Wow! What a whirlwind! I have completed my first week of class and feel like I am coming out of a fog but have a pile of delicious baked goods to show for it. Bright and early in Monday morning's lab (baking science and theory) I made lemon poppy seed and blueberry muffins as well as biscuits. Talk about hitting the ground running! I felt like I was on the show Chopped as I was totally new to the lab's kitchen layout and had no clue where everything was! I probably looked crazy but I ended up making some kick-butt muffins.
On Tuesday in this class we learned about and made quick breads. I made yeast rolls, zucchini bread, chocolate cherry scones, rosemary focaccia and an incredible whole wheat bread. My favorite item to bake was the whole wheat bread as it was sweetened with honey and I learned a trick to keeping the bread moist. In the past when I have made whole wheat bread it always turns out somewhat dry and crumbly.However, if you add small amounts of lukewarm water to the dough while it is mixing, you can prevent this from happening. The dough should look like a thick cake batter when you are finished and have no dry crumbly pockets or residue in the bowl. Also it's important to let the bread rise for 1-2 hours (called fermenting) and make sure you give the dough time to double in size again after you shape it, this is called proofing the dough. By doing this it will help the texture and quality of the bread. Pretty cool huh?
In my concepts and theories of culinary techniques class I learned about stocks and soups and how to stay awake in a night class ( coffee for the win!!!!). The most interesting thing I learned in this class was how to boil water. No really, you have to know the difference between poaching, simmering and boiling! It all has to do with temperature and can make a huge difference in your cooking process. Poaching is 160-180 degrees, simmering is 185-200 degrees and boiling is 212 degrees. I never thought a pot of water could be so interesting!
Catch you guys next week! I am off to get my recipe binders organized and clean my uniform ( it looks like a dough bomb went off in lab!)!