February 8, 2017
It has literally snowed more at the beginning of this year then it has in the past three years combined. It was a blizzard outside of the bakery windows this afternoon and everyone stared astonishingly at the large flakes — snow was a foreign concept apparently. But seriously, it is nice to watch the fluffy whiteness drop from the endless cloudy sky; it makes you feel like a little kid again (which I actually think never leaves us), making you want to go jump around and trap snow in your awaiting mouth with your tongue sticking out like a goofball… Back to the pressing matter of today’s breaking news: I forgot my camera at school today and there will not be pictures updated with this post until Thursday afternoon. I know, I know it is quite difficult a task to imagine all of these scrumptious things I am about to describe to you but…humor me alright?
Croissant dough can only be a pain when it gets too warm, and that is precisely the thing I stayed away from. I kept that dough so chilled, not to mention I was working out in the hall with Kayla where the degrees were below 40 while the bakery stayed a nice toasty 67. We had three doughs to roll out, I rolled two and Kayla rolled the mini croissants that were to be used with the frangipane and simple syrup but that ended up not happening today because OHHHH how the day was hectic! And it seemed like everyone was feeling the heat, it wasn’t just me. Not to mention that Kayla had a doctor’s appointment today at noon and would soon leave me to fend for myself 🙂 Our croissant dough was shaped and rolled into the traditional croissant style and left to proof with a light egg wash for an hour or two before baking.
Meanwhile, we took our English muffin levain and combined it with the remaining ingredients such as flour, yeast, salt, milk and oil. It was blended together and left to proof for an hour at room temp. The liquidy batter was scooped into oiled and cornmealed muffin tins and left to proof for a couple hours, or until doubled in size. Multitasking only goes so far before something goes wrong or somebody freaks out, crossed fingers hopes that nobody goes a-wall. Despite the millions of things going on today, our croissants turned out gorgeous, our macaroons were spot-on-fantabulous! and our English muffins were baked to perfection. The brioche was the only thing we ran into issues with because it had over-proofed in the proof box and we hadn’t brushed it with egg wash yet. So with a delicate hand, I brushed the dough with egg wash and popped them in the combi. Once cooled and turned out, we noticed little “butts” on all of the overturned brioche. This had to do with how we shaped them when we pressed the balloon through the hole in the dough and mounded it. They still turned out lovely and they tasted rich and moist, especially with the toasted Italian meringue and orange simple syrup and marmalade I swam it in. The dessert is called Beignet Polonaise and it is basically a stale brioche that has been soaked for a while in this orange simple syrup and then a hole is cut from the center to allow for room to spoon in a tablespoon of marmalade, followed by pastry cream filled to the top. Once this is done, the brioche is transferred to a serving plate and covered with Italian meringue much like how you would ice a cake. Decorations are placed in meringue and then blow torched to give the dessert a nice pop and contrast. (The picture I took of the polonaise is absolutely gorgeous yet way too sugary for my taste).
The Polonaise took up extra time at the end of the day, so I didn’t leave the bakery until about 3:00 because I had to freeze our English muffins and the rest of the brioche for later usage. And maybe I can salvage the leftover Italian meringue made today and turn it into buttercream tomorrow, we shall see. An almost overwhelming day with plenty to do and many desserts being concocted. Pictures to follow tomorrow like I said because my camera is at school 😦