Week one of pastry school is in the books! We had orientation on Monday and began class on Tuesday. Our schedule will be Tuesday through Friday at various hours depending on the day. The biggest take aways from week one are: time management and my uniform. Normally, I try and arrive 5-10 minutes early for work/meetings/etc, but I’ve had a difficult time remembering that I need to get changed into my uniform and I should arrive 20-25 minutes before class starts so I don’t feel super rushed.
The other thing is my uniform. My top is so big and at times I feel like I swallowed myself. I kept laughing about it all week because every time I put it on, it reminded me of the uniform scene in Troop Beverly Hills (although, not quite as bad). I had to take off my bracelets from travel (as we can’t wear any jewelry) and I cried a little.
Overall, it was a great week and I really enjoy all my classmates. I have been bringing home so much food (which my housemates love!) but I want to look into bringing half my goods home, and taking half to a homeless shelter or giving to the homeless in the street for future weeks.
Day 1: On our first day, we learned the basics – where the stalls were for collection of ingredients and a general overview of our tasks that we would rotate between weekly. We went over a variety of fruits, tasted them and practiced our knife skills. We also made up shortbread cookies.
Day 2: We made various breads from scratch – rolls, pain de mie (mie means crumb in French, or load bread) and fougasse. Lots of kneading which is tough on the body, especially if you’re the tallest one in class. I had trouble getting my fougasse off the shovel into the oven, which is why the design is soooo pretty. 😉 We finished the day using our shortbread cookies and making shortbread with strawberries & cream.
Day 3: We started day three joined with the culinary students for our food science class. Science was never my favorite subject in high school or college, but I’m so excited for this class. Our first lesson was a basic overview of fats, carbs, proteins and water. We talked about the physical and chemical changes of sugar, water, oils. I took around five pages of notes. Ha! We did a few experiments to find out if we were super tasters, tasters or non-tasters (I’m a taster) and tasted eight beakers and ranked them on scales to show the biological variation in people and their taste buds. We also got a general overview of all the fancy machines and equipment in the lab. Looking forward to more lessons.
We finished the afternoon in the chocolate lab – making piping bags from parchment paper, tempering chocolate and practicing designs. Fun fact about chocolate: cacao trees naturally grown only 20 degrees above and below the equator.
Day 4: We spent Friday morning going over theory and health and safety. Friday afternoon was in the bakery, where we made sweet and savory scones.