Thursday, February 4, 2016

TGKBC Day 1 & 2- Bread & Choux

Yesterday I spent a good time in the afternoon baking bread for the first day of my self-imposed "Great Keatley Baking Challenge". Since the loaves weren't ready until dinner time, I decided to post about it today. I made what is called "lean bread dough". This means it has no fat in it.  I wasn't thrilled with the dough itself, but the bread didn't turn out too bad. The biggest issue was trying to figure out just at what temperature to bake it. I went with what the book says, but I sort of wish I would've gone with my instincts/past experience and baked it a little lower. It came out chewy with a good crumb, but I still think the crust is too dark. It did slice well and was tasty with a dab of butter on it, so I guess that's what counts!
Just starting to mix the ingredients.
Finished dough during its' first rise.
Bench rest before final shaping and proving.
Voila! My first challenge completed!

Today's challenge was pate a choux filled with orange pastry cream and drizzled with orange icing. It was amazing how easy the choux was to make and work with as it is very forgiving. I wasn't thrilled with the way all of the buns were piped, but when baked, they looked fine. I found them less stressful than the pastry cream. After the first batch failed, I made another which turned out okay. Definitely something for me to keep working on! My friend, Annette, came over today, so it was fun to serve a few of the choux pastries with our coffee. I highly recommend choux pastry if you're looking for something elegant but super simple to bake!
All it takes are flour, eggs, milk, butter & a pinch of salt!
Easy to do with the help of my Kitchenaid mixer. This is the finished dough after adding the eggs.
All piped and ready to go in the oven.
Once they are out of the oven, you poke the bottoms with a skewer to let the steam escape. That's how they dry out for a non-mushy pastry!
Finished Choux Buns filled with orange pastry cream and drizzled with orange icing. Delicious!

I'll be baking cookies and other goodies for the seminarians up at Mt. Angel for Fat Tuesday over the weekend. Looking forward to the challenge of more new recipes to try!

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