Posted at 11:49 pm , on March 19, 2020
When done right, scones have a crazy-high return on investment. With a few basic ingredients, and a few not-so-complicated steps (we’re basically making biscuits here, people), you have a deliciously flakey – sweet or savoury – pastry. We already have one scoopable-scone recipe, this one is a more traditional dough and processes. Different shapes – both delicious. Can’t choose? Make both!
Posted at 11:35 pm , on March 19, 2020
Student: Sir, you know what I’ve realized after taking this course?
Me: What’s that?
Student: I love sugar.
Me: *realizing I need to work on pushing some healthier recipes with the kids…*
Also me: Crumb Topping? I put that stuff on everything!
Posted at 2:13 am , on February 27, 2020
We run the nutrition club at school. I don’t call it a breakfast club because the kids come throughout the day, not just in the morning. We often have healthy stuff like apples, bananas and yogurt on hand for snacks. I never know how much we are going to go through, so we occasionally end up with overripe fruits. For the bananas, we freeze them in packages of 4-5 so that they are ready to be made into banana bread. When needed, the kids can take out a package from the freezer the day before, and it will be ready for use the next day. Continue reading
Posted at 2:47 am , on December 18, 2019
As part of our nutrition club at school, the students often come for a snack whenever they are hungry. The simplest thing for them to do is to grab a bagel, toast it and put some spreadable cream cheese on it, (trust me they tell me when it’s not the spreadable kind). We haven’t managed to get a proper bagel recipe yet, that’s probably our next project. But in the meantime, we have managed to standardize a pain de mie recipe that’s easy to make in our 74 minute time frame. It takes an extra day or two, but that’s OK. For Ms. Brignull’s class, they even used this recipe for a fundraiser where the students made the bread into grilled cheese sandwiches to sell with soup and one-of-a-kind bowls produced by Ms. Levay’s class.
Posted at 9:23 pm , on November 21, 2019
At school we often have to prepare breakfast, catering for teachers when they come for professional learning (PL). My students and I try our best to have a spread of freshly baked items along with fruits, yogurt, and coffee (of course!) upon their arrival. The baked goods include muffins, cookies, and Costco croissants that usually involve an embarrassing confession when someone asks if they was made in-house. Croissants made in-house? That’s the dream! But until we can afford a table-top sheeter, we will be working on madeleines, financiers, scones, and other items that are a little more practical to make in-house.
Posted at 5:00 pm , on November 3, 2019
Ciabatta is a lean dough that is made with a poolish and something called the double-hydration method. This method involves adding water at two stages during gluten development. This is done to help incorporate the water of high hydration doughs. Continue reading
Posted at 12:51 pm , on October 6, 2019
Focaccia is one of my favourite breads to make. It has a super high hydration (93% hydration in this case), but because it’s baked in a pan it doesn’t require any bread shaping skills. The possibilities for toppings are limitless, although it’s pretty good plain as well. Personally, I like baking focaccia in a lasagna pan, because it’s smaller than a sheet tray and has higher sides so the resulting loaf is dramatically thick. Eat it on its own, or even slice it lengthwise for sandwiches. You can’t go wrong! Continue reading
Posted at 7:35 pm , on October 5, 2019
In the last few posts, I’ve been trying to cover some of the foundational topics of bread making. Today, I want to take a step back and talk about the steps involved in the overall process. My hope is that this will provide a general framework so that you know what to expect in a recipe, and even maybe start thinking about coming up with your own. Peter Reinhart says that the art of bread making involves 12 steps, I will try to give a brief description of each below:
Posted at 1:00 am , on October 4, 2019
In many bread recipes, a target temperature, or DDT (Desired Dough Temperature) is often specified for the dough for the end of the mixing process. Is it important? Mixing the dough in a specific temperature range encourages proper gas production during fermentation, resulting in the ideal loaf volume for the final product. The DDT may be influenced by factors beyond the ambient temperature. For example, if the water is too cold, it might take longer for the bread to properly rise. On the other hand, if the water is too warm, it will accelerate the fermentation process. By taking DDT into consideration, we can eliminate some of these variables and will achieve more consistency in fermentation, final dough and timing.
What is Desired Dough Temperature (DDT)?
Desired dough temperature is the temperature that the dough should reach at the end of the mixing stage just before bulk fermentation. Continue reading
Posted at 12:52 am , on October 4, 2019
Poolish, levain, biga, pâte fermentée – is there a difference? And what’s the point in preparing a part of the dough separately? In this post, I’ll try to clarify the terminology and the science behind the wonderful world of preferments.
What is a pre-ferment?
A preferment is a portion of dough that is mixed in advance of preparing the final dough. Its main purpose is to increase flavour, strength, and shelf life. Because it is mixed ahead of time, bulk fermentation as well as mixing time is reduced. Preferments can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight, those that are stored in the fridge often assume more of an acidic flavour profile while room temperature preferments have a lactic flavour. Continue reading