Thursday, November 19, 2009

Practical Day 2- Bread, Cookies, Biscuits

Today I re-made my biscuits, and I'm so glad I did! They turned out perfectly, plus we were out of jalapenos so I got to just make delicious cheddar biscuits. All I had to do was those and my French bread. I got a 33 out of 36 points on my practical because I didn't bake the bread long enough- it was cooked but not browned enough. My peanut butter cookies and my biscuits each got the maximum 10 points.

Chef said that everyone did terribly on the quiz yesterday, except two people got perfect scores. I knew who that was- Tim and me. We're the overachievers. I really don't understand why people couldn't remember the 12 steps to yeast production. It was intimidating at first, but then we actually did all 12 steps, and that made it easy to remember them in order.

Want to know what they are? I'll do it from memory. We didn't even have to write explanations for the steps on the quiz, but there's no point in not writing them here so it makes sense.
1. Scaling ingredients- can't have too much or too little of anything
2. Mixing- activates yeast, makes the actual dough
3. Fermentation/Retardation- dough rises. Fermenting is at room temperature and retarding is in the fridge
4. Pounding- getting rid of the yeast bubbles
5. Scaling dough- each loaf must be of uniform size
6. Rounding- this creates a layer on the outside of the dough
7. Benching- dough needs to rest again, at room temperature
8. Forming- into whatever rolls or baguettes you need to make, flour and cut in this step
9. Proofing- final resting spot, high humidity, warm. Dough rises more.
10. Baking- 480 degrees in the deck oven
11. Cooling- must be cooled before cutting
12. Storing- bread can be frozen well but otherwise should be kept at room temperature, not in the refrigerator

We all donated some of what we made today to make Thanksgiving dinner for needy families, which I thought was nice. I absolutely hate having way too much of something and eventually having to throw it away when it could go to someone who needs it. I gave up almost all of my perfect peanut butter cookies and two baguettes for the cause. Tomorrow if they need us after class, we're going to help break down turkeys for the dinner, as well.

I believe we are finally making sourdough tomorrow. We have had our starters going since Pastry day 1, which was the Monday before last. I'm going to make a bread bowl!

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