Monday, August 25, 2008

Rich Dough

Thursday we made cinnamon rolls. I highly recommend making these – I brought them for the road trip for my sister’s wedding (!!) and they were loved by all! I love this class. I have been baking from scratch since I was an undergrad, and people always told me they liked my stuff, but I always wondered if that was just because they were being nice… but I think I might actually be good at this. Not that I’m a star by any means, but I do feel like my stuff is pretty consistent, and I really really enjoy it as we work on it. Of course sometimes I’m tired and I just want to stop, but so far, I really find a lot of pleasure in baking.
It was just Irish and me on this recipe (doubled again) because Tennessee paired off with Nemo because Rico had not come to class. Sad. We love our threesome!
Sponge –
2 oz water
8 oz scalded and cooled milk
1 oz fresh yeast
10 oz bread flour
10 oz pastry flour
Straight dough –
2 oz butter
1.5 oz sugar
1 egg
½ oz salt
Sponge then straight dough method.
Roll out to size of half-sheet pan, about ¼ in thick. Spread butter over dough, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon mix (seasoned to your liking). Leave about one-inch at the edge empty. Pull dough away and pinch down, starting away from you. Do this all the way toward you. This will form a roll. Cut into 16 even pieces. Usually these are baked in a pie tin, but we didn’t have enough to go around, so they looked like this (proofed, then baked and glazed): Hee! So fat! Clearly, our dough bounced back to about one-half inch instead of one-fourth, but look how funny and fat they are!
The glaze is just powdered sugar, water, and vanilla extract. Make sure you only use a tiny amount of vanilla, or it comes out brown. Whoops, mine was not totally brown, but it wasn't exactly white either! I made mine thick, but Chef said it could have been even thicker. Look - Tennessee and I made quite a mess on the table glazing the rolls - fun times!
After class, I picked up my sister’s (Suzan) boyfriend, and we headed off to the airport to pick her up. Then we drove out to the suburbs to stay with another sister (Aylin), from which we were leaving at 4 am to drive up to Mackinac Island. It was a long ride, but fun just the same! Deniz (my oldest sister) and Brad had beautiful weather for the ceremony after a monsoon in the morning, and it went off without a hitch! Congratulations again to the couple!

But, going there meant I missed the exam and practical Friday. So, that means Monday I go to work, go straight to school, take an exam, make baguette and rolls from scratch, and then go to class. They got to make their baguette dough Thursday night. I’m going to be tired by the time I get home. Just a bit. I care about how I do, just because I like this stuff, but at the same time, I realize that due to my schedule, I cannot necessarily be expected to perform my best. I’ll do the best I can, but I have not been known to perform flawlessly when I tired – I tend to forget things. Oh well – the weekend was worth it!

Lessons Learned:
Irish and I panicked a little bit, because after I made the dough and it was fermenting and she was cleaning our station, she found an egg in our mise en place. I could have sworn I cracked two eggs, but then why was there another egg there? Oh, it took us a bit, but then we realized who we were standing next to, and remembered that that pair, instead of cleaning up after themselves and putting stuff away, tends to just move it over into someone else's space. Which is also how the croissant cutter ended up on my clean table when I had already put my stuff away. These are also a pair that hide in the broom closet instead of helping everyone else clean the kitchen. You can't choose your classmates or workmates, so it's good to learn how to deal with all kinds. And learn to vent in your head, or possibly on your blog... I think it is unbelievably rude, immature, and lazy to behave this way, but some people go their whole lives acting this way... I figure, they are the ones that will get fired from jobs, not me, so why get too upset about it? This class is actually helping me practice all kinds of maturity/coping skills. This summer and year has been all about learning when to let go, when to ignore things, and when to learn to laugh about situations/behavior. I am really learning to shrug my shoulders when I used to explode, and walking away instead of talking back. Not perfectly by any means, but I really do find myself calming others down more often than I need calming down. Am I actually growing up?
Now, the challenge will be to apply this to my actual job. Even just being back for a couple days, things are really hitting the fan here. Applying those skills there will be the ultimate challenge.

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