Sunday, April 25, 2010

Week 15: Breads

I am so behind in my blogging! For all of you who have been anxiously awaiting the giveaway, look for that post tomorrow morning - my apple tarte tatin is in the oven as I write this! Everything has been so busy, and last weekend I went up to Boston for Marathon Monday.

Two weeks ago was the last week of breads. I'm happy to have moved on from breads; I didn't find them terrible exciting (or pretty to look at on this blog). Tuesday we baked the Danish we had made the week before, and they were really great for breakfast the next day. On Wednesday, I came into work with a HUGE tray of Danish, croissants, and other assorted breads. My brother's girlfriend Meghann traveled into the city with me that morning, and at one point in Port Authority, she was like "People are staring at you..." It happens a lot when I'm coming into the city on mornings after class.

On Tuesday, we also made an oat bread. I haven't actually tried this yet. I just took it out of my freezer today to have for breakfast toast this week.

This tarte flambe was really great. It was like a better pizza. It had a custard made with creme fraiche and fromage blanc, bacon, and gruyere cheese. Basically, how could it not taste amazing. This was similar to the taste of the quiche Lorraine I liked so much during the tarts unit.

We made the five grain rolls on Tuesday and baked them Thursday. These were a little bit too healthy for my liking. As Chef Cynthia said, it felt like work eating this roll. I felt significantly healthier after one of them though.

I'm not a huge fan of banana anything, but I'm slowly warming up to them, and these banana crumb muffins definitely helped. The crumbs are this amazing mixture of almond flour, sugar, butter, and cake flour. The recipe is just equal parts of all four and can be used on a variety of different muffins, pies, crisps, etc.

Thursday, we also made soft rolls, ciabatta, pissaladiere, and a few variations of sweet potato brioche! As you can tell it was a really busy class. These soft rolls are one of my favorite types of bread. It's an enriched bread, made with butter, eggs, and sugar. The inside was really soft (like the name suggest), and tasted great with a bit of butter. Then again, what doesn't taste great with a bit of butter?

Thankfully with everything else we had on the agenda Tuesday night, the ciabatta was really easy to make. You just mix the ingredients together, leave it on your station, and turn the dough every now and then. The result was a chewy, awesome bread.

I was about as uninterested in the pissaladiere as I could be. Made with sauteed onions, anchovies, and nicoise olives, there was nothing on this that I eat. These were way overbaked though, so the majority of the class's ended in the compost bin. This was obviously not going to be the week I started eating anchovies.

We had made a brioche dough made with sweet potato puree. I was expecting it to taste a lot more like sweet potatoes, but it tasted like the first brioche we made. We made a few different things with the dough. My favorite was a craquelin, which is made by kneading sugar cubes that had been macerated in orange liquor and orange zest into the dough. When the bread bakes, the sugar cubes melt into this delicious gooey spot.

With the sweet potato brioche dough, we also made a sweet and savory roll. The sweet had sweet potato pastry cream piped on top, and the savory was filled with sauteed shallots and blue cheese.

Saturday's class we made lemon poppy seed muffins, corn bread muffins, English muffins, and focaccia bread. Due to the hectic pace of class and trying to get out on time to make my bus to Boston, I forgot to take pictures of both the English muffins and corn bread. The English muffins were a happy surprise. I've never really enjoyed the Thomas' version. They're just so dry and boring. The ones in our curriculum though are fried in corn oil (a major surprise to me) and then baked. As with almost anything fried, I really loved these, but they were not like the "traditional" English muffins most people know.

We made a sweet focaccia with apples, cinnamon sugar, and walnuts (not on my half) and a savory one with tomato and rosemary. I only have a picture of the apple one because my partner and I "lost" our tomato one under our station - totally forgetting to put it in the oven. Oh well, the apple one was pretty good.

I went to college in Boston (go BU!) and took the bus ride between Boston and New York plenty of times. I HATE buses, and it always happens that as soon as I get on the bus, I get struck with hunger. And then, invariably, the trip takes way longer than the four and a half hours it's supposed to. I also tend to have the strangest person on the bus choose the seat next to mine. The trip last Saturday up was significantly better being as I had a bag full of muffins and my friend Vica traveling with me. I can't say the same for the ride back on Tuesday, when we were sitting next to the bathroom in the middle of what felt like a nursery school. Without a bag of breads.


Cooking Foodie said...

These look good!

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