Monday, June 7, 2010

At long last... a new beginning!

Okay, so I've been talking about the process now for months. I mean the process of changing my profession from computer graphics instructor to baker. At long last I finally made it into the kitchen for my course that started a few weeks ago. The first two sessions were in a classroom, and didn't have anything to do with baking. What a letdown. I mean, I understand the legal reason we need a lecture on safety in a professional kitchen but 2 and half hours of 'wear protective clothing' and 'watch out for sharp knives' etc. ad nauseum just about did me in. I wanted to bake, after all that's what I'm here for!! That was followed by a classroom lecture on 'materials'. Well, what can I say, although at least in the field I was still aching to start baking, and this week it finally happened!

At 5pm we all trekked into the kitchen, all 16 of us dolled up in jacket, apron and bandanna. Oh, and protective shoes you can't see in my profile pic and started to bake. The first thing is to learn how to use the equipment, the professional kneading and mixing machine (up to 20 kilograms of flour plus other ingredients) the commercial ovens, the mixers, etc. Mostly it was a demonstration by our instructor, while we watched. He mixed all the dry ingredients then added the wet then the mixer/kneader magically turned it all into dough.

After we cut the dough first to make sure every piece was the same weight.

Then our part came afterwards with the shaping of the dough into rolls. We learned different braiding and shaping methods, working with one, two or even three strands.  Topping applied ...

and then, finally it was all baked for about 15 minutes.
About halfway through we turned the trays 180 degrees.

The results were delicious, I think even more so because (even if we watched and listened, it was like we made it ourselves).

And the smell in the classroom!!!

Here's the recipe oh, and I'm including a diagram for shaping the rolls. Bon appetite!

Recipe for braided rolls:

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius (about 450 degrees F).

1 kilogram of flour (2.2 pounds)
25 grams (1 1/2 Tbs.) active dry yeast
50 grams (2 1/2 Tbs.) sugar
10 grams (1/2 Tbs.) dough enhancer
5 grams (1 tsp.) gluten

10-15 (2/3 to 1 Tbs.) grams salt
2 medium eggs
50 ml (1/4 cup) oil
400 ml. (1 2/3 cups) room temperature water (about)

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine the wet ingredients and add gradually while mixing to the dry ingredients. Add the water last gradually while mixing until you have a tacky (but not sticky) dough. Knead the mixed dough for about 10 minutes to develop the gluten and build structure. Then place in a lightly oiled bowl (turning to coat) and cover with plastic for the first rise. Let rise until doubled in bulk( about 45 minutes).

Cut the dough into equal sized pieces, I made mine about 100 grams or 3 oz.,  (using a kitchen scale) and cover the pieces with plastic while you work. Roll out each piece into a 'snake' about 30 cm (12 in.) long and shape into a roll. Lightly 'paint each roll with egg and water. Then cover the rolls to rise again. Before you place them in the oven you can 'paint' them again and sprinkle some topping (like sesame seed) over them.
Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown turning halfway through to make sure they bake evenly.
Bon Appetite!!

Oh, here's the diagram for braiding - good luck!


  1. It good to see ur blogs...I have enjoyed reading your articles. It is well written. It looks like you spend a large amount of time and effort in writing the blog. I am appreciating your effort. .
    Bakery Equipment

  2. Thanks. I truly enjoy baking and writing about it. I appreciate it when someone notices. Please continue reading and become a follower to get the updates!