Well, my son William turned 15 and he celebrates a birthday the same day as my baking instructor, Marda Stoliar. It was a great day and very peaceful and creative. During the day we spent some time baking some loaves of soft white bread, which Marda was out of and I needed the practice on. She bakes them up in 5″ square loaf pans. This is very much a typical size in Japan, where she lived for many years. At The Bread Doctor Bakery, I will likely bake these up in 4″ square loaves. It is a great bread with good body and holds up to sandwiches well. I had not baked it since my original class and it was good to do it again as the bakery is scheduled to open this summer! Here is a photo of the bread.
We then spent the rest of the day setting up all the materials needed to make sugar flowers. These are made up of a mixture of fondant and gum paste ( a sugar paste). It is spread out in very thin layers and then cut and molded and decorated into the basic parts of a flower. The parts are then assembled into the final flower. It takes quite a bit of focused energy and I was very quiet and concentrating most of the time, but it is incredibly amazing to see what you can make out of sugar paste, and how delicate and life-like the petals can become. It was an amazing first experience. We worked first on parrot tulips and I chose a coral color because that is one of the colors I want to used on the wedding cake next week. Below, you will see a shot of some of the petals I made. They have to dry completely before you can assemble them into flowers, so that will happen Monday. I am then going to be learning roses and peonies and small filler flowers. This is an entirely new art form for me and will be very exciting. The end of the week will be coming very fast I am sure and I will be working frantically on decorations and making the big wedding cake. If there is anyone getting married very soon who may want this cake…we are considering donating it when done. 🙂
|Gum paste and colored fondant getting ready to mix together|
|Parrot tulip petals drying for assembly later.
The curved plastic fruit containers help keep the shape of the petal while drying,
My host family, Bill and Donna Pfeiffer are planning a birthday dinner tonight for Marda and that will be fun, and I have had time to renew my friendship again with Bob Sauter while I have been here. He is a great man and a good example to me….he was my Scoutmaster when I was in high school. I am surrounded by very nice people who are all helping me pursue my dream of becoming a respectable baker. I am blessed. I am most particularly grateful for my wife and family who are sacrificing the time for me to be here. I love them very much.
Beautiful photos of flowers here in Bend, OR….Spring is in full swing and I am missing it in my own yard.
Have a beautiful Sunday!