Muffins as weapons, baking practical, restless natives

We made buttermilk biscuits, scones and pie dough today in class following the “cut-in” method, or as the Brits say, “rubbed in”.  True to form most people rushed through these tasks and the kitchen as though we were in a challenge on Top Chef

Involved in this method of baking is making sure that everything is chilled, from the equipment to the ingredients.  There’s really no way to rush this process so much waiting is involved.  I’m ok at the waiting as it turns out and it’s not really that hard to get some people to go stand outside when it’s 70 degrees and there isn’t a cloud in the sky.  Perhaps this is why people are drawn to baking, except I guess they would do this at 4 or 5 in the morning.

Anyway, our biscuits came out alright, though the butter wasn’t evenly distributed and there was a leaning thing going on.  The scones – our second batch of dough – looked good but I didn’t get to taste, not sure why.  We omitted chocolate chips during the mixing of the fhe first batch of scone dough and later added them in which pretty much ruined any chance they had of being good, hence the second batch that contained some sort of dried fruit (not sure if it was a cherry or cranberry).  The pie dough is being frozen for Monday when we’ll actually be doing a little cooking (the pie needs a filling, no?).

Yesterday was a practical day that involved making chocolate chip cookies, macaroons and blueberry muffins.  The best item I had were the cookies though they didn’t flatten as they should have.  I thought the macaroons were good but the Chef thought they were too soft in the middle, complete bullshit if you ask me.  My muffins were not very good though they did look good.  Slight overmixing and slight underbaking played a good part in this.  20 seconds less of mixing and a minute or so more in the oven and they could have been perfect.

Of note yesterday were a classmate’s muffins which at first the Chef said were the worst he’d seen in 10 years.  Later he thought of some that had actually exploded in the oven and lowered yesterday’s to the second worst in 10 years.  Still, what an achievement!  The ones yesterday resembled hand grenades more than anything edible, and quite possibly should have been used to kill a pigeon or two.  Anyone who’s read or seen About a Boy should know what I’m talking of.

Only four more days of baking before Skills II – the natives are getting restless.

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