CSCA – BREAKFAST PASTRY (VIENNOISERIE)

Monday, we experienced the fruits of our labour. After 4 hours of rolling doughs – puff pastry & croissant – last Monday, the next step would be to shape and bake them!

The class was going too fast. No recipes, just following closely what Chef said. He, in his usual humorous nature, kept the atmosphere light by teasing us and commenting on our weird-shaped dough. Since he didn’t provide recipes, the keen participants would always ask (especially for puree and glaze), “Chef, how much do you put the rum…what did you put inside…?”

“I don’t use exact measurement. Just taste. You must learn how to taste!”

It’s ultra gratifying to see our shabby dough transformed into delicious pastries. I’m most impressed by the ‘peach’ that is made from brioche dough filled with pastry cream and cut peaches and then brushed with raspberry puree and glaze. I didn’t think that bread can be decorated like that. Creative!

So, all of us went home with at least 2 full boxes of pastries and a large bag of frozen doughs that are shaped. Time to give away these goodies!

Chef Delphin Gomes is really good in his craft and he shared his knowledge with us. But the downside is, we didn’t have the time to write our notes. These are some which I could capture.

On Croissant dough:
– Chef added 1/2 tablet of vitamin C (crushed) as a stabiliser and to promote longer self-life. It also prevents the dough from drying too fast in the freezer
– The butter block needs to be in perfect square when you laminate.
– Takes minimum 8 hours and require 3 turns and an hour of rest is needed after each turn.
– Too much rolling will be stressful to the dough. Having said that, once the dough is out from the fridge, work on it quickly to prevent the butter from melting.
– Place salt, yeast and sugar in different pockets of the flour. Don’t add all the liquid at once.
– Use medium speed.
– Never add salt in the beginning.

On Brioche dough:
– The amount of sugar, eggs and butter can change which result in either a lean or rich dough (Sherry Yard’s baking book has a good explanation on it).
– Adding water can cause the dough to last longer if you want to place it in the freezer.
– After the eggs are beaten, test using ‘window-pane’ and then add butter, a few pieces at a time.
– When the dough is elastic, it’s done. It can be stretched and there’s shine.
– Rest for at least 8 hours in the fridge.
– As with croissant dough, it’s best to first shape the dough and then freeze it (up to a month).

On Puff pastry:
– A laminated dough without yeast.
– Takes 6 turns.
– Score with an X on the dough to rest the dough.

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