Friday, May 29, 2009

2nd Semester

Only three days of summer school have gone by and I'm already counting down the classes and waiting for them to be over with. Sure, I'm finally finally FINALLY in baking which I have been looking forward to since the day I decided to attend culinary school, buuuuut waking up at 7 AM four days a week and sitting through hours of lecture, trying my best not to fall asleep, is really hard!
On Wednesday I had baking. We started out going over the syllabus and then proceeded onto some of the basic principles and laws of the bakeshop (i.e. we call them formulas and not recipes) and then came the fun part...going over the history of bread starting from 10,500 years ago and working our way to present day. Yeah, let's just say that on page four my page has a mark from where I drooled on it. Haha yes, I fell asleep in my very first summer class right as we were talking about Baron Zang introducing the poolish pre-ferments into French bread production. Although I did fall asleep or fight sleep most of this part of class, I still learned quite a lot. As Chef Easter says, "bread is life, bread is power," and the history of bread is very evident of this. Next after a short break to allow us to properly wake up from our naps, Chef took us into the kitchen and started going over the basic tools we would be using for the day in our production of baguettes. After having a slight problem with remembering how to use a baker's scale, my partner Katie and I completed making our dough by hand and placed it into the proofer before going off to lunch. Upon returning we were instructed to do certain folds at certain times and to allow rest in the proofer for various lengths of time. While we waited, Chef Easter demonstrated the various parts of a grain (endosperm, germ, bran) using his finger and a table covered in flour as his white board. We learned about patent and clear flours and the various other types of flours extracted all from the same grain. Our dough completed its necessary proofing time and then we scaled it into 18oz pieces, rounded it into three rounds, allowed it to rest, then formed into the actual baguette shape, panned, slit the tops, and finally handed it over to Chef as he put it into this fancy stone hearth oven. The result? Amazing baguette bread that my family all devoured within the same day. Only had time to drop off my baguette, change, eat lunch, and then drive to work.
Thursday I had Food Prep 2 class in which Chef Carey simply went over the syllabus and then Chef Anderson came in and we talked about Boys State for a long time. After he left we had to read a whole chapter to ourselves and it took forever, everyone was falling asleep. Afterward we went over what we read and discussed the conversion formula used to shrink or expand recipes. Luckily we got out of class around 11:30 so I was able to come home, eat lunch, take a nap, and then go to work (after a slight delay due to no oil in my car).
Today (Friday) I had Menu Planning from 8-11:15. It is going to be a VERY intense class as we have to construct our own business plan which is about 12 pages minimum and then we also have to create a menu with a minimum of 29 items in which we have recipes for and have evaluated the cost of not only the total end product but also supplies. Chef Carey said it's going to take about 40 hours a week outside of class to work on.
So 28 hours a week for classes. 40 hours a week for "real" work. and then another 40 hours a week for this project alone. Are there even that many hours in the week!? Sheesh- I really hope I survive this all.

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