Week 5- Baking

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

We had our midterm this week in baking. We have only covered two chapters so far- quick breads and yeast doughs. The yeast doughs chapter, however, is very lengthy and contains a massive amount of information. I have read, reread, and reread again and again this chapter. Last week, the quiz was completely fill in the blank. It told us to list the three types of yeast as well as any additional information we could tell about them, with more points being given for more information. Then we had to list the ten steps to making a yeast bread. I flew through it since I had read, reread, and reread more. Apparently others didn't do so well. So far, I have over 100% in the class and I'm fairly confident that it will still be around that number after midterms are graded. There were only two questions that I wasn't 100% confident in the answers, but through the process of elimination I am pretty sure I got them right. Even if I did miss them, though, I know that I got the 10 point bonus question correct.

Once the midterm was over, the recipes for the week were passed out. We made peanut butter banana muffins, chocolate almond bread braid, cocoa bread, and chocolate chip bread. We each had to make a batch of the chocolate chip bread and then our team chose to split up the rest of the recipes. I made the cocoa bread since I have made a ton of muffins and I have also made bread braids at home before *different than the ones that we did in class, but still the same concept.* I ended up helping finish off the bread braid just because I am a girl and have experience in braiding. I decided to do more of a french braid instead of the classic look that most of the people were giving their loaves. Yes, I am aware that our loaf came out a bit...phallic. It was not intentional, as hard as that may be for some of you to believe. I did, however, take advantage of this accidental, humorous mistake and take a funny photo but I will leave you to email me if you would like to see that one.

The peanut butter banana muffins were alright. The texture was perfect- moist and tender- but I thought it lacked flavor. I think it could have used more banana flavor and maybe the addition of some kind of spice. It could just be that I'm not a big peanut butter and banana combination girl. For the photo I cut out a flower of butter and topped it with a white chocolate center followed by a peanut butter chip to really set it off. I also added a walnut "leaf" which is kind of hard to see in the photo.

The cocoa bread was more like a muffin to me. It was good, don't get me wrong, since I am a chocoholic, but it wasn't what I was expecting texture wise. We had a little trouble since the tops began to get a little too dark before the center was cooked all the way through. To remedy this, we placed parchment paper over the tops of the loaves while they finished cooking.

I did like how the chocolate chip bread came out. It was a fluffy bread texture but it was sweet which was a different experience. I have had cinnamon raisen bread before but this was a whole different thing. I noticed that when others followed the recipe exactly and put in their chocolate chips when the recipe told them to, the chocolate began to melt because of the warm water used to dissolve the yeast. This turned their bread brown all the way around. I decided to completely make the dough and knead it to the right consistency, and THEN knead in the chips. This is what the book has said to do- to make any additions at the end so they hold their shape and integrity. This worked much better, and even though they still melted a little, it was nowhere near what others experienced.

After baking, I attended a luncheon that had been set up for those that made the President's list and I received a certificate recognizing that achievement. I am working extremely hard to make sure that I maintain this achievement and earn the award again this quarter.


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