I'm taking the Pro Baking 1 series at the New School of Cooking in Culver City (Los Angeles) this fall/winter. Last Sunday was the first class. I'm such a nerd that I went to Staples to buy "new school supplies"...a bright green folder to house my recipes. Yes, I have a big "L" on my forehead and I'm not ashamed ;)
Here's a little wrap up of Class 1: Quick Breads: Muffins, Scones and Quick Breads
A few people in the class are thinking of a career change, while others are doing it for fun like me. Instructor Carol Cotner Thompson starts class with a lecture about today's topic; this week, we learned about them awesome chemical leavening agents The baking soda and The baking powder. She demonstrated making a carrot cake (that we sampled later with a cream cheese frosting), apple muffins and currant scones.
Then, it was action time! In Pro Baking, each student bakes their own item, from start to finish. Half the class started on the muffins and the other on the scones. With my new Chef's Coat on, as I went about getting my bowls and ingredients... for a small moment there, I felt like I was starting a Quick Fire on Top Chef! :)
Apple Streusel Muffins. (I didn't ask permission to print the recipes, so there aren't listed. If I get the OK, I'll try to post them). This recipe uses a grated apple, with skin on for extra flavor. As with all quick breads, Carol stressed DON'T OVERMIX. Seriously, don't overmix. And mixing SLOWLY? Well, that doesn't help...just mix it up quickly, but don't overmix it. The instructor mixed the batter in seconds.
This is the time when you hold up your flour/butter mixture and ask, "Are these pieces small enough?" These were traditional scones, not the ones served in coffee houses.
The instructor, Carol, has been teaching and cooking for many years. She said that our scones at home should be way better than a bakery! Because we are making small batches by hand with the best ingredients, our scones should be better. I have a lot work to do to get there...but it sounds good to me! ;)
Next up: New School of Cooking, Pro Baking 1 Class: Custards, Bread Pudding and Ice Cream (Class 2)