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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fry Gal

In this weeks edition of: Pastry School - food, fun and weirdos.

I wasn't super excited about this weeks lab. The majority of the recipes were doughnuts, and the only recipe that wasn't was a Chocolate Gulgelhopf, which I guess is a German coffee cake. It's special because it contains mashed potatoes, therefore it is a very soft and moist baked good. Thankfully that was the recipe my group and I wanted to do. I did not want to make doughnuts. I wasn't going to eat the gugelhopf either because it had quite a bit of butter in it. Either way, I must say it turned out quite nicely.

I present to you the Gulgelhopf. We were going around the lab just saying that word cause it's just that cool. The white stuff on top are ground almonds.
Doughnuts that the other group made. They didn't look half bad though they look like they were in the fryer a little longer than needed. It was told that our class made the best doughnuts ever, out of all the other past classes. I wouldn't know though.
It was actually really fun frying it. I helped my friend fry some and it was fun watching it expand so quickly. The unfried dough was so soft and delicate, I thought I was gonna deflate it!
These are plum fritters. Strange huh, I would have never thought that plums would make good fritters, but people said it tasted just like apple fritters. I'll take their word for it. They did look pretty good. It was hard to resist, but I did.
Now that we've talked about food and fun. It's onto the weirdos, or shall I say weirdo. I've written about him before, the one who had red "stuff" on his hands. Anyways, he's quite strange as we've already discussed. Recently, he comes into the classroom, with his Ipod nano or one of those ipod series (I can't keep track), on full blast. He struts to his desk on the balls of his feet, then he shuffles from side to side all the while on the balls of his feet, his greasy dandruffed hair swaying side to side. He chuckles as he sucks in air, sounding much like a girls chuckle/giggle. Don't get me wrong, he's a VERY nice person (besides the fact that he takes over everything in the lab and makes all the decisions. Thank goodness I am not in his group), but everything that he does seems to eat away at me. I swear I can feel my impatience getting the best of me. Blah. Other than that, everything else is quite normal. I got 106% on one exam and 101% on the other exam. I got a few questions wrong but because I got the extra credits right, I was more than 100%. I have NEVER gotten scores like that in my life, so I was overjoyed for sure!
Oh, I also waitressed monday night at the restaurant. Let's just say, there is a reason I am not in hospitality. It's not that I don't enjoy the company of people, I am just not good at making conversation with people I don't know, especially people that are snobby and think you should serve them on your hands and feet. Yeah, I'm gonna SO love it when I get to work in the back of house for the restaurant in the future semesters.
Anyways, Brandon has 3 weeks off, so we are heading off to Orlando, FL for the weekend tomorrow to visit Seaworld! I'm excited but driving so much back and forth from school and back makes driving less pleasant, though Brandon will be driving. I'll probably be passed out lol. I'll be back with pictures! Have a lovely weekend y'all! (oh the southern influence)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I heart the english

I must admit that the english have probably the best foods ever. For example, english tea scones, baked beans on toast, vegemite, mince cheese pies (aawahaww drooooolllll), sausage rolls, even their chips are so much better. I remember going to the store for lunch at school and getting all those goodies. They have chicken flavored chips and though it may sound horrible, those the best flavored chips in the world, second to salt and vinegar of course. :-) OH! And those Monster chocolate chip cookies. Man, I am just making myself hungry thinking of all the foods I used to eat. I know I use to put chips in my vegemite sandwiches and that was blasted fantastic!

Anywhos, I was checking out Baking Delights blog, and came across her English Muffin recipe.
It looked so delicious on her blog, I just couldn't help myself but make me some of those. lol. I halved the recipe, making 8 muffins total which was more than what I thought I would get. I used soymilk + apple cider vinegar instead of buttermilk and used earth balance buttery sticks instead of butter. They were SO incredibly easy to make and despite my hesitation due to past english muffin attempts, the pictures were just so good that I knew it would work.

Now, how does one revert back to store brought english muffins after homemade ones?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Carbed out

Well folks, this week was the last week of yeast raised breads. Next week we are moving onto doughnuts, which I am not really looking forward to. I just do not like doughnuts, though I am surprisingly happy we aren't doing breads anymore. I never thought I would be sick of eating bread, but I think I might be. At least for a few days.

We made so many varieties of breads this week! Man. I think my favorite might have been the Whole Wheat raisin loaf. I just adore raisins, golden raisins at that. They did overbake it a little and the bottom was a little burnt but other than that, it was wonderful.

Unfortunately, they did not add enough raisins in there, they were about 1/2 C short. It was a very moist, juicy texture, a firm yet soft crust and a very sweet flavor and subtle butter taste. The crumb is very even.
Another group made whole wheat hoagies. I have to admit they were rather tasty, and even though I do not like buttery tastes in my breads, it was well balanced out by the sweetness of the dough. It did hurt my tummy though cause there was quite a bit of butter in that recipe.
This is definitely a winner for use with a sub filled with turkey breast, vinegar and oil, swiss cheese, peppers and onions. YUmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Here is the bread that my group made. Oh we got an addition into our all girls group. Now we are +1 of the male species. I was pretty happy with the all girls group, and for some reason, he is really never there during the majority of the process. He vanishes, which is odd but okay with me. We only use him for strength when we can't lock in the 30 quart mixer into place.
2 lbs 6.5 oz water
1 1/4 oz dry active yeast
1 lb 10.5 oz medium rye flour
3 lbs 5/5 oz high gluten flour
3/5 oz molasses
1 1/2 oz salt
4 oz malt/honey (used honey)
.75 oz caraway seeds
4 oz shortening
1) mix water and dry active yeast together.
2) Add in high gluten flour, molasses, salt, honey and caraway seeds. Mix on 1st speed for 2 minutes, stop mixer, add in medium rye flour and mix on 2nd speed for 6 minutes. Once dough picks up, add in shortening.
3) Place on dusted bench, cover and let rise 2 hours.
4) Scale into 1 lb 4 oz pieces of dough, roll into a ball, cover and let rest for 10 minutes to loosen the gluten in the dough.
5) Slap each place of dough onto the bench and roll and pinch towards you and seal the edges with the side of your hand.
6)place on parchment lined sheet pan, 3 to a pan and proof for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
7) Slash vertically down the middle, spritz with water and throw some ice into the 425 degree F oven, place sheet pans into oven, turn down oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes.
I really love rye and this is a light rye recipe, so it's not as pungent as most other rye breads but I wish we had a darker rye to work with. I have frozen this because we just have so much bread in the house right now. lol. When I do come to use it, I think I'll do a grilled cheese with it. It'll taste SO good.

Here is some surprising news, or maybe it's just news to me. lol. Chef said that most marble ryes do not contain a dark and light rye dough. Rather it is just caramel coloring. How cheap does that feel?
You can either spiral it and make it into a know OR
Put the dough ontop of each other, roll it up and bake it like a loaf! I think this is prettier.

Nothing too exciting at school this week, though I did make it through my 2 exams. I don't want to say anything before I get my tests back, but it definitely isn't as stressful as the exams I took at Oregon State. Phew.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cookies down with Jaundice

Okay, I won't lie. I'm no photographer even if I have a great new camera. I'm not a photographer and I'm no manual reader either, so folks, I figured out that under digital macro option, there are lighting options too. I figured this one a day too late. So, I apologize in advance for the somewhat jaundice looking Neiman Marcus cookies. I made this not 100% out of want to eat the cookie, perhaps 99% but the 1% goes to the necesscity of needing a picture of these cookies for the baking class logbook (which is a hefty pain in the butt as it took me 6 hours to fill out log sheets for 15 recipes). So really, I made this because I needed for school - let's just go with that one. ;-b

These made a HUGE amount of cookies, and truly though I do love them, to me, they are basically an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, not worth $250 but I will say that these cookies do have the best texture, chewy, soft and crispy around the edges. Other than that, please come over and have cookies for free - I won't charge you $250. :-)

Chef said this recipe has been edited a little from the original one. I'm not sure what differences there are so I really can't say much on that but here's the recipe if you want it:


2 C old-fashioned rolled oats
2 C all-purpose white flour
1 ts baking powder
1 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened (I used earth balance buttery sticks)
3/4 C packed light brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
2 tbs light corn syrup
2 large eggs (I used eggbeaters)
2 ts vanilla extract
2 C semisweet chocolate morsels
1 - 3 1/2 oz bar top-quality milk chocolate, coarsely grated/finely chopped
1 C chopped walnuts/pecans (optional - I obmitted this)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F (Chef said to always preheat 25 degrees above the baking temp asked for due to the heat lost when you open the door, but reduce to actual temp once the item is in the oven and you close the door). Grease several baking sheets.

In food processor/blender, grind oats to fine powder. In large bowl, stir together oats, flour, baking powder, baking sode and salt; set asid. In another bowl, on medium speed, beat butter until light & fluffy. Add brown sugar, sugar, and corn syrup and beat till well blended and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla & beat until evenly incorporated. Beat in half of the flour, beat in chocolate morsels, grated chocolate, walnuts/pecans (if using) and remaining flour mixture until evenly incorporated. Let stand 5-10 minutes or until dough firms up slightly.

Divide dough into quarters and divide each quater into 5-6 portions. Shape into balls with lightly greased hands and place on baking sheets, 3 inches apart. Using hands, pat down balls to 1 inch thick.

Bake 9-12 minutes or until tinged with brown & just beginning to firm up in the centers for oist cookies. Remember to reverse the baking sheet for even browning. Transfer to wire rack after 3-4 minutes.

My husband is finished up API this next week still, so we're still in Pensacola FL for another week before we get to finally move back into our home in Milton, an hour away. For the weekends, we are up here in Milton, and quite honestly, having to go to the grocery store so many times in a week for 2 places we stay at, gets SO tiring & well boring. Don't get me wrong, I am still able to somehow roam the aisles for a good hour or more if left to my own demise. So frankly after church today, I did not want to go to the store and buy more stuff for lunch. So I made Brandon chocolate chip pancakes instead. He didn't mind much, though his eyes tend to be bigger than his stomach. I swear, my stomach is bigger than even his eyes. I can put down food like no other, and I do. lol. That's besides the point though. I made a mini pancake for me just to try. It's the upper right hand one in the picture. This is an IBS friendly recipe.


1/2 C soy milk
2 ts apple cider vinegar
1/2 C all purpose unbleached flour
1/3 C whole wheat flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 C egg beaters
1/2 ts vanilla extract
chocolate chunks

Mix soy milk and cider vinegar in a large bowl and stir well. Then add the rest of the ingredients and whisk till blended & not lumpy. Heat griddle and spray with olive oil spray, then ladle onto griddle. Spread chunks onto top of pancakes, then flip when it bubbles and cook the other side.

Pancakes say "Pour some syrup on me!"

Sometimes I just get the urge to bake. It's like restless leg syndrome only restless baking arm syndrome. I don't feel right if I do not bake at LEAST once a week. Sometimes it's really not enough. There's no oven in our hotel in Pensacola, so you can just image the nightmare it has been the past 2 plus months. The kitchen is my haven. I stress, I bake. I'm happy, I bake. I'm tired, I bake. I just...bake.

Anywhos, I've made this recipe before for the focaccia from Recipezaar This time I used rosemary in the dough, sprinkled it with parsely, parmesan cheese and mozzarella on top. It was goooooooood.

So, considering I've been studing for the 2 midterms coming up on tuesday and wednesday, I've been baking quite a bit. Wish me luck for my first round of exams! Yikes!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Italian doughboy

This week, I was extremely excited about foundations of baking lab. The topic was crusty yeast breads - and we all know how much I love my carbs, and since they obviously don't contain any sort of butter or shortening at all. I was in heaven - well not literally but just about. PLUS, we got to choose our own groups this time, and this is the group we'll be sticking to for the rest of the semester. My group is awesome. It has stefany who is in all my classes almost, another girl named valerie and a lady name Selibeth. We are SO efficient, I almost passed out. While I wanted to make french bread, we got assigned Italian bread instead and I was disappointed because the italian breads that I have ever tried has always been rather nothing special. That changed in 2 hours.

We used the straight dough method as I had described in the yeast rolls post.


water - 4lbs

dry active yeast - 1 1/4 oz

bread flour - 7 lbs 8 oz

salt - 3 oz

When we had finished using the straigh dough method, we floured our wooden bench, and let it rest for an hour before punching it down and letting it rest again for another half an hour (covered during rising times). Then we scaled it into 1 lb loaves I believe ( I have to check on that again), we got 4 loaves of bread on each pan, and we ended up with 3 pans. We flattened each 1 lb piece of dough and from the top corners, rolled and pinched the whole way down to the end seam. Seal the ends by pressing with the side of your palm, set on semolina dusted baking sheets, 4 to a sheet.

Let loaves proof until double in size.

Score on left side of each loaf and place a piece of string that has been soaked in water in the score (this prevents the slash from closing up during baking).
Immediately put in oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or more, until there is at least what looks like a half inch layer of crust.
(I had no idea that italian breads were supposed to have such a thick crust until that day)


We also made Grissini - italian breadsticks, and honestly the grissinis I've had prior to this was all soggy and not crispy so basically quite nasty, so I wasn't excited about it until I tasted this!!! We could add any herbs and cheeses or ingredients we wanted, so I went for rosemary and romano cheese. I'm drooling right now.

1 3/4 ts active dry yeast
1 tbs honey/malt syrup
1 1/4 C warm water
2 tbs olive oil, more for brushing dough
3 3/4 C all purpose unbleached flour
1 1/2 ts salt
2 oz romano cheese
1/4 C dried rosemary

stir yeast, honey into water (warm 110F) and let sit for 10 minutes.
Mix in 2 tbs oil with paddle attachment in mixter, add flour and salt and mix until dough comes together. Change to a dough hook & knead for 3 minutes on low speed.

Finish kneading on a floured bench for 45 seconds.

Then knead in romano cheese and rosemary. Pat into 14 x 4 in rectangle.

Let rest for an hour, covered on floured bench

With pizza cutter, cut dough in half lengthwise, then cut the other way into 1/4 in strips.

Take the ends of each strip and stretch strip till very thin and long. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. You can brush with more olive oil and sprinkle with salt but we thought it was salty enough without the added salt.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Next weeks session: Rye breads. I can't wait!!!!!!

I'm So gonna try to make The nieman marcus's chocolate chip cookies this weekend. I must.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


This was the best weekend we've had in quite a while since Brandon and I have both been busy studying for school. My midterm for next week got rescheduled and Brandon actually didn't have a test to study for so we slept in, then did abs and arms before eating some breakfast and heading out to Destin beach an hour and 20 minutes away. We thought Pensacola beach was it does not even compare to Destin Beach. Crystal clear water, warm to the touch, cooling in the heat and wonderous white sand between my toes. We had just planned on hitting the beach & walking on it.

So we walked along the beach for a good hour or so...
Met some seagulls waiting for fish...
and found a mall just down the street a ways....oh how blissful!!!! Actual stores!!!!!!! You can see a cupcake beach stand there but I did not visit it cause I decided to get a grilled feta, tomato & caramelized onion on rye bread for lunch. Brandon went to Johnny rockets but it wasn't good. You can see the sharper image that we hit earlier & finally found something we wanted to use our gift certificate on, from a year ago from our wedding. lol. yes, we will get you sweet sweet ice cream are ours!
This would make a good painting when I get some more time.
It so happens we strolled upon Williams & Sonoma and it just so happens that I needed a chefs knife and a paring knife for school in a weeks time. It was so meant to be.
My new set of knives. The top all purpose one I got last christmas from Brandon, the one in the middle is my new 8 in chefs knife and an offset paring knife. I LOVE SHUN, more the wustoff. (not sure if that's the right spelling).
A resort as you cross the bridge into Destin
A beach house, how would I LOVE to live in that!! SWEET!
Yes, this shall be our future home. a million years perhaps.
Well, here's to a new week at school tomorrow! We'll see what misadventures awaits me in foundations of baking.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


This week was highly more interesting than last weeks foundations of baking class, well at least lab was. Lecture is actually quite boring. lol. None the less, the topic for lab was enriched rolls aka soft rolls and yeast rolls. We got split into a couple groups, and our group had to make yeast rolls. I don't know what it is, but every week, something HAS to happen to me. I must be a magnet for trouble. Just to update you all on last weeks cookie stealing drama, I may have forgiven this guy for stealing my cookies - maybe. So I gave him my evil eyes all week last week and I think it worked quite wonderfully because when it came time to bake the rolls, I was running around trying to find a free oven and lo and behold he took time to grab some mittens, rearrange the racks in the ovens for me so that my rolls could fit in. I was surprised. Perhaps he has a bit of guilt inside?

Anyways, this weeks drama is that one of the guys that was in my group had taken a similar class to this over the summer, so he took over EVERYTHING - that is until chef told him to let others try. I snickered. Then, while we were handling the dough, I noticed that everytime his hands touched the dough, a reddish color would get stuck on the dough. Now, for a while I thought it was blood, but it remained red. I told him to wash his hands and he said he already had, it must just be "something" he had touched. GREAT! No way am I eating this! He didn't wash his hands till Chef was standing next to us. Lucky for us, each group made like 108 rolls, and there were like 6 groups. So, evidently I tried the rolls that were from another groups. There was NO way I was about to gobble down something with red spots on it. Ewwwwww! Santitation people!

I thought I would really love the yeast rolls, but it was smothered in so much butter I could really taste the actual flavor of the rolls. The soft rolls I liked alot more, I could actually taste it and it had a slightly saltier taste.

We used the straight dough method:
1) Add water, yeast and milk powder in mixing bowl
2) add bread flour, salt & sugar (in that order)
3) mix for 2 minutes on 1st speed, stop the mixer, add the eggs, shift to 2nd speed for 3 minutes
- when dough picks up, add fat/shortening/butter
-allow to rest on dusted wooden bench covered for 1 and a half hours or until doubled in size.
-roll into 1oz balls, shape and proof for 20 minutes in proofer
-Brush egg wash on the top & bake at 350 F for 12 - 15 minutes.
* be aware the yeast rolls make 108 and the soft rolls make 72

2 oz dry active yeast
2 lbs 3 oz water (110 degrees F)
5 oz milk powder
4 whole eggs
4 lbs 6 oz bread flour
10 oz granulated sugar
1 1/4 oz salt
11 1/4 oz unsalted butter/margarine


1 oz dry active yeast
2 lbs water (110 degrees F)
4 oz milk powder
3 lbs 8 oz bread flour
4 oz granulated sugar
4 oz A.P shortening

Enjoy guys, next weeks task: Crusty breads aka FRENCH! YES!