January 9, 2017
Back to the old grind but starting out this quarter in the bakery instead of the kitchen. My last quarter will be filled with breads, pastries, and new flavorful desserts and confections.
As organization goes, I was emailed a copy of the weekly menu detailing how the next couple of days were to go and what was expected. This week, Kayla and I compile ingredients for our Pan Rustic bread, sourdough starter, Pecan Pralines, Benne Wafers, 500 Cream Puffs for the Governor’s Inaugural Ball on Wednesday, Caramel and Chocolate sauce for garnish purposes, and finally mise en place Bread Pudding, Peach Cobbler, and Chess Pie in little 4-in. tart dishes. Full schedule considering that I leave at 10:30 am on Wednesday to head down to Olympia to help cater for the Ball. It will be a long affair, most likely 22 hours or so…what a day it will be but I am extremely excited to go to something more formal than normal. It is always a delight to experience new things and meet new people (I have learned this since graduating high school.)
The morning took a little longer to start than expected; I think just getting back into the swing of a schedule and time management after a long and much-needed holiday is a little difficult. But, we were able to build our sourdough starter no problem, we moved onto the grueling task of scooping pate choux into little balls to bake off for cream puffs. Now it would have been a lot worse if I was the only one scooping, but thank goodness for Kayla. I don’t relish the thought of ever spending a day on my own with the schedule we have. Next priority was mise en placing for our pecan pralines and benne wafers, both of which took no time at all to assemble. The pecan pralines were created using a caramel sauce with vanilla and pecans folded in after the cool down stage and then dropped onto a waxed sheet pan to form a delicious, sugary appetizer. The benne wafers (benne literally meaning sesame seed in Italian) were basically made from butter combined with flour, brown sugar, salt, vanilla and egg with toasted sesame seeds. I only ended up using half the dough to bake for this week and the other half went into the freezer for future reference. They both turned out pretty nice for our first attempt.
We then worked the rest of the day on mise en placing our banana pudding, peach cobbler, and mixing some tart dough for our chess pie. Tomorrow we will be working on angel food cake and blind baking our tarts, on top of feeding our sourdough and mixing our Pan Rustic poolish with our final dough
Nothing too stressful happened during the course of the day except that it seemed hard to get into a rhythm of sorts. As the quarter progresses, I hope that my time management and efficiency can step up their game and become great pals. But having Kayla in class with me all day is a treat I cannot pass up because of her funny sense of humor and willingness to learn. 🙂