Oatmeal Bread and Vienna Rolls

With Monday being Victoria Day and a national holiday, my Art of Cakes class was obviously put on hold until next week. Therefore, I especially looked forward to last night’s Art of Breads class, and it did not disappoint. We made Vienna Rolls (or in other words, dinner rolls), and Oatmeal Bread.

The Vienna Rolls are traditionally done in an oval shape with a score (slice/cut) through the top. We were allowed to make simple shapes as well if we wanted – single knots, double knots, etc. However, I decided to stay traditional. They resulted with a perfectly crusty exterior and a super fluffy soft interior. They turned out perfect! 🙂

Vienna Rolls.

The other bread we made was Oatmeal Bread. Instead of shaping them in pans, we let them bake free form. We also eggwashed the tops of these loaves (the way we did with the Vienna Rolls), and sprinkled oats on top. Another option is to add raisins and cinnamon sugar. To do this, after the dough is prepared, raisins should be folded in by hand. And instead of adding cinnamon to the dough (which is a tree spice and which can dry out the loaf), after applying the eggwash, dust cinnamon sugar to the top of the loaf for added flavour. The cinnamon sugar would be in lieu of the oats.

Oatmeal Bread.

Butter Crust Bread and French Sticks (Baguettes).

Last night’s bread class resulted in a batch of yummy bread. I made two Butter Crust Bread loaves and two French Baguettes. They turned out great. I must admit I still need a bit of work on my baguette technique (because its hard to do), but the loaves turned out absolutely perfect. Both types of bread turned out so yummy. There is nothing better than freshly baked bread – warm, soft inside with a fabulous crust, and fresh! Yum!

(L to R: Butter Crust Bread loaves, and French Sticks).

Bakery Showcase 2010

Today was the last day of the Bakery Showcase. I went with two of my culinary classmates. We had a  blast!

I have been to industry tradeshows before – Bridal/Wedding, Giftware, Table Top, Accessories… but this time it was for the Baking industry. And unlike other industry trade shows, this one only happen once every two years!

The show was held at the International Centre, Hall 3 (May 16-18) near Pearson Airport.  It was for industry professionals including bakers (retail, wholesale, commercial), grocery and foodservice outlets. There were over 200 companies in 35,000 sq.ft. showcasing ingredients, equipment, services, technology and baked goods (fresh, proof & bake, par-baked, freezer-to-oven, thaw & serve). There was even a Decorative Bread Competition and a National Cake Decorating Competition, though they took place before today. But the cakes were on display with the placement of the top 3 in both professional and student categories clearly marked.

Yummy cakes.. mmmmm…

Last night was my first official class of my Art of Cakes class! We made pound cakes. Two different versions actually.

The first pound cake we made was an Old Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake. The second was a High Ratio Lemon Pound. Obviously there were several differences in the ingredients, the major one being the Old Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake was made w/ butter (and regular shortening). The butter gives a heavier texture and more flavour than the High Ratio Pound. Another major difference was in the two shortenings used. In the High Ratio Pound Cake we used an emulsified shortening. It gives a lighter and fluffier texture because it absorbs more water. It was very interesting to compare the differences between the two – taste, texture, how the cakes rose during baking, etc. It makes you appreciate not just the art involved in baking, but the science! 🙂

Lots and lots of Pound Cakes.

May 16, 2010 – Rima Fakih, Miss USA 2010 winner: Lebanon-born Miss Michigan is first Arab-American to take crown

Final Results:

Top 5:

Winner: Miss Michigan USA, Rima Fakih.
1st Runner Up:  Miss Oklahoma USA, Morgan Elizabeth Woolard.
2nd Runner Up: Miss Virginia USA, Samantha Casey
3rd Runner Up: Miss Colorado USA, Jessica Hartman
4th Runner Up: Miss Maine USA, Katie Whittier

Top 10:

Miss California USA, Nicole Michele Johnson
Miss Tennessee USA, Tucker Perry
Miss Missouri USA, Ashley Strohmier
Miss Alabama USA, Audrey Moore
Miss Mississippi USA, Breanne Ponder

Top 15:

Miss Arkansas USA, Adrielle Churchill
Miss Kansas USA, Bethany Gerber
Miss Wyoming USA, Claire Schreiner
Miss Pennsylvania USA, Gina Cerilli
Miss Nebraska USA, Belinda Wright

MISS PHOTOGENIC USA™ Award: Miss Alabama USA, Audrey Moore.
MISS CONGENIALITY USA™ Award: Miss Nebraska USA, Belinda Wright.

Art of Breads… Finally!

My Art of Breads class finally happened last night. The new chef, although temporary (just for last night’s class), was great. Next week we will have our new regular chef for the rest of the course.

We made loaves of white bread…. completely by hand. (Did I mention my arms, back and neck were tired and a little sore?!). I did one plain, and one with an egg wash on top. Needless to say, they smelled AMAZING! And they tasted even better. 🙂 I LOVE warm freshly baked bread! There is absolutely nothing better.

While we were waiting for the bread to rise, we also make “play dough”. Essentially it was bread dough, but without some of the tasty ingredients that make dough truely edible. The point of that was so that we could practice our bread techniques – rolling, kneading, shaping, braiding, etc. We will need these techiques for the rest of the course where we will be making two different types of bread every week!

I can’t wait! 😀

Two loaves of White Bread. L to R: a plain version, and one with an egg wash.

No bread for Cinta. :(

Yesterday was supposed to be the first class of my Art of Breads class. But alas, it didn’t happen. The class was cancelled. 😦

The Chef quit.

But we are to resume next week at the same time with a new Chef, and just add an additional class to the end of the scheduled program to make up for this cancelled class. Very disappointing. But at least it will continue.

Until next week…