Day 4: Bread

Today was the last day of the week. We perfected our brioche technique and made chasson with the remaining puff pastry dough. Chasson is basically a sweet turnover. We used round fluted cutters and then rolled them into oblong shapes, filled it with apricots and blueberries, egg-washed the edges of one side and folded over the empty side of the dough and sealed it. Apparently we didn’t seal it well enough or we stuffed them with too much fruit. During baking, they puffed up fine but juices spewed everywhere. They still tasted delicious. The fresh apricots were tart enough to balance all of that butter in the puff pastry. Puff is also called feuilletage, which is French for “flaky”. When it is baked in the oven, the butter melts and creates an air gap, which puffs up and creates that rich, flaky pastry that has such a unique mouthfeel.

Ready to sell!

On the savory side of things, today wasn’t as productive as hoped. Chef cut a bread from our list today. I thought it was because we are slow workers, but apparently “The Buzz” (the store at school where we sell our goods to the public) was closed yesterday and we lost our work study people who staff the store. Which sucks for us because we have to make less food since we can’t sell it. Thankfully, one of my teammates has afternoons off and is going to work there while we are at school these two weeks. Next week we’ll get more breads together….I understand it’s a community college and we don’t have the funds like the Art Institute to just make food and throw it out–but I want to learn! I want to make as much bread as possible and get these techniques down. Each type of bread has it’s own technique for shaping. It’s beautiful and complex.

Scaling the dough.

Our bread today was a potato bread with roasted onions from Jeffrey Hamelman. This books seems to be the most commonly used and trusted book in our kitchen. The recipes are in US, metric and home conversions and they all have a baker’s percentage. I’m sure the methods are accurate, too, but our chef tends to use the ingredient list and move in a different direction. He tells us it all has roughly the same end result; bakers tend to adopt certain techniques that work for them, their kitchen and their equipment. Even something as simple as the order of which ingredient goes in the mixing bowl can vary. In our kitchen it usually tends to go: yeast, water, pre-ferment, flour, salt. There are exceptions.

This bread had a nice texture from the potatoes, but it didn’t have potato chunks. I think I prefer biting into a chunk of potato. The roasted onions were a delicious addition to the bread. It was enjoyable, but not the best bread ever. I tend to like having aromatics like herbs and spices to liven things up. We’ll see what next week holds.

Potato Bread with Roasted Onions.

One Response to “Day 4: Bread”

  1. Floating Shelves Says:

    herbs and spices are great additions for your foods and pastry,i’ve been using them for several years ;-’

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