Intro to Baking & Pastry, Day 2

Black currant sconeys
Today was a super fun Baking class.  I know that these aren’t really complicated things that we made, but it’s really cool to hear about the science behind them and why certain doughs are mixed certain ways and what happens to products when heat hits them.  Take these scones that the guys made in my group today.  These are made with the biscuit or rubbing method.   This is the mixing method I was talking about yesterday with the biscuits.  Yep, same mixing method!  That’s why biscuits and scones have similar textures.

Yummy muffins! Go Team Natasha & Sarah

Natasha and I made zucchini muffins today.  It’s not like I’ve never made a muffin before, but these were by far the best crafted ones I’ve made.  They weren’t overmixed and turned out pretty darn well, aside from the fact that I squeezed too much water out of the zucchini and made the batter a little too dry.  I got a little excited with the cheese cloth!  No big deal though, we just added some milk and a little bit of batter from another group’s muffins that were too wet and the results were delicious little muffins!  You mix these using the muffin/blending method.  Since these have oil in them and not butter, you mix the wet ingredients, eggs, oil ect and then the dry, flour, baking powder, and then just blend them together.  It’s probably the easiest method of mixing batter.  Just don’t overmix!  Oh and Mom, the reason your banana bread sunk in the middle was probably because it wasn’t adjusted for altitude.  I asked my Chef today what that reason could be for sinking batters and that’s what he told me!

Peach pie filling

We also made our pie fillings a day ahead of time.  We learned how to make pie crust today and we’re constructing the pies tomorrow.  I’ll talk more about pie crust construction in a different post; I want to dedicate a whole post to it!  We used the cooked fruit method to make our pie filing today.  The kind of pie most people make is probably an old fashioned pie, where you use fresh fruit, mix it with sugar and spices and then put in a pie crust.  There’s not a whole lot of nice fruit in season right now, so we used frozen peaches and the last of a carton of strawberries.  You simply melt butter in the bottom of your pan, add the frozen fruit, add sugar (or apple juice in our case) and then add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it.  Cornstarch slurry = cornstarch and water mixed into a thick liquid.  After the slurry bubbles, the starchy taste goes away and you’re left with a thick, lovely pie filling like ours!  I can’t wait to make this tomorrow!

Oh yes...

We made french toast from leftover baguettes yesterday.  We filled them with apricot jam and then made a blueberry syrup to go with them.  Stuffed french toast is amazing and I will be making french toast for the b.f. this weekend.  I forgot how much I loved French toast!
In addition to pies, we’re learning how to make soft rolls and starting laminated doughs tomorrow.  Laminated doughs = danishes and croissants.  Yes!  Only a few more hours left on campus and then I get to go home.  Wheee!
Be well & happy eating!

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