Monday, February 22, 2010

Baking Pies and Crusts

The following week in baking was all about Pies, Crusts and French Bread. After our mid-term we made Lemon Meringue, Pecan Pie, French Bread and Pie Crusts.

The french bread is made using the straight dough method and the process is the yeast dough baking process. Our bread was very good in regards to taste but the dough was too wet when I shaped the bread. If this happens again adding some flour while shaping will help hold it's shape. The pie crusts were made using the biscuit method; the difference was the size of the butter "peas" in the flour. We made two different type of crusts; mealy and flaky. The mealy crust was great to use when making the lemon meringue; because it holds the wet filling better. The flaky crust was great to use with the pecan pie because it becomes part of the filling.

The pecan pie was very easy to make. We used pecans, maple syrup, corn syrup, sugar (I KNOW A LOT OF SUGARY SUBSTANCES) and poured this yummy syrup into the pie crust. After it is baked it should taste and feel like was very good and firm.

The lemon meringue was a project; for some reason I think we were using a scale that was off kilter. The corn starch measure was too little and the first custard I made was too runny. After I made another the custard turned out firmer. The custard consisted of tempered egg yolks; whisked into heated water, sugar and cornstarch. After this is put together you add lemon juice and lemon rind. While the custard is cooling you should make the soft white peaks. This done by beating egg whites and sugar until it forms very firm white peaks. You spoon the firm custard into the mealy pie shell and then top with a piping bag the egg whites. Use a torch to toast the peaks too resemble yummy toasted marshmallows. Our meringue came out perfectly and overall the night was a resounding success.

In conclusion we need to make sure our french bread fermented dough isn't too sticky. The pie crusts and pies were perfect so no change there.

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