New School of Cooking - Pro Baking 1 - Class 7: Artisan Breads

Friday, February 5, 2010

New School of Cooking - Class #7 - Artisan Breads
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!

New School of Cooking - Class #7 - Artisan Breads

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.

New School of Cooking - Class #7 - Artisan Breads
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...

New School of Cooking - Class #7 - Artisan Breads

New School of Cooking - Class #7 - Artisan Breads New School of Cooking - Class #7 - Artisan Breads
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.

New School of Cooking - Class #7 - Artisan Breads
My Rustic Country Bread. This is super easy. The best part is that you take the risen dough out of the big bowl and just plop it onto a cornmeal covered pan. Yeah, it looks like a bone! :)

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
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Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Once you start making homemade bread you'll never go back Mary! It's the best :)

Rebecca said... [Reply to comment]

That challah looks amazing. So shiny and pretty. And I think challah is not supposed to look perfect.

Audrie said... [Reply to comment]

I think I've just put on weight looking at all the carbs! Hee! They look sooooo good.

Bella Baker said... [Reply to comment]

your breads look amazing!! Making a challah was one of my biggest accomplishments!! Great job on yours!

Patricia @ ButterYum said... [Reply to comment]

Stunning breads!


Rosa's Yummy Yums said... [Reply to comment]

Lovely loaves! So beautiful and tempting!



Nichicakes said... [Reply to comment]

Wow gorgeous breads! I love to make challah, I havent done that since school... hmm maybe a project for this weekend. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos.

Debbie said... [Reply to comment]

Love all those breads. Oh how I need to try baking with yeast. You cracked me up about the bread looking like a bone!!!! Hey, at least you are baking your own bread!!!

Azusa said... [Reply to comment]

Your challah is gorgeous!! And I can just imagine the aroma coming from the rosemary olive... Mmm~

DailyChef said... [Reply to comment]

Your breads all look amazing! I love a well-baked loaf...especially the smell when you wander past a storefront or into the kitchen!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, this looks so great. I love carbs too. Thanks for sharing your baking adventure with us.

Jennie said... [Reply to comment]

Your challah is gorgeous! I love carbs, too. It's been so much fun to follow your progress through this class. You're quite an amazing baker!

Stella said... [Reply to comment]

Pretty. I love egg breads!

Jane said... [Reply to comment]

Your challah is bright, golden, and beautiful. Making challah is one of the items on my list of things to try this winter. I love all your tales from the baking classes you're taking. Isn't it wonderful getting formal instruction for this kind of stuff? Really demystifies the scary techniques!

Di said... [Reply to comment]

All of your breads look wonderful. I was scared of sourdough, but found that it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. =)

Dixie Caviar said... [Reply to comment]

I'm about to graduate from Pro 1 - cooking. It's so much fun. I've been practicing for finals; it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it! Have fun baking...

PS - I tried your baking class's leftover eclairs a few week ago. Heavenly!

oneordinaryday said... [Reply to comment]

Good for you. A cooking class sounds like fun and it'd be great to have all that support when you tackle recipes that make you a litle nervous. The bread looks perfect!!!

Memória said... [Reply to comment]

I'm hollering for your Challah!! You did a perfect job!! What a lovely, shiny bread!! I want some!

Gastronomer said... [Reply to comment]

WOW! I bought some yeast the other month and have been meaning to bake up a bready storm. Your post has inspired me to git to it!

How To Eat A Cupcake said... [Reply to comment]

I *dream* of taking a class like that! You are very lucky, and your breads look so delicious!

Linda said... [Reply to comment]

This and the croissant/puff pastry class was my favorite in the course series! Your loaves look like they came from a artisan bakery...nice job Mary!

Zohar said... [Reply to comment]

Looks like a lot of fun!
Being Jewish calls for lots of Challah, so I wanted to tip you off: to get an even sized Challah without a long thin tail, just braid it from the middle. Same technique just from the middle to each end. It's not that hard and it works great!

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Zohar, Sadly, I did braid it from the middle! ha ha. The main difficulty I had was that the braid wasn't attached to the back of someone's head and I got all confused. :) ha ha - mary

eatme_delicious said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my those are all some of the most beautiful loaves I've seen!! Look at that challah glisten.

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