Variety of breads

December 9, 2006 yuki

After two or three times of total failures, I’ve pretty much given up hope of making any decent bread – until I’ve decided to take a baking class. As I was going through the list of cooking classes from the Académie culinaire‘s catalog, the “Artisan bread” words popped up from nowhere, and minutes later, I was officially a bread making student. The spaces for that class filled up so quickly that I was even lucky I could squeeze in, even though I’ve signed up a month in advance!

The instructor was a cute little man, with an authentic French accent – then again, ALL the instructions at the academy had a French accent anyway :P Here are some of the creations that resulted from my three weeks of classes:

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Animal bread

Animal bread - snake

Animal bread - piggy

These use a basic lean dough, with some oil added to it to ease shaping. Although they’re edible, they’re more for decoration than anything ^_~ For the first one, I went a bit crazy with the scales, and it came out being a snake-turned-dragon :T The second one didn’t turn out that well either, but I’m posting it anyway just because it’s a pig, and we know we all love pigs! ^0^

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Chocolate viennois

Chocolate viennois

bread_09-12-06_chocolate-viennois_02.jpg

These chocolate viennois have so much chocolate that you wouldn’t taste any difference no matter what kind of dough you use! :P Whether they’re good or not depends hugely on the type of chocolate you use, but then again, it’s chocolate… can’t go wrong with it! :9 I don’t know which brand the instructor has used, but I’m pretty sure this is semisweet chocolate. Well whatever, it was delicious anyway. Some quick calculations show them to contain 600 calories for an approximately 15cm long, 7-8cm wide loaf, so I definitely won’t be making them on my own…

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Sundried-tomatoes fougasse

Sundried tomatoes fougasse

This is my favorite from the bunch, me being the crust fanatic who often eat the crust and throw the crumb! :P Fougasse is an Italian flat bread with lots of holes to maximize the ratio of crust to crumb…. purrrrrrfect! :9

The most popular version around here is the olive fougasse, but as I can’t stand olives, I asked the instructor if I could substitute olives for anything else… and as lucky as one can get, it turns out that he found a bag of sundried tomatoes just a few minutes before class started! Unfortunately, the tomatoes weren’t soaked beforehand, which results in a rather dry and chewy filling, but it was delicious nonetheless, especially straight out of the oven… there was also herbes de Provence added to the dough, which gave the dough a wonderful aroma.

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I didn’t include the recipes for any of these breads, because our class was more focused on the breadmaking techniques rather than the breads themselves – the recipes we’ve used are the most basic of basic doughs, using the straight dough method, speeding the rise up by heating the rising up with a tub of hot water. This yields flavorless loaves, so the recipes are not really worth recording…

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Entry Filed under: Bread

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