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Bread Fermentation

Fermentation is the process when yeast begins to act on sugars and turns them into carbon dioxide gas, acids, & alcohol. Without the act of fermentation, we would not be able to attain the correct amount of leavening to achieve a successful batch of bread. Other factors also play a part in making a successful batch of bread, but the fermentation process is a big part it. It contributes to both the leavening and the flavour of the bread.

Biga:

-Italian term for preferment

-It is a stiffer dough and is used in stiffer doughs

-Takes longer to ferment

-Similar to poolish, except that it has about half of the water content, an ample amount of yeast and no salt.

-Stronger & more flavourful than poolish

-Has a longer shelf life

-Can be used in Baguettes & French Bread

Poolish (Sponge):

-Comes from the word “Polish”, as it is said to have come from Poland

-A thin yeast starter created with equal parts flour and water, in addition to commercial yeast

– High moisture content is why it is used in slacker doughs & breads

– Can have a sharp smell and taste

-Little yeast is needed

-Doughs containing poolish rise quickly as there is a high water content making the yeast very active

-Can be used in Stollen & Challah

 

Levain-Levure:

-French term for yeast preferment

-It can be stiff like biga, but can also be thin and slack like a poolish

-Can also be scrap dough (and so having a mixture of commercial and wild yeast)

-Flavour depends on fermentation time and water content

-Mildly sour flavour due to lactic acid

-A good preferment to use in the Country Loaf

 

Fermented Natural Sour:

– The way bread was made in the olden days

-Wild yeast only, no commercial yeast is used at all

-Can be flavoured with herbs and spices (such as Oregano & Rosemary)

-The natural way to preserve bread

-Some cilliacs can eat it, though technically it is not considered gluten free

-No water? No worries! You can substitute the required amount of water for beer

-Unbleached flour is better for it

-As long as it’s fed & kept healthy, the sour can be kept for years

-Used in sour doughs

 

After doing this course, I a lot more confident in making bread and have learned a lot about the process of fermentation.

&

I am now a very proud parent of baby preferments!

 

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A Week of Professionalism and Organization

This past week we have learnt about Professionalism, and Organization. I found that it was a lot more fun than I had expected!

My overall sense of the week has been that I have learnt the most about myself. Before this week started, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but looking back at it, it was a good week. The field trip to the Four Seasons hotel and stops to cafés such as Faubourg, Belcafe, & Cafe Artigiano definitely game me taste of where I would prefer to work (or apprentice) after graduation.

Over this week I some of the things that I have learnt are, how to dress for an interview in the baking industry. When going to interviews, I try to dress as professional as possible, but have learned that it is much more casual when applying for a job in the baking industry.                                                                                                     I have also learnt some things about resumès and cover letters. For example, I have learned that it is really necessary to write “references upon request” as most people already know that.                                                                                                                            I also learned how to makes proper production list, and that, depending on which method you use, they can take a long time to make. I also learned that when making production plans for other people, you should know a bit about how they work best. For example, are they better at reading tables, mind maps, detailed lists, or do they work better with a more vague kind of a list. Things as little as whether the plan is typed or hand written makes a big difference.

I found the most challenging part of this course was writing a production plan as it can take a long time to write depending on the way you want to write it. If yon are somewhat of a perfectionist like me, things tend to get rewritten a lot of times.

I will continue to practice writing production plans to get better at it, and trying to make less corrections to my work that require the use of wite out.

In the next course, I am looking forward to fermentation as I feel that I need a lot of practice doing yeast dough. I am excited to get started to practice and perfect my bread making methods!

Part 2

Learning my “type” was an interesting experience. I took all 3 of the tests (http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp, http://www.41q.com, and http://www.learnmyself.com)
and 2 out of 3 of them said that I was more extroverted than introverted. I wasn’t really that surprised with the results that I got, but some of the parts of the results that I got were off key.

The learnmyself.com site was pretty accurate, except for a few things. It said that I was a bit more extroverted than introverted (55% introverted, 45% extraverted.) I don’t really agree with these results. I’d consider myself more of an ambivert (one whose personality type is intermediate between extrovert and introvert.) It really depends on where I am and who I am with. Sometimes I am very quiet and laid back like an introvert, and other times I am very outgoing, loud, and chatty like an extrovert.

To a degree most of my results made sense, but other things didn’t make as much sense. For example, it said that my weaknesses are; being overly traditional, unimaginative, and that I can be closed-minded. To that I say “oh thanks test, thanks.”
On other things, though, it was spot on. For example, it said that I dislike confrontations, make friends quickly and easily form close relationships. Also that I am pretty relaxed and am a follower rather than a leader.
From another test, it said that I am a Social Realist, (Warm-hearted, popular and conscientious. Tend to put the needs of others over their own needs. Feel strong sense of responsibility and duty. Value traditions and security. Interested in serving others. Need positive reinforcement to feel good about themselves. Well-developed sense of space and function.)  I agree with most of that statement  to a certain degree.

Yes, in my experience it made sense in how I contributed and participated in in the teams. Since I am more laid back and at ease, I tend to contribute, but sometimes I just sit back and listen while everyone is talking. It was a lot of fun working with everyone during this past week.  It was good to work more with the people that I don’t normally work with, and to see what they have to contribute.

At times I am very good at organizing, yet other times not so much.  It can sometimes be hard to express your opinions to the more outgoing team members, as I used to pretty shy as a child.  Now that I am older, it is somewhat easier to express my views.

Knowing my type doesn’t really change anything. It confirms what I already knew, but also gives what I already knew a name. I don’t think it will really change my participation or contribution to teams that I will work with in the future.

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