The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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cookingwithdenay's picture

2010 Washburne Culinary Institute Scholarship Application - Due Date: 3/14/2011

December 4, 2010 - 7:17pm -- cookingwithdenay
Forums: 

Here is a wonderful opportunity for someone in the Chicago, IL area to attend a Culinary Art program. If you cannot participate please pay it forward.


2010 Washburne Culinary Institute Scholarship
http://culinaryschooladviser.com/?p=251 (Website)
Due Date: 3/14/2011 (It's not too late to apply)


Washburne Culinary Institute currently has a scholarship for continuing students in their culinary arts or baking & pastry classes.

DeeElle's picture

Sfoiatelle Italian Pastry Search

August 4, 2010 - 6:58am -- DeeElle

Hello, Everyone,


There is a wonderful Italian pastry called sfoiatelle that is not commonly available, though it is sometimes found in bakeries with Italian specialties.  Having had no success in locating a recipe in my cookbook collection, or with google, I thought I'd ask the knowledgeable folks at The Fresh Loaf if they had information on sfoaitelle. 


Thanks and Happy Baking!


DeeElle

gcook17's picture
gcook17

Every summer we're faced with the pleasant task of trying to figure out how to use all the fruit from our trees.  Most of the fruit gets ripe at the same time and it's not possible to eat it all fresh.  Right now the apricots, apriums (cross between apricot and plum), plums, and sour cherries are almost all ripe.  The fig tree, which usually has 2-3 crops per year, is also beginning to have some ripe fruit.  Carol doesn't like jams or jellies so that rules out one method of preserving them.  I like jam but I rarely eat toast, so I don't go through the jam very fast.  Besides, my brother keeps sending us his homemade blackberry jam that's better than anything I ever make.  The obvious solution then, is to make lots of pastry with fresh fruit.  Yesterday it was puff pastry tarts, today it's apricot and plum danish.  And they're just in time for lunch.


The Danish dough is the Danish with Biga from ABAP.  I left the fully laminated dough in the refrigerator an extra day because I was too busy to use it yesterday.  In addition to the fruit, they are filled with pastry cream (also from ABAP) flavored with li-hing powder (1/2 teaspoon of li-hing powder to 2 pounds of pastry cream).  This dough had a mind of its own.  They were supposed to be shaped like the one in the left front in the photo but most of them unfolded themselves while proofing.



 



 


 

PMcCool's picture

Ghee, what if

May 31, 2010 - 3:26am -- PMcCool
Forums: 

I've been following the discussions about croissants and butter content and moisture levels in butter.  And then I saw a container of ghee at the supermarket and said "Hmmm." 


Ghee is something that I have never used.  Since it is clarified butter, I suspect it's moisture content would be much lower than ordinary butter but have no clue what the analysis might be.  Nor do I know how the melting, followed by separation of the solids, would affect flavor or handling characteristics.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


My wife and I have a problem with cinnamon rolls. She dislikes the gooey, too-sweet frosting found on most, and she gives me a hard time about sweet doughs with too much butter for my health. So, I'm on a new quest: A breakfast pastry we both like that is still kind to my arteries. (I'm not that concerned about the cholesterol, but my wife's persistent expressions of concern can't be good for my heart.)


Last week, I got Ciril Hitz's latest book, “Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads.” Like his previous book, “Baking Artisan Bread,” it is aimed at the home baker. While providing clear and detailed instructions that do not assume the reader has a degree in culinary arts, the formulas are in no way “dumbed down.” He teaches professional techniques and tricks for mixing doughs and making classic fillings, all adapted to home baking equipment and quantities. Also, like his previous book, he introduces a small number of basic doughs – for quick breads, sweet rolls and laminated dough pastries – then provides a number of formulas for products made with each and suggestions for additional applications.


When I … well … we saw Hitz's formula for sweet dough, we were struck by it appearing less enriched than most. His formula calls for only 10.6% butter and 10.6% sugar. I made a batch last night and retarded it in the fridge (as Hitz prescribes) until this evening. Hitz has formulas for cinnamon rolls and sticky buns, but I wanted a pastry that was less sweet. Among his recipes for pastry fillings I found one he calls “nut filling.” It looked good, since we love nuts, and looked less sweet than ones that are mostly sugar. So, I also made a batch of nut filling last night and stuck it in the fridge.


This evening, I rolled out the dough, spread it with nut filling, rolled it up and cut it into 1.5 inch rounds. (Actually, I just cut half the roll-up. I froze the other half for another day.) I put some pecan halves on the top of each, proofed, egg washed and baked them in a 1/4 sheet pan on parchment. I did not glaze them.



As expected, the dough was less sweet and less rich than most, but with the nut filling, the pastry is just sweet and rich enough for my taste. This is a nice solution for those who find most cinnamon rolls and sticky buns just too sweet. If one wanted a richer dough, another formula for sweet dough could certainly be substituted.


The nut filling (makes about 1.5 cups)


Nut flour (almond or hazelnuts)

125 gms

Granulated sugar

100 gms

Corn syrup

25 gms

Water

Up to 60 gms

Method

Use purchased nut flour or make your own by pulsing frozen nuts in a food processor. Combine all the ingredients except the water. Slowly add the water to make a nice, spreadable consistency. It should not tear the dough when spread. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. The consistency can be adjusted by adding water on the day of use.

I made the filling with frozen unsalted dry-roasted almonds. I processed them to a rather coarse consistency – coarser than coarse-ground flour but finer than “finely chopped.”

As I said, this is a “quest,” so stay tuned for further developments.

David

 

Chef Bart's picture
Chef Bart


Hi everyone,


 


I just wanted to take a minute and introduce myself. This is my first foray into the world of online baking communities…


 


I completed pastry school and earned my Grande Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris many years ago.  In addition, I hold multiple professional certificates in bread baking and venoisserie.  In other words, I’m a pastry chef.  


 


Like a lot of you, for years I have tried to make high quality venoisserie, brioche, croissants and baguettes using domestic flour, but I couldn’t seem to make it work with the flour we have available to us here in the States.  After all that time and money spent learning how to make them, needless to say, it left me more than a bit frustrated.  I searched and searched the internet and found many people trying “add a little of this or a little of that or try this or that”.  None of it worked to my satisfaction.  Actually, no one posted that they had great success either. 


 


I went to the top of the mountain, Grands Moulins de Paris (GMP), in a little town north of Paris by the name of Gennevilliers.  They are the largest mill company in Europe and arguably the best food and grain laboratory in the world.


 


My good friends and chefs in Paris tried to help me figure it out. The people at GMP tell me the flour that we have now developed is superior to type 45 and 55 French flour in every aspect.  


 


Knowing that there was no real solution for bakers in the States, I decided to turn my passion into my life’s work to provide this flour.  After all, we deserve high quality breads as much as Europeans.

The flour is not bleached.  The protein content is 11.5%.  There is ascorbic acid added as a preservative.  The deactivated enzymes, lipids and proteins, etc., added make the difference.  I believe one of the major benefits is derived from the enzymes that allow the starch to be broken down to complex sugars and the complex sugars to be broken down to simple sugars in the second proof.  Kind of complicated but really simple. The enzymes let the yeast live and the starches work as nature intended. Other than the vitamin C, everything added appears naturally in wheat.  Domestic mill companies buy the wheat and mill it so it has maximum shelf life.  We add the good stuff back. Just take a look at the breads on our website http://www.bdflour.com.  The beautiful color on the exterior of the breads come from the caramelization of the sugars, and of course, a good egg wash.


 


So, for the pastry students returning to the States, the product offers the opportunity to actually recreate what they learned to make abroad.


 


For the professional baker, the product will help you save money while creating a superior product possessing unmatched taste, texture, smell, appearance, and quality. Here’s a good example of how it saves you money: typically, American croissants weigh approximately 100 grams. B & D Croissant Flour creates a stronger dough, allowing for the same size croissant to weigh around 60 grams. This means that you not only use half the flour per croissant, but you use half of all other ingredients as well.


 


And for the at home bakers, well, the product allows you to make the best croissants, brioche and breads that you’ve ever tasted.


 


I’m excited to join the community of online bakers, and I welcome your questions and comments.  I encourage you to check out the website at http://www.bdflour.com, and, of course, hope some of you will venture to try the product.


 


Bart


 

 

ques2008's picture
ques2008

Finally got myself an inexpensive digital camera and would like to show off one of my "creations" which is far from original.  I'm sure many of you have made this danish ring.  I got this recipe from www.cookscountry.com/recipe.asp?recipeids=3846&bcd=46152.  Cooks Country is a great web site, by the way, and would like to know how many of you are members and whether or not you use your membership.  They seem to have a gold mine of knowledge with truckloads of practical advice.  I'm thinking of signing up.


Anyway, I'm showing pictures of the (1) preparation for the dough where I slather it with the filling, (2) the finished product and (3) the product partially gobbled up.  I halved the recipe, and didn't quite succeed with the cutting and the turning upside of each slice, but the recipe gives a step-by-step.  I'll try it again one day, and hopefully, get the technique right!


Picture 1:  Prepping the dough.


 prepping the dough


 


2.  Danish ring fresh out of the oven:


danish ring as it came out of the oven


3.  And now, as it was partially eaten (closer look of slices - as you can see I did not quite do the slices with flying colors!)


partially eaten ring


 


 

swordams's picture

Poofing laminated dough

March 26, 2009 - 2:25pm -- swordams

Hello all,


I made laminated danish dough in my baking class years ago, and I remember it worked well all but one time. The one time, during the proofing stage, all of the butter melted out. Today I tried to make cinnamon rolls at home. The dough was working perfectly until the proofing stage, at which time a lot of butter melted out (I proofed at about 85 degrees, definately warm enough to melt butter). The rolls still looked fine (not over proofed), so I baked them. The resulting rolls are limp and flat. Should I have proofed them at less than room temperature?

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