Saturday, September 27, 2008

BUSYYYYYYYY!

Let me start off with an apology! Things have been very busy here but I'm finally able to update you on the happenings of culinary school and life in general. Last week was fast and furious, we were in the middle of bread block creating our own starters for sourdough breads and writing historical reports of the bread of our choice. I chose Challah bread (the photo on the right is a traditional star braided challah), a religious bread for the jewish faith that is traditionally eaten on Sabbath and special holidays. Most of you know this bread as the braided bread found in most bakeries. It represents the sacrificial bread that used to be offered to the priest by the commoners, but was later used in home ceramonies after some sometime in the fifthteenth century. The bread is never to be cut because this bread represents peace and harmony. Cutting the bread would represent warfare and bloodshed which would be inappropriate for such a sacred food. The bread has also come to represent the manna God gave the Jews while wondering in the desert after their exodus from Egypt. I really enjoyed reading up on this bread not only for the cultural and historical contributions it has made to the world, but to remember the importance of food in religion and how my soon to be profession help contribute to the memories of a peoples culture.
Needless to say, we sent a lot of time making these saymbolic breads. I also got a chance to make two very special cakes for my roommate Jennifer's sister Shelley. The cakes were for her Aggie Ring day and her suprise Engagement! I had a lot of fun working on them in the wee hours of the morning and I loved that I got a chance to help make her special day an edible memory!


When the weekend got here I finally got to partake in an activity I've been wanting to do since I moved here, I got to go to the down town farmers market! My friends Katy and Gemma accompanied me on this little adventure and although the market was small it was very entertaining. I purchased a fresh scone, locally made goat cheese and some Texas wild flowers amongst the general splender of local venders and knick knacks. I would highly recommend that anyone that has a chance to spend some time in a farmers market should. There is somehting about the simplicity of the whole atmosphere that makes you feel content with lifes little pleasures...like a good scone and boquet of wildflowers.

This week was just plain crazy! We finished up bread block with our usual written test, but we also had to present our bread portfolio and our own original recipe for a yeast bread. I really enjoyed this assignment because it gave me a chance to stretch my creative muscles. I Ended up making what I call a Wassail Bread with a Brown Sugar glaze! It turned out to be very festive and not to sweet just how I wanted it! Chef was also complimentary of my bread, which always makes a soon to be chefs day!I think makes a great companion to Apple Cider or hot tea and to close my entry this week the following is the recipe for my wassail bread and I hope you will enjoy it!


Wassail Bread


8oz Flour

1/4oz Dry Active Yeast

2oz Eggs

.8oz butter

3.2oz Apple Cider

.65oz Brown Sugar

.2oz Orange Zest

.2oz Shredded Apple

Pinch of Ground Cloves

1/4t Cinnamon

1/8t Nutmeg

.3oz Salt

Swirl: Glaze: One part Apple Cider, One part Dark Brown Sugar

Zest of one orange

2T of Cinnamon Sugar

1t ground red hots


Yield: 1 loaf

Instructions: Disslove Yeast in Apple Cider (Apple Cider should be warm but not hot!Combine all dry ingredients in mixer with dough hook attatchment ( or in large bowl). Add all wet ingredients; Apple Cider- Yeast mixture, eggs, orange zest, shredded apple, and butter to dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed for 10 minutes ( or knead). Dough should be wet nd sticky. Place dough in greased bowl and cover. Allow dough to double in size at room temperature. Once dough has doubled in size punch down and dust with flour to roll dough out to for a rectangle. After dough has been shaped brush with eggwash, then apply swirl ingredients: Orange zest, crushed red hots, and cinnamon sugar * Make sure to leave a clean edge around rectangles sides. Press swirl mixture lightly then roll dough tightly to form a log, pinch seam together and place dough seam side down in a greased loaf pan and allow to double in size.Meanwhile heat oven to 375 and prepare glaze in a sauce pan by combining apple cider and dark brown sugar and brown sugar has melted and glaze is hot. Take the glaze off heat and set aside. Once dough has risen, place in heated oven. Remove bread when top of bread is brown and makes a hollow sound when tapped on top. Remove from pan and immediately glaze. Cool slightly and then enjoy!