Ha ha ha    

September 3 1998
Baking is funny
not funny ha ha, funny strange

The task of the day:

Basic Baking

Today we made our laminated dough, which was croissant. While waiting for the dough to rest, we made chocolate biscotti, some apple and pumpkin pies (oh, about half a dozen), and helped out with some minor tasks in order to be able to finish some class based projects. These were a bavarian cake, a roulade, and a Black Forest Cake.

Unfortunately, there was no ClearJell(tm), so we couldn't make Cherry Pies. Of course, in commerical baking, you'd never use any kind of normal starch, so because we didn't have ClearJell, we made something else. Cornstarch just isn't good enough for us, I guess. This weekend I'm going to write up some commerical cooking/baking comments. It's pretty interesting some of the differences.

Baking has a very different pace than cooking. It's more like a marathon as compared to a 800 meter race. Lots of things you bake take long times, and there are often resting times for doughs. So you are busy in the kitchen, but not really rushing so much. A typical day puts us in the kitchen before 7:30 AM, and we are for the most part in there until 1 or 1:30 PM. We don't take coffee break, and we only do about 30 or so minutes for lunch. But it doesn't seem hurried.

The other problem about baking is that all of this standing around and working steady gives you plenty of time to taste your output. As a result, I'm way too full of food. With normal cooking, you're lucky to get to use a tasting spoon once per item.

I guess cooks are Type A and bakers are Type B personalities. I'm begining to think that at least in regards to the kitchen, I'm more Type A. This is sure to generate plenty of email from friends who will smart-alec-ly declare that I'm Type A all of the time.

* * *

Ye Olde Bodyee is begining to complain about the long hours in the kitchen, the non-water bed, and the standing around forever. I didn't have this kind of pain when I was in cooking, but baking has lots of very heavy mixing bowls and pans to carry, plus rolling things out, and so on. My excuse is this is the cause, but I'm sure it's just me becoming an old man.

* * *

Not a very exciting day, I'm afraid. I've resolved to go to a movie or something this afternoon in order to avoid falling asleep again. The napping stops here!

I found Marla's Sarah McLachlan Fumbling Towards Ecstasy CD. Bittersweet lyrics. Oh, to be in California.

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Copyright 1998 Tom Dowdy
Comments? dowdy@poubelle.com