Boy oh boy…..time just got away from me over the past few weeks. Work, as always, has been busy, then there has been college and preparation for each lesson, not to mention the MAMMOTH assignment that I needed to finish asap so as I could restart some weekend commercial kitchen experience. To top off an already crazy time, a bevy of builders have practically demolished the back part of our house to start the long overdue repairs due to a huge Angophora (tree) falling on our house last year. Phew…that’s a long way to say…this post is late.
This was Bread Week and as you see from the lesson plan, we made some fruit buns, bread rolls, a baguette, a standard white cob, some lavosh wafers and mini chocolate muffins. First we made the dough for the white bread which we used for the rolls, baguette and the cob. Whereas I have worked with yeasted breads before, my preference is to use a sourdough starter (mine is hibernating in the fridge at the moment as I’ve been too busy to bake). Having said that, this method is less time consuming as once the dough is made it only needs to rest for 15 minutes before its portioned out and shaped. Once shaped they only need 35 – 40 minutes of proving time before baking.
Chef decided that with the fruit dough we would make 6 fruit buns and 2 hot cross buns. As the mixture had no spices added I don’t think it was really suitable for hot cross buns. I make a few batches every Easter and I think the addition of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves is essential for a good hot cross bun……what about you? It’s amazing what a bit of glazing does to the finished product.
As there was a function on, the college also caters for various functions, chef changed the plan from making 12 standard size muffins to making mini muffins. These took about 10 mins to whip up, including greasing the muffin tray, and only 12 minutes to bake. If making the mini muffins, simply adjust the temperature up to 190C (the smaller the item the higher the heat). These freeze well and will keep up to 5 days in an airtight container. Where as the recipe we made called for the addition of nuts, I prefer them without (recipe below).
I didn’t think the lavosh was a great success. Chef made the dough for the whole class and we rolled our portion using a pasta machine. It was late in the class and there was just so much going on that people lost focus and some were overcooked. The lavosh dough is simply bakers flour, egg, butter, salt, sugar, milk and sesame and/or poppy seeds. I can see these working well if more attention is provided.
Only one more lesson in Cakes, Pastries and Breads, in which we will make 12 Danish pastries and Tiramisu, including the sponge fingers. Hope to see you then.
Chocolate Chip & Nut Muffins
A quick and easy recipe for chocoholics or for someone who likes the occasional chocolatey treat. These no fuss muffins tick all the boxes!
- 300 gm Plain flour
- 13 gm Baking powder
- 5 gm Baking soda
- 20 gm Cocoa powder
- 114 gm Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 200 gm Castor Sugar
- 2 large Eggs
- 250 ml Milk, (buttermilk or full cream)
- 15 ml Vanilla extract
- 275 gm Chocolate chips (dark)
- 40 gm Nuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 190C and spray muffin tin and paper liners with non-stick cooking spray
Whisk together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients and gently fold until JUST combined – don’t over-mix.
Divide the batter into 12 muffins cups and bake @ 190C for 5 mins. Reduce the temperature to 180C and continue to bake for another 12-15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Be careful not to over-bake. Turn out on to wire rack to cool for 5-10 mins and enjoy warm or cool.
Note: Muffins taste best the day of baking but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.