to make it look amazing; but seriously;Come on! how much can you do with glossy shades of brown and yellow?!
You know how some like to be behind the wheel and driving; but some prefer to be chauffeured around and pampered? Well; with breads...can I just please be the passenger? *laughs* I just want to EAT bread... making it is too much for me to handle! Playing with foul smelling fermented gunk all day isn't my idea of fun! *laughs* Having freshly baked wonderful bread in your mouth is easy; making it is a different story!
Alright.. I'll stop throwing my tantrum. I'll get back to working on being more disciplined and patient in the kitchen tomorrow. After all; I do have 3 weeks of breads to get by; so I may as well try hard to make the best of it, I might even end up loving it at the end! *shrug* possibly? I'm open to new ideas and I know for sure our classes on Artisan Breads are going to teach me lots more than I can imagine. Patience for one. *laughs*
I might need to get Jocelyn; my new partner in breads to smack me around a little to calm me down everytime I'm a little too enthusiastic about finishing everything to quickly. Waiting for proofing times and benching times are dreadfuL!! I could tell from the frustrated expressions of my classmates that they weren't having a great time either. It's going to take awhile before we fully enjoy ourselves in bread class.Nicole looks pretty smiley in this shot though... Hmm..wonder what she's all smiley about? It might be that some of us in class are actually enjoying themselves~ *shrug*..
What have we made so far? Well; we've made lots...but we've also gone through a fair number of failures. Unlike the class before us which had goodies to bring home everyday at noon; we don't have many yummies *sob*. My curse of breads failures must have rubbed off onto my classmates. We did come up with a couple of good products though. Breads are a little more temperamental in comparison to pastries. Water temperatures; proofing and handling must all be perfect to achieve a successful baked loaf. Smaller scaled ingredients such as salt and yeast must also be extremely precise and accurate for breads to turn out perfectly flavored and risen.
Our pizza's and dinner rolls are probably the best items turned out so far.

The dinner rolls were soft and wonderfully glazed with a tinge of golden yellow. I thought they were delicious! Not too difficult to make either.
We will be starting off french breads and baguettes tomorrow! I love baguettes! I must admit.. despite it still being just 'BREADS'; I am pretty excited.
Chef Daniel was threatening me with his makeshift water 'gun' if I took anymore pictures of him. I didn't think he'd actually squirt anything on my lens *laughs* I'll just take more pictures of Chef Mary instead~ *pfft* Camera shy... I don't think he'd be very pleased if he happen to come across my blog one day. *laughs* This picture was too funny; I had to have it published, sorry Danny~


Anonymous said...

To be perfectly truthful, I'm so envious of you, Su Yin... You're way better than me at baking and well, you're living the dream of being in a baking school. :P Wish that could be me. :D

Anyway, best of luck with breads... I'm going yeast crazy myself right now and there's so much room for improvement for me. :)

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of bread but reading your post made me want to eat bread now.

Anonymous said...

:) Are James and Danny twins, by any chance?

Man, you're surrounded by hot guys there, aren't you, Su?

- wink wink -

Honestly, I can see how you don't find breads incredibly interesting. Still, best of luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Saw your classmates taking pictures in your photos. So you are not the only one lol.

panda said...

hey suyin! sounds like you're having a ball of a time! would love to be where you are!

-puturea- said...

Hi Su, your reports on classes at Notter make me want to jump there *giggle*
Anyway, have you got my email? i send to your gmail. I have some question regarding to Notter. i'd like to take the 24-weeks programme on next summer.
Thanks and best regards alway
_Happy baking_

Anonymous said...

Thank you for another really interesting post and the brilliant photos.
Sorry you aren't enjoying breads. I guess being a bread baker is as much an individual passion as being a pastry chef or a "decorateur"?
Do pastry chefs usually start work as early as bakers? In a large hotel for example?
Anyway, it all looks wonderful :)

magnifiQue♥ said...

SU! I've been frequenting your page since eons ago & im really excited for you!
oh, ive got a qn which is not related to any bread issues but i was baking cupcakes just now and i was wondering why did the cake (after letting it out to cool) sinks & then shrinks to a smaller size. It tears away from the cupcake liners and it looks horrible, eventho it tastes great. Is it the ingredient that i used or is it the beating techniques?

help me please!

Shafidah Shamen said...

Hi Suyin, i'm fida..your blog 'silent reader'..just want to let you know..i have something for you in my blog, come & pick it up! You are awarded!!

Anonymous said...

You just made my day!

I thought I was the only one on this face of Earth who CAN'T bake bread.;-)

Maybe that's why breadmaker was invented...for hopeless ones like me.

psst...Chef Danny is very cute.

Su-Yin -Décorateur said...

miche: don't worry my dear; with enough practice and understanding, i'm sure breads will be lots easier for you eventually!

linda: OMG! how can you not love bread!! haha I am breads BIGGEST fan

felix: hmm..they both look quite different! haha I try not to think of 'hot-ness' of guys in class; I'm usually to worried about 'hot-ness' of ovens :P hehehe

linda: Photo's are HUGEEE in class; we all have our cameras with us as we bake! ;)

panda: Hey panda! it's heaps fun; you can be here with me when I post about my classes~

puturea: Hmm.. I have my dear; but I take awhile to reply them! Haha *>.<* Im so sorry; I waddle through my emails and comments so slowly sometimes.. I do apologize if it's urgent; I'll skim through them as fast as I can; I promise. my BLog just sometimes feels like a bigger part of me than my actual life! *laughs* I try to make time for me to run around 'outdoors' and do un-bloggy things :P

sweetrosie: hehe *yes *blush* I love decorating!!! They usually all start off at Weeeee hours in the morning; I guess not as early for cake decorators but early nonetheless.

manifique: thanks heaps for the comment! There could be HEAPS of answers for your question! haha it could be that the cakes were undercooked and they deflated when they come out. Or it could be that they were left in the cupcake tins straight out of the oven and the moisture created from the steam made the cupcake liners separate from the cakes. It could also be the recipe's addition of leavening agents wasn't accurate... it could even be drastic temperature/humidity changes from the oven to your table top. Shrinkage and pulling away from corners isn't rare for cakes. Maybe try a different cupcake liner? It might be that they are too thin or flimsy. *laughs* k.. I'm tired from typing now :P hehe Hope that helps anyway.

shafidah: thanks! i received your email too :)

natasya: Haha don't worry; there are PLENTY of us out there. Breadmakers are AWESOME! hehe... I guess Chef Daniel is on 'cute-chef' list too huh? ..wait to u guys see Chef Ewald Notter himself! *giggle* He is real handsome.

Anonymous said...

Greetings, Su Yin! A few of us that just graduated from the first class are enjoying your prose and wonderful photos - you make us laugh! And bring back fond memories of a most wonderful experience. Enjoy every moment, it goes quickly. Daniel was one of us and we are happy to see him back there passing on his vast knowledge and great hand skills for someone so young. Good luck and if you need any information about what else to do in Central Florida, just ask - some of us live here!

Su-Yin -Décorateur said...

oh wow! hi!! it's so awesome to hear from you~ :) Orlando is A little quiet for me..but things are picking up now that ive made more friends. Any delicious food to hunt for here in florida?

Anonymous said...

hi! wonderful, as always.

can i ask a question? how much does the course cost? is it easy to obtain a place? what are the prerequisites? what about visa? how do you find your apartment? they find it for you? how much is OVERALL cost to stay there and attend this for 6 months? why didn't you go to the CIA? thanks for answering because i am very interested to attend one too.