Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 25 - More Quick Breads.

Today started out with the chef demonstrating how make Pâte à choux. Pâte à choux is a light pastry dough used to make things like profiteroles and eclairs. I heard that it can be fried to make beignets, which everyone from New Orleans knows of. Also during demonstration, the chef showed us how to line a loaf pan. This involved spraying the loaf pan with cooking spray and then taking a piece of parchment paper running from one end of the loaf pan to the other end with a few inches hanging out on each end. This strip is used to aid pulling the loaf of bread out of the pan after it's baked.

Using the ingredients that I scaled yesterday, my partner mixed up the dough for the banana-nut bread. The chef baked the bread from each table at the same time so they could be timed together. The bread came out nice.

Today I made blueberry muffins. The blueberry muffins tasted good and they were moist.

Today I also made Eclairs. They are really easy to make and they taste great. I filled them with pastry cream and they were covered with chocolate ganache. The ganache had a nice sheen.

Thanks for the comments, I enjoy reading them. Carol asked if I enjoyed attending Le Cordon Bleu and doing all the baking. So far I am enjoying going to Le Cordon Bleu and I love all the baking. Besides baking at school during the week, I also bake at home on the weekends. To be honest I didn't know exactly what to expect when going to Le Cordon Bleu. I did expect to do a lot of baking and I expected to do a lot of cleaning up after myself. But, here are some of the things I didn't expect:

It is a little upsetting to get to the kitchen and things have not been cleaned as well as you left it the day before. It seems that some of the chef instructors have varying standards as far as cleanliness.

I had it in my mind that I would get a little more individual daily feedback from the instructor about the products I made each day. The only feedback that each individual really gets is on the practical test at the end of each week.

I also thought I would be baking more each day. I think too much time is wasted some days on breaks and empty time at the end of the class. The way I look at it, break times longer than 15 minutes is a waste and being let out of class 30 minutes early is a waste of my money that I am paying for tuition. The Pastry and Baking program is only about 7 months long (excluding the externship) so I want to get all I can out of the classes.

Oh yeah, the ice cream/pastry scoop that came with my toolkit keeps breaking. (I know, big deal right.)

So far everything that I'm doing isn't difficult. We are given the recipes or we are given instruction during the demonstrations by the chef instructor. If I face anything that I think is hard, I'm sure I'll let you know in the blog.

If you are wondering why the title is More Quick Breads, well, quick breads refers to the fact that once I mix the dough it is ready to bake. The dough doesn't need to rise.

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