Saturday, February 19, 2011

Procrastination: I Haz It

My goal was to write a post every day. I'm already a week behind.

I've completed my first week of Pastry where we made pie, tarts, and quiche for three days. It was awesome.

Stay tuned for the details...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Two Days of Practical Exams DONE!

Tuesday was a rough day for me. I didn't do well on my first round. I made up all my dough and baked cookies and biscuits. The cookies and biscuits did not turn out well at all. I was really disappointed and frustrated and I'm sure my Chef could see it. Not to mention that my croissant dough also did not turn out right. I had to throw the entire thing out on Wednesday and start over.

Wednesday was a much better day. I made up my croissant dough right away and let it ferment. I baked off my sweet rolls, baguettes, and banana bread. My baguette did not bake long enough, so I didn't get great marks on that. My sweet rolls and banana bread were awesome, so I was happy with that. But my croissants did not turn out well. It's because they weren't in the proofer long enough and didn't have a chance to double in size. But I presented them anyway. They looked awesome on the outside, but in the inside they were still doughy.

I learned a lot during these past 5 weeks, but I'm ready to move on to Pastry class for the next 6. We'll be doing more creative things, which is right up my alley.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Written Exam - DONE!

Well, I finished the first test. Only missed 7 questions, so, yeah....I'm doing ok.

Tomorrow is part one of the practical exam. I've decided to work on the enriched and laminated doughs first, as they are the most labor and time intensive.


Tomorrow I will make the dough for the baguettes, croissants, and sticky buns. Hopefully they will ferment in time and I'll be able to make up, proof, and bake at least the baguettes. I am hoping to bake off the sticky buns, too, but that might be pushing it.

I just can't wait til Wednesday at 10:30pm and this will all be over. Of course, I go right back next week and start six weeks of pastry. I gripe, but I'm totally looking forward to it.

I can finally go to bed at a decent time on a Monday. Hooray for me!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Two Days Til Finals

I can't believe how fast 5 weeks went.

On Monday I take my written exam. I'm pretty confident that I will do well. I studied a little this afternoon and will study more tomorrow.

I practiced and made Spiced Banana Bread this morning. It turned out great.

For my practical exam Tuesday and Wednesday, I have to make Biscuits, Banana Bread, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Poolish Baguettes, Croissants, and Sticky Buns.

I'm so nervous.

The trick is figuring out how to plan and budget my time. Do I go in full force and start with the quickbreads? Or do I make up all the dough for the baguettes, croissants, and buns on day one, making sure to get them out of the way?

What if I don't have enough time? What if my dough does not double and I have to start all over? What if the temperature in the proofer is all off and they overproof? What if someone steals/damages/throws out the dough once I put it in the retarder over night?

I know I'm not going to sleep much after Monday. But I'll have to stay positive and just do my best. I have learned a lot these past five weeks, and that's really what's important. If I don't get an "A" in this class, I won't be devastated or anything. But I really do hope I get an "A".

Here are some doughnuts I made on Tuesday. They were pretty delicious.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

It's Laminated Bread Week!

Tonight we bake up our brioche, croissants, danish, sticky buns, and finally make donuts!

I did not eat anything for lunch except 4 bagel bites so my blood sugar will be OK to consume all the above goodness.

Yesterday was a pretty low-key day as all we did was mix up the dough, let it ferment, and then put it in the retarder until tonight.

I can't hardly wait to get there! One hour of work to go.