January 24, 2017
Ever since I delved into the world of yeast and bread, I thought I knew how to mix the ingredients, shape that voluptuous mass of flour, water, yeast and salt, and bake in a hot oven. Well, this quarter has given me insight on how to bake bread the correct way and how everything we do in the bakery is a learning experience that can be improved upon til the day we die. (Rough way of describing it but, hey, why not?) The hardest thing today was juggling the breads and fermentation and also how to tell when the next stage should commence, but in time I think that will become easier to notice. I really enjoyed making the most anticipated dessert to be revealed toward the end of this blog and the description will speak for itself.
Bread was a huge priority of the day with sourdough shaping, french bread baguettes shaping, and pan rustic baking to do our schedule was pretty tight…up until 12:30. Then it was wait, wait, wait for the bread to proof for the oven. In the meantime, orange financiers were coming together in a stainless steel bowl with dry ingredients such as almond flour, sugar and salt and wet ingredients like orange juice and egg whites. These were slowly incorporated to form a beautiful glossy batter that was transferred to a piping bag. We used a silicone rectangle mold and baked them at 350 for about 10-12 minutes until they started obtaining that sultry brown color. Alas, the desired contagion was only caught on one side of the financier. The suspect to the one-sided browning turned out to be the silicon mold we baked them in; since the mold was not stainless steel it didn’t deliver even heat to the batter thereby turning only half of the financier brown. Good thing this was a trial run and not the real thing. A chocolate fudge dip was imminent followed by a roll in toasted hazelnuts and voila! Plenty of buttery, nutty, chocolaty goodness to go around!
Imagine the smell of a fresh loaf of bread drifting out from the combi oven, and your senses are screaming at you to cut into that loaf the minute it emerges from the hot box. Nay! Resisting the temptation to do so would deny you instant gratification but would gift you with a soft crumb and chewy crust; the ultimate goal in the long run if you can wait that long. Quite difficult for a bread nut like me 😉
Whilst wafting aromas of baked bread fill the small spaces of the bakery, lavender panicotta was being born in the far corner and was soon to meet it’s match: blackberry compote. Now I always used to think panicotta was a difficult to make, but in reality it is just boiling cream and sugar and adding gelatin and flavorings. The trick is popping it in the refrigerator to set up for four hours before digging in. Kayla and I couldn’t resist past the four hour mark and had to plate one for trial and presentation’s sake…So this is how it turned out:
I know that the picture speaks for itself and you may want to hear a delicious line from me about this out-of-world dessert, but that would be a trade secret and can only be shared with trust and confidentiality to you devoted people…Let’s just say if you have eaten anything lavender-dessert related and you are helpless to escape the allure of fresh, plump blackberries in late summer then you know what is going through my head. Therefore this Lavender Panicotta with a Blackberry Compote (we would prefer to call it a Moonberry Compote but figured that would warrant an R18+ rating), Candied Orange Zest and Crystallized Basil will call to you even during sleep.
Though the pictures are deceiving to the human eye, these were developed by Kayla and I today. And these beautiful second-time-baking-baguettes taste delicious with a splat of salted butter on a cold and cloudy day.