Sunday, 12 February 2012

Ballymaloe Day 19, 2nd February - White Yeast Bread

So here in Ireland they have soda bread, and then yeast bread, which I would just think of as normal bread. So far we have made Soda bread, then a brown yeast bread, but today we were tackling White Yeast Bread and all its capriciousness. Made the dough ok, using fresh yeast as we have here. Then after leaving it to rest for 5 minutes I started kneading. And kneading. get the idea. You are trying to develop the gluten in the flour so it is stretchy and springy. It takes a long, long time and you have to show the dough who's boss. Not so easy if you have weak scrawny arms like me. The teacher made it look so easy! Eventually it was there and I put it in the breading warming cupboard to rise. Then it was on with everything else.

Firstly Chicken Liver Pate with Melba Toast. Prepared some livers - pretty slimy taking off all the membranes and stuff, fried them in loads of butter, then flambeed them in brandy using the flame of the gas stove. The first time I have ever done this, it shot up in flames! Then whizzed it up in the Magimix and left to cool. Next were the Raspberry Squares I had to make as I was making biscuits or some sort of small cake that day. These were pretty quick to make (and I never say that about anything here!), made again in the food processor and then baked in a swiss roll tin, then topped with raspberry jam and dessicated coconut and cut into squares, yum!

Back to the bread, checked a few times and it was still not ready, but with everyone open and closing the door it was hard for the breads to rise. Eventually it was ready and I knocked the air out of it, kneaded it a bit, left it again, then split it into two. Then I plaited one half and made rolls from the other. Finally it goes in the cupboard to rise for the final time till the yeast has pretty much done its job and it is into the oven with it.

Back to the Pate. Mixed it up again with loads and loads of butter and then put it into dishes and covered with a layer of clarified butter. I say a layer, I added about a cm of butter only to be spotted by Rory who advised it only needs to cover the pate, really a mm should be enough! Poured the rest off, topped with a thyme sprig and put it in the fridge. By this time I was really losing the will to live but no, I burnt some Melba Toast, made some more, then filleted a round fish, again another evil looking cod and fried him up served with some herb butter.

A good morning's cooking and loads done, then but into the afternoon's demonstration and we saw the Gravlax from Monday served with a mustard sauce. Next were loads of omelette and egg dishes, mushroom soup and marzipan! I also remembered to go and turn my little cheese after the class. I have been very poor remembering to go and turn it every day, thankfully some of the housemates have turned it for me. From Friday I only need to turn it every week though.


Petit Fours

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