Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Quarter of Culinary Classes

Wow. My three weeks of summer break from culinary school flew by! A little too quickly if you ask me! :) This week my new classes started up. I had to get back in the habit of setting my alarm clock for 5am for 2 days a week. This quarter may be my favorite set of classes so far. I am taking Introduction to Baking & Pastry which is a 5 hour lab class on both Wednesdays and Thursdays. Thursdays are my long days because I also have a 3 hour lecture class called Intro to Baking and Pastry Theories.

Like I said, I'm super excited about all there is to learn in these classes. I think I gained 20 pounds just reading the course syllabus! Lots of breads, pies, cakes, custards, and even ice cream are in my near future!

We jumped right in and started baking on the first day! We made blueberry muffins, lemon poppyseed muffins, and country biscuits. Yum! Yesterday we made soft yeast dinner rolls, whole wheat hamburger buns, rosemary focaccia, chocolate cherry scones, and zucchini bread. We aren't allowed to bring any of our creations home with us because of health code rules (Boo!) so I feel obligated to completely pig out at the end of class because everything is always so good. The chocolate cherry scones and rosemary focaccia were my favorites!

My theories class talks about the science behind all the baking and reinforces everything we learned in lab. I feel like I learned so much and it's only Week 1!

The first thing learned (and the biggest surprise and thing to get acquainted to) is that the difference between baking at home and commercial baking is this...they weigh everything in commercial baking. So in class we are no longer allowed to use measuring cups and rarely do we use measuring spoons. Each student was required to buy a digital scale and we have to measure everything in ounces and pounds. Baking is an exact science and weighed measurements are more accurate than volume measurements.

Next week we are learning all about laminated doughs...

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