BAKER’S APPRENTICE 3

DS and I had our third bread-making lesson this afternoon. Our focus today was on European breads, including pizza.

We had a total of 4 types of bread to learn and the lesson was supposed to be less rushing as compared to the previous week. However, I was quite stressed up at some points. DS was caught up in a few phone calls due to some urgent system problems in the office, and I was left alone to attend to the various chores. We work in pairs during the lessons.

Fortunately, all our breads still turned out well 😉 Well, like what our instructor said in the class, bread-making can be easy or difficult. I believe that it is also practice that makes it perfect, just as with anything else we do.

Thin, crispy pizza with ham, pineapples and mushroom toppings. For this, we were asked to knead the dough manually. Basically, the instructor wanted us to have a feel and experience in manual kneading. A seemingly easy task but we had a hard time trying to get the dough developed properly. So, we were the last to have our pizza baked!

I like the Swedish Limpa Bread which was made of rye flour and has a higher fibre content, thus making it a healthier choice of bread. This bread is tinged with a light fragrant of honey and orange zest. According to our instructor, this goes well with honey and marmalade.

Focaccia, a flat Italian bread topped with stewed tomatoes, dried rosemary, Italian herbs and a dash of black pepper. It looks like a pizza.

Calzones (sometimes referred to as stuffed or folded pizza) is also made from so-called lean dough which has less oil, salt and sugar. It was shaped like a curry-puff but a lot larger in size.

In fact, unlike those breads that we made in the previous weeks, we used olive oil (instead of butter) for all the dough today. We also did not add eggs into the dough. The dough-making process was also a little bit challenging because we used plain flour or a mixture of plain and bread flours which has less gluten than pure bread flour. That’s why in bread-making, it is also important for us to understand the functions of the ingredients used, and their impact on the breads.

Our bread-making course has a class size of about 30 people which is multiracial and multinational. We have Singapore Chinese, Malays and Indians, as well as foreigners like Indonesians, Filipinos and mainland Chinese, and possibly Malaysians as well. Before the class started, I was a little bit worried that DS might be the only male student in the class but it turned out that there are about 6-7 of them.

At the end of the lesson today, we bought “Recipes from the Heart”, a recipe book written by our instructor, Judy Koh. As we ran through the recipe book just now, DS and I were so impressed by the creativity and uniqueness of her recipes, especially her artistic food styling! I wished I have a fraction of her talent!!

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