The Bread Doctor

artisan bakery in Torrington, Wyoming
September 6, 2013

Mile High Mountain Pie

This morning on the way to the store to get more baking salt, I realized that I was about out of gas and had better do something soon, or I would be a no-show to the International School of Baking.  I stopped at the Shell station, and suddenly someone appeared at my door and clearly was not going to let me gas up.  “Oh, I am not from Oregon….I guess that self-serve is not allowed?”, I said.  The pleasant high school kid told me that I was correct and then another teen started cleaning my windshield.  I then decided to get a car wash and  they hosed off my car and did some initial scrubbing before I went into the car wash.  What an unusual thing to happen these days.  It reminded me of being 1974 in the back seat of my parent’s station wagon.  It fit right into the era of pre gas crisis and no seat belts.  Then, I get home and my roommate told me…”yeah, some people tip those guys.”   Now I am the big tight-wad from Wyoming in the red truck.  I guess that I will have to get gas at the Chevron next time.  While I was delivering some of the extra bread to the Sauter’s I saw this beautiful view of the Cascade Mountains from their home.  These peaks are the Three Sisters.

 
And this is Mt. Bachelor…famous for skiing.

 
We had a 9 1/2 hour day at baking school and my teacher is always pleasant and maintains her demeanor and encouraging attitude no matter what goofs I make.  Today, like the mountains above, we made the most ethereal, flaky, pie crust I have ever tasted.  But the funny thing was, I spent all day working with it and did not eat any of it.  I made 20# of it this morning and got to learn how to use  a sheeter to roll out large quantities of cold dough….amazing machine from Switzerland.  We then froze about 1/2 of the dough and used the other half to make chicken pot pies.  We made 40 to be exact….froze most of them and baked six for me to take home for dinner and to the boys.
 
Here are some photos pre and post baking and one on a plate that I took out at home to eat.

 

 
 
This took hours to do, but we also made a great Jalapeno Corn Bread that Marta designed for a famous restaurant in Denver that has since closed, and we made candied citrus peel out of pommelo. 

 
 
 I finished at 6:30 pm with all the baking and cleaning and went home.  I was so hungry and sat down to a chicken pot pie for dinner……..Well that did it!  I have just learned how to make the best pie crust I have ever tasted, and now I know the secret of pastry chefs…..fat and a sheeter.  By the way, the bottom crust stayed nice even with a pot pie filling on top of it.  The flakes were great and the crust was very tender.  I know that pie crust is the food for a million discussions at the beauty parlor, but I am happy with what I did today, and there are several pounds in the freezer yet to be made into apple and pecan pie, etc….next week.  I am still looking for the perfect roll dough to perfect my orange rolls and ….yes, I made all the things I am showing in my blog.  Part of the experience is to bake in quantities that help me learn to work dough and would be more like a real bakery.   It seems like it has been a month, but only four days.