Thankfully, getting into the building this week was a lot easier. Chef was there before me, as were a few others. Admittedly, I wasted some time in the car listening to music because I didn’t want to wait out in the cold.
This week’s lesson was about laminated doughs, like danish dough, puff pastry and croissant dough. We learned about the method of making a laminated dough. Wrap a giant hunk of butter with dough, chill, roll, fold, roll, fold, roll, etc. The more folds, the more layers, the lighter and flakier the finished product. Chef decided that from now on, we’ll do our quizzes in class rather than online, because the online quizzes weren’t working for anyone. Too bad, because I got a 96% on my first quiz. Chef also told us what we were making. Challah from the preferment from last week, croissant dough, and our choice of more baguettes, even more focaccia, or sticky buns. It was pretty obvious that everyone wanted to make sticky buns, but my lab partner and I decided that wasn’t enough so we did sticky buns and baguettes. I wanted more baguette practice, and I wanted to use my new stippling knife I bought at Sur Le Table for $6. Plus, we’re overachievers. So we started with the challah which had to rise, and then the baguettes, which also had to rise, then the sticky bun dough. We contemplated our sticky buns, and decided to make two types. I was in charge of the chocolate/hazelnut/caramel sticky buns. My partner, Gen, was in charge of the cherry hazelnut nutmeg sticky buns. We started constructing our fillings. I toasted some hazelnuts, rubbed the skins off, and tossed them into the food processor to grind them up finely. Gen took some dried cherries, and rehydrated them with some water and a generous splash of Creme de Cassis, a currant flavored liqueur. I also decided to make a caramel sauce to top the buns. I took sugar, corn syrup, and water and dissolved the sugar in one pan. In another I barely heated some heavy cream with a splash of Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur that is a favorite of mine. The caramel came out perfectly, and I added another generous splash of Frangelico while whisking in the cream. I added a small amount of butter for richness. After letting it cool, I tasted the caramel and it was amazing. Rich, sweet, nutty. Chef tried it and I got a “Me Likey!” I’m going to assume that was good. We shaped our challah, we shaped our baguettes, and we shaped our sticky buns. We started to run out of time, so we quickly threw together the croissant dough, and I did the rolling while Gen did some dishes and pulled our challah and baguettes out of the oven. We were way past the end of class when our sticky buns came out of the oven, but they were worth the wait. I even have pictures this time!
Next week, Croissants, more sticky buns, and danish dough.