Friday, October 4, 2013

Semaine Une Pâtisserie

There is a common stereotype that Americans have about the French.  We often picture them walking along with baguette in hand smoking a cigarette.  Now, I tried before I came to rid my mind of all stereotypes since I've never been a fan of people placing me in categories just because of how I look, what sex I am, how old I am...etc.  But, in this case, it's actually true.  Everyday I see tons of people walking the streets carrying their baguettes and smoking.  While I can't get behind the smoking part since cigarettes here are almost twice as expensive as they are in the states, I can get behind the bread.  Bakeries and pastry shops seem to be one of the few shops that stay open throughout the day.  And bread is cheap...and filling...both good things.

Which is why I was delighted that my first week in pastry class was all about breads.  Lovely, crunchy, chewy, soft breads.  Delightful!  Though we did a lot of prep work for next week, we produced two main items this week.  What's even better?  We get to take our food home with us.  None of this eat it in class or throw it away stuff.  Nothing is wasted here.  Excellent!  So here are my two recipes for the week.  Sorry that the measurements are in grams and the temperatures are in Celsius.  But in attempting to associate those with measurements and temps I already know, I've decided not to convert anything while I'm here.  I can do that later if needed.  However, there are plenty of websites out there to do that for bake away!

Bread Ball with Poolish

For poolish:
150 g flour
10 g fresh yeast
100 g water (54 degrees C)

1- Combine yeast and water and allow yeast to foam. 
2 - Add flour and combine well.  Cover with a towel and let proof on the counter top for 1 1/2 hours.

For bread:
10 g salt
350 g flour
200 g water

1- Combine salt, flour and water.  Mix in poolish until dough is smooth and elastic.  Weigh out 400 g for one loaf (this recipe makes 2).  Round dough ball and proof at 15 degrees C for 1 hour.
2- Bake at 240 degrees C for 30-40 minutes then at 210 degrees C for 10 minutes.

Banana Cake (FYI...this picture was the cake my instructor did after decorating.  I didn't get a good picture of my cake.  We ate it too fast...haha!)
122 g banana
102 g sugar
12 g brown sugar
61 g whole eggs
106 g cake flour
4.9 g baking powder
20.4 g oil
40 g melted butter
50 g chocolate drops

1- In a small bowl, combine and mash banana and both sugars.
2- Mix together the flour and baking powder.
3- Mix together banana mixture and eggs.
4- Gentle mix in flour mixture.
5- Mix in oil then butter.
6- Butter and line and small loaf pan (this recipe will make 1 small cake).
7- Pour half your batter into the pan.  Gently toss your chocolate drops with flour.  Add chocolate drops to top of batter and cover with remaining batter.
8- Bake at 145 degrees C for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Next week?  Cakes and pies...oh yes...


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