Monday, February 22, 2010

Baking Science & Theory wk6 Midterms

            We have made it to the interim of our class load for this course, and reached Midterms.
This was a wonderful opportunity to use the culmination of our skills learned to date.  In addition to the written exam, our team was tasked with a creating four products that would reflect each of the different baking subjects covered to date. 
Our menu included: Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies, Classic Poppyseed Bread, Yeast Rolls, the Foolproof Pie Dough, and a Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar-Walnut Topping filling. 
I would really like to commend my team for this week. 
With the continued exception of the doneness of our Pumpkin Pie filling, all of our products were executed perfectly, cleanly, and in a swift, efficient manner!  We have learned how to work well together, and how to communicate the various tasks. 
Also, each team member stepped in to select tasks which played to our strengths.  We also helped and encouraged each other along the way, as well as helped to keep track of items baking, and reminders of previous critiques to improve our finished products.

The cookies looked nice, with a nice spread to them. They were critiqued to be a little light, and could have browned a bit longer. But, they were proclaimed to taste really good.
The Poppyseed Bread was by far my favorite product on this menu.  It was judged to look nice and have a good texture. 
I made the pie crust for our pie this week, and was able to get my crust into the pie pan on the first try this time.  I also gave the crust a fairly thin bottom for quick baking, and a strong fluted crust around the edge; which kept its shape and did not break upon slicing! I was also more practiced with this recipe's saturation factor, and was not caught off guard by the extra pliability to the pie dough. 
Despite ample bake time, and the employ of a different oven with perhaps a more reliable thermostat, our pie fillings continue to come out underdone.  This problem seems to continue to plague many of our classmates as well. Our pie was, therefore, critiqued to still be a little soft in the middle, and could have baked for a few more minutes.  I do not know how many more minutes it would have taken for that pie to set up correctly.  But its flavor was well balanced, and the crust was golden brown and delicious. 
The pronouncement that the rolls looked nice may have seemed a bit anticlimactic at that point, but at least they were not underdone!
Overall, I think this week was a huge success! 

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