San Francisco Baking Institute, Week 1, Day 2

Today began as normal…with a short lecture and me promising myself that I would not eat as much today as I did yesterday.  (yeah right).  Why do I bother making promises to myself that I know I won’t keep.  I knew that the focus of today’s class was to be scones and muffins.  Yummmmmm : )

Our day began with a lecture on the functionality of eggs and leavening agents in pastries. Eggs serve seven main functions in a recipe: hydration, coagulation, coloration, leavening, structure, flavor and texture.  Leavening is the production of gasses into a dough that will give the final baked product texture, volume and shape.  Leavening agents can be biological (yeast), physical (air, steam) and/or chemical (baking soda, baking powder). The lecture today focused mainly on chemical leavening agents.  We discussed when to use baking soda and baking powder, followed by a lab experiment using muffins to demonstrate how these leavening agents affect the final product.

Much like our experiment substituting various fats and sugars in our cookie recipe, you can see that altering the percentage of baking soda used in a recipe significantly affects the final result.  In addition to the plain muffins used for our experiment, we made berry muffins, bran muffins and chocolate muffins…..and I tried them all!

Next on our ‘to do’ list was scones.  Each table made two batches of scones, one cream scone and one butter scone.  We got to try an assortment of sweet and savory scones. Is this not absolutely beautiful….and it’s not even baked!

This was our finished product table at the end of the day.  My favorite was the savory scones (rosemary and goat cheese…..oh man it was gooooooood).Happy baking everyone!

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