Sunday, 5 February 2017

BASIC BREAD BAKING BY DEAN BRETTSCHNEIDER

Today I spent a day in Basic Bread Baking at Brettschneider's Baking & Cooking School.  It's Part One of a three-instalment Christmas gift from my boss, Caspar.  Aren't I lucky?


The fun foundation class is thought by Dean Brettschneider himself.  Today we learnt the technique of hand-kneading the dough.  Using the same basic white bread dough, we were able to create two breads of very different texture:

- White Bread loaf that is well-risen, crusty on the outside, soft on the inside.  The crumbs are small and evenly distributed;

- Fougasse that is more of a flatbread with larger, uneven crumbs.

We also made focaccia but mine is hanging its head in shame. :)

My take-away from today's workshop:

(1) If the dough feels very wet and sticky at the beginning, it is normal.  Don't immediately add flour to make it easier to handle.  The ingredients take time to mingle, make friends, and work magic together.

(2) Kneading is essential for a well-risen airy loaf.

(3) The secret of easy and effective kneading by hand is to rest for 30-45 seconds several times during the kneading process. This allows the elastic flour protein to relax a little before further kneading.

(3) For a fluffy loaf with a fine crumb (or 'holes'), the dough is given a "knock-back" in between proofing to expel the gas.

(4) For Fougasse the dough doesn't require knocking back, allowing gas to be trapped, thus creating the porous interior perfect for dipping into soup or soaking up gravy.

(5) Bake loaves (in a tin) on the lowest possible rack of the oven.

(6) Fougasse needs to be baked on the highest rack of the oven.

(7) Baking your bread in a steam oven gelatinizes starch on the outside layer of the dough, producing a bread with a crisp and evenly browned crust.

(8) Baking your bread on a pre-heated pizza stone gives the dough a strong shock of initial heat, puffing up the crust. 


I am very much looking forward to attending the Advanced Bread Baking One - 2 day Intensive.


Tuesday, 27 December 2016

HOME FOR CHRISTMAS


Am at home all week for the Christmas holidays.  The mobile phone is on silent mode.  I've ceased to check my work emails.  It's my feeble pursuit of tranquility. Living with emotionally needy parents can be draining.  On Sunday I attempted (unsuccessfully) to read a book.  With every 2 pages I read my mum would appear by my side with either a question, something to discuss, or something to say.  

Yesterday I finally spent half a day on my own - out of the house, sipped fruit tea and read my novel.  A much needed (albeit brief) liberation.

This afternoon, while Mum was busy at the sewing machine, I made a batch of Drop Scones.  Quickly at speed of light and quietly as a mouse I moved, and even managed to snap a few photos before the sun got smothered by layers of dark clouds.  



That was incredibly fun!

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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

SAVOUR PEACHES WHILE YE MAY

I haven't taken a proper break since July.  Work has been super crazy - Collision Training in July, Regional Meeting in August, the arrival of our new boss in September followed closely with Q3 financial reviews.  

During the weekends my energy is devoted to demanding parents who are keeping me on my toes.

I'm flat out exhausted. 

So life isn’t always a bed of roses, but it occasionally hands out a peach. Sometimes two or three.   What do you do with peaches?  Your savour them, of course.  A few weeks ago my work took me to Sentosa island, where I enjoyed a fab lunch with several peacocks at close range.  It was an awesome, awesome experience.

Recently, a friend reminded me to take time to smell the flowers. Today I did just that!

“Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.” 
― Robert Herrick



Saturday, 10 September 2016

OUT TO LUNCH


Today is the first time that I mixed up a lunch date.  Lee Ling and I are suppose to meet tomorrow (Sunday) but I thought it was today (Saturday).  I had began to Whatsapp her in the morning with the message, "See you at 1PM!"  Fortunately I scrolled up, re-read our previous conversation, and saved myself needless embarrassment by following up quickly with, "Tomorrow".

:P

My brain was out to lunch - for sure.




Sunday, 21 August 2016

喘息


忙碌了好几个星期,今天告訴自己一定要小小的喘息一下!

有一整年没自己做面包  感觉生疏了 今天就来做个简易的。

参考 Jamie Oliver 的video

用日本凯萨琳高筋粉(又称流淚吐司粉 )做出的focaccia 特别有弹性。


刚烤好 空气充滿香草和淡淡的橄榄油香味。


在忙碌的生活中 希望大家找到最適合自己的紓压方式, 好好地休息!


灰分0.35%  蛋白质 11.6%
 
Bread dough: 300 grams Casarine flour, 4 grams instant yeast, 2 grams caster sugar, 5 grams salt, 190 - 210 grams water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 grams Italian dried herbs.  Topping: extra virgin olive oil and coarse sea salt


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