The Bread Doctor

artisan bakery in Torrington, Wyoming
September 14, 2013

Pastries-a-Plenty

“Couldn’t you get more done today?” was one of the last things that my teacher said to me today.  And then she said, “Look at what you made!”    I stood back and looked at all we had done…and I realized what is possible.  Of course, you need the right equipment and a great freezer.  I have been so focused on working hard, that sometimes I am not absorbing each glorious moment as the product comes out of the oven.  The time away from family is a sacrifice that we have all made so that I can get the schooling that I desired.  I feel a responsibility to make sure that every moment with Marda is valuable.  Here is a panorama of the day today, and we did some interesting things which I hope to feature in my bakery.

 
These are the things we baked up today, and there are three sheets of Danish pastry still to bake tomorrow.  We are going to make lemon, cherry, and cream cheese.
  
 
 
Ham and cheese croissant ready to roll.  You stretch the dough first and it looks like the Eifel Tower.  She had us fill it with a cheddar gruyere mix and smear with Maille mustard. 
 
 
Here they are ready for baking, had one for lunch at 2:45 pm….pretty amazing…sprinkle parmesan cheese on the top and brush with egg wash with mustard in it.
 
We then went on to make Bear Claws, Palmiers, and Raspberry Croissants.  This flavor choice was mine.  We talked about how to make any jam or jelly a possible filling.  They do make some special jams for baking from Switzerland that we used today.  The flavor was great.  Here are a few closeups of today’s specials.
 

 
We then made an Apple Danish in which my years doing origami came in handy.  You actually cut and fold up the dough to create a pastry bowl for the filling.  The pastry blows up like a balloon around the filling and the filling cooks down a bit.  It is quite miraculous to see it happen, and she has windows on her oven so you can watch things bake.  We are always pointing a flashlight in it to see all of the goods and whether they are rising well or coloring well or not.  The Danish pastry is a new dough for me and it was very light and flaky.
 

 
I will say that my teacher has been nothing but encouraging and has been a delight to learn from.  It is clear that she loves to teach and this makes all the difference in the world.  I feel that she truly wants me to be successful.  I keep feeling like Grasshopper from the TV show, Kung Fu, and hoping that I will not mess up during my meditation.  Oh, I almost forgot.  The very first thing we made today was brownies that are in the fridge for the night so that we can cut them tomorrow.  I got to have a good discussion with Marda about chocolate and the different kinds and what they are for.  She bakes largely with Callebeaut chocolate.  The brownies smelled great and I will get a taste tomorrow. I am seriously hoping for a ham and cheese croissant for lunch.  Tonight, I had some great barbecue with Bob Sauter and his son, Robert….live music and great salads too…yum!