Hallah for my Challah!
I'm taking the Pro Baking 1 series (taught by Chef Carol Cotner Thompson) at the New School of Cooking in Culver City (Los Angeles) this fall/winter. For Class 7, we moved from the sweet stuff to yeast breads!
This class is fantastic. I am leapfrogging over terrifying baking concepts! Today, it was yeast. I love bread (I have a button that says "I Love Carbs"), but don't make it. That is, until I had my class!
We learned all about yeast. The freeze dried yeast you get in the store is quite amazing - pretty indestructible stuff. You should keep it in the freezer, by the way. We learned about making your own starter with organic grapes, water, flour and time (read the La Brea Bakery cookbook for a good explanation and technique)...I won't ever be doing that, but learning about making your own starter from your regional yeast spores in the air is very interesting.
Rosemary Olive Bread
We made a Rustic Country Bread, Rosemary Olive Bread and Challah. We kneaded all the breads by hand. I felt very rustic and pioneer. Hee hee. I can knead bread, but the laundry back then? Holy smokes. I say a little thank you to my washing machine and dryer for saving me a day's worth of labor. Anyway, back to bread making...
Challah making! Oh, I faltered with the braid, but it all sorta came together. One side was bigger than the other, but my stomach could not tell the difference.
I'm not posting the recipes from class but they don't have special powers or ingredients...the class is more about technique. We spent a lot of time feeling different dough textures to determine the difference between dry, middle, and wet doughs. We kneaded our dough and brought it up for the instructor to feel it!
I'm excited because I have plans for my Challah...and it involves World Nutella Day (February 5th)! See the post on Saturday, February 6th. Cheers, Mary
Recaps of the New School of Cooking, Pro Baking 1 course:
Baking Therapy: Going back to school
Class 1: Quick Breads
Class 2: Custards
Class 3: Soufflés & Pate a Choux
Class 4: Tarts, Pie, Crisps and Cobblers
Class 5: Chocolate
Class 6: White Cake with Italian Meringue Buttercream