Thursday, February 4, 2010

Culinary School Update: Minestrone, Foccacia, and Cinnamon Rolls!

So, I need to post about school before I get too far behind to catch everyone up.  

Mise en place for minestrone in cooking class.

First, I'll go over my Culinary Arts class this week.  We put together a chicken stock, and made minestrone in groups of two.  While the minestrone was cooking, we made roux.  For those who aren't familiar with what a roux is, it is a mixture of equal parts flour and fat (oil, butter, bacon grease, whatever) that is used to thicken things (like soup or gravy).

Blanc, Blonde, and Brown roux

We didn't use the roux to thicken anything, it was more like a skill development exercise. And by the way, yes, I dropped a little spot of brown roux into my blonde roux example :( .  The chef said my blonde roux was just a teeny bit dark, but the brown roux was perfect.  Made me want to make a New Orleans style gumbo or something.  I've never actually had to make anything with a brown/black roux- it takes a lot of patience to get it that dark without burning.  We're talking like 20+ minutes of constant stirring!

I still can't eat minestrone without thinking of sledding and snowmen.

My best friend Brenna's  mom used to make minestrone on every snow day.  Now Brenna makes it for her own kids.  This was pretty good, but it wasn't the same.

So, that's about it for Culinary Arts class. Now for Baking...

Last week in baking class we made lean yeast rolls, cheddar cheese rolls and foccacia bread.

Cheddar cheese rolls and lean yeast rolls.

These rolls were pretty good, but the foccacia bread was great.  We turned it into pizza... mmm.  Here is my pizza.

  Almost the whole pizza.

Yes, there is a piece missing.  I was hungry and almost forgot to take a picture.


Okay, this week in baking class we made cinnamon rolls, and they were delicious!  Cinnamon rolls don't usually get me going, but these were so soft and tender.

  Same dough, different shapes and decorations.

The rolls in the pie tin were definitely my favorite.  We put a caramel coating on the bottom of the pie tin, laid in the dough rolls, proofed and baked them.  Then, when they came out, we flipped the tin so the caramel was on top.

These make me drool like Homer Simpson.

We made traditional looking cinnamon rolls, of course, and we also made these braided loaves.  These were pretty fun and fairly challenging to make. 

Not perfect, but not bad.

Okay, well that's about it.  That was a long one.  Ya'll let me know how you feel about these culinary school posts - do they need changing? I don't want to go into too much detail because I don't want to bore you to death.  

Also, I'm now officially on Twitter as @danidishes.  I need you guys to help me figure it out- it doesn't make complete sense to me yet.  So, until next time...


Margaret said...

That pizza made my mouth water.

Linda said...

I can't believe how much real cooking you're doing so quickly! It all looks great, but I'm with Margaret on the pizza.

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