Sunday, September 28, 2008

My first week in class!

Okay, so one week down, 9 more to go! I am so anxious to be baking more and I cannot wait until we start getting really into it, learning about things I know nothing about!
This week, we met Chef on Monday and he brought us some treats form Swirls Cupcakes in the city. My personal fav was the chocolate chip cookie cupcake... mmmm.... my two fav things, choco chip cookies and cupcakes!
Anyways, lab on Wed was interesting..... We all worked on one side, crowded together, but it seemed to work. No one was really "on top" of the other and it flowed well. And of course, I am ALL for only having to clean one side instead of two. Things kinda of lagged at the end when we were all waiting to be graded and for everyone else to be graded before we left, but all was good. We still left around 9:10, so that is a success to me! We made "quick breads" this week. We started w/ a Lemon Tea bread, which I added lavender to. It really brightened up the lemon flavor. The loaf itself didn't look like a bread that someone just wants to dig into, you can see from the pic above. I'm not 100% sure what I did to make it less fluffy and pretty looking, but I will def try to again. Maybe I'll add more sugar like Becky did (I think it was more sugar, maybe she'll mention it in her blog...) But despite the fact that it wasn't gorgeous, it still tasted great! My co-workers really liked it, and no one could tell how ugly it was when I cut it into slices.

Lemon Tea Bread
3 ounces Unsalted butter, softened
10 ounces Granulated sugar
2 Eggs
4 fluid ounces Milk
6 ounces All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Lemon zest
4 fluid ounces Lemon juice

1. Cream the butter with 7 ounces (210 grams) of the sugar. Add the eggs and milk. Mix well.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the butter mixture. Fold in the lemon zest. Portion into lightly greased pans.
3. Bake at 350°F (170°C) until a tester comes out clean, approximately 35 to 40 minutes for a large loaf or 12 to 15 minutes for muffins. Remove the bread from the pan(s) and place on a cooling rack.
4. Combine the remaining 3 ounces (90 grams) of sugar with the lemon juice. Heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot. Slowly pour or brush the glaze over the hot bread.

***One of my classmates added a tablespoon of poppyseed into hers, but I'm not a big fan of poppy seeds. So,
I added a tablespoon of lavender into the mix at the end to brighten up the flavor.

We also made biscuits, which were light and flaky and sooo buttery (I brushed melted butter on them and I think that made a dif, butter makes everything yummy!). I really liked the recipe we did. We had a recipes for biscuits in one of our other classes that was really good, but these were def flakier. The other ones were more of the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth variety. But def still good.
Finally, we made blueberry muffins. Very good, and I brought them to my mom b/c they are a personal fav of hers. Yeah, she didn't like them. I was sooo mad. She said that they didn't taste the same. Yeah, that's b/c they were out of a wrapped, filled w/ preservatives and fattiness. And they weren't fake Betty Crocker muffins from a box. So she didn't like them. What ever! They were good, moist and full of plump blueberries.
I guess I overmixed them though b/c there was some tunneling, but honestly, I didn't mix them as much as I normally do, so I'm not sure what happened there. I know you are supposed to stop once they are just mixed, and I did just that. I'll try it again when I have more time and we'll see if it works out better.

Blueberry Muffins
8 ounces All-purpose flour
5 ounces Granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
5 ounces Blueberries
1 tablespoon Lemon zest

1. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt).
2. Stir together the liquid ingredients (eggs, milk, melted butter, vanilla).
3. Stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Do not overmix. The batter should be lumpy.
4. Gently fold in the blueberries and lemon zest.
5. Portion into greased or paper-lined muffin cups and bake at 350°F (180°C) until light brown and set in the center, approximately 18 minutes.

Next week, we're working on "yeast breads" like focaccia and rye bread. I love focaccia, so I'm excited about that. I'll let you all know how it worked out next week.

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