Tonight was our first night of B&P, Baking and Pastry. We have a new chef instructor, Chef Richard Sanchez, a new student, and are in a new kitchen. The kitchen is beautiful, perfectly set up for baking, with 3 very large and long wooden block working tables, a 4 deck oven, many mixers, and a wide variety of flours, sugars, and a few cases of butter.
I am afraid, very afraid! You see, I love breads and pastries. It's always been my weak spot. I feel my time spent at the gym is going to have to be doubled going forward during this class. Ugh!! I asked chef if we could taste the biscuits that we made at the end of class tonight, and his response was "yes, you HAVE to". So I think I have cause to worry, especially since I already ate 3 biscuits tonight. Yikes! And it gets worse, chef says that tomorrow we have a much busier day, as we will be making cookies, brownies, and muffins. Ohhh Lord!
So tonight we got an overview of the class, a tour of the kitchen and equipment, and a short lecture on Quick Breads. There seems to be a whole science behind baking, so it was all fascinating to me, and slightly intimidating. Chef was using terms like mixing methods, creaming and sheeting, and hygroscopic. Apparently sugar is "hygroscopic", meaning that it absorbs moisture. Hmpf. And chef told us that the same rule about using fat applies to baking as it does in cooking. That "fat is fat, and to go for flavors". Meaning to chose the type of fat that will provide you the flavor profile you are looking for. Cool!
After the brief lecture on quick breads and mixing methods, fat temperatures, and the rules around using baking powder versus baking soda, we got a quick demo on how to make biscuits. Very simple enough. Then we got our own mise together for our own biscuits, and got to baking biscuits! I decided to add cheese and jalapeno to mine, they came together very quickly, and I was first to get mine in the oven. Within 20 minutes they were done and a beautiful golden brown. And, well, I guess they are good, cause I really can't stop eating them!