If the rest of the semester is anything like today, than I'll probably be saying the following often: today was another excellent day of baking. Seriously, I can't even fully describe to you how much I am enjoying each class. I am learning so much, and I am learning the proper techniques which makes the experience so freakin fantastic.
In Artisan Breads today, we made Bagels and Bialys. Big shout out to the Polish immigrants who brough these delicious treats to the United States all those years ago. I'm a big fan in general of bagels and bialys, but bialys are often hard to find. Anyway, we made bagels in the traditional sense, with a water bath and the use of traditional flavorings. Original bagels were covered with poppy seeds and then seasame seeds. I made one with poppyseed, two with minced onion, three with everything, one with salt, and one plain. Here's the photo:
Bialys are like bagels but there are two distinct differences. One, bialys do not have a hole. Two, bialys are not made with a water bath. We made bialys with a traditional filling, which contains diced, sauteed onions and poppy seeds. I had one of these right from the oven today. Delish.
In Bakeshop this afternoon, the theme for this week is yeast breads so we made focaccia and breadsticks. I love focaccia, and it is such a versatile bread. Here's part of my loaf:
After the focaccia baked, we made breadsticks. I seasoned some of mine with salt, some with basil/oregano, and some with seasame seeds. Again, they were pretty darn good.
I mentioned last week that there are ten steps to baking bread. Technically, there are eleven (I had a quiz on this earlier), and the last stage is cooling and storage. One of the biggest points I've learned about breads thus far is that "bread is only fresh for the amount of time it took to make." For example, if a loaf of bread took 3 hours to make (from mixing through fermentation through baking), it is only technically fresh for the first 3 hours from which it came out of the oven. Now, as we know from experience, bread doesn't go instantly stale, but it starts to slowly go stale. I got to bring home some of my breads today. I am trying to save some of what I am allowed to bring home so Mom and Dad have something to sample when they visit in two weeks. I hope they are excited!