Another item on my bucket list this year is to learn a new skill. I didn't specify because I want to learn a lot of things but I know my 6-month review for the board exams in November will eat up most, if not all, of my time (it's my #1 priority of the moment as well). So, I felt really #blessed when I got invited to a one-day workshop at the Philippine Baking Institute in Ecoland, Davao City.
To let you in on a little secret, I already know how to bake. I know how to bake cookies, cakes and pastries because I've taken lessons before. I also used to watch and help my lola bake when I was younger. But to bake bread was a WHOLE other thing!
In the workshop, we had an experiment wherein we'd omit ingredients to see what the effect would be on the bread. We baked 4 kinds of bread: one without sugar, one without salt, one without yeast and one with all of them in it.
As you can see from the photo above, the one on the upper left corner is the bread with all the ingredients. The one below that has no sugar. It's white because sugar caramelizes when heated and that's what makes the bread brown on top. On the upper right corner is the bread without salt. It is kind of brown cause it has sugar but if you look at it, it hasn't risen as much as the one with salt. That is because salt supplements yeast activity as it competes with yeast for the water. Thus, making the dough rise fast. On the lower right hand corner is the bread without yeast. I think it's obvious cause the dough did not rise at all. I had so much fun learning about the science behind each ingredient and why they are all important to making each yummy loaf of bread! :)
Other than the bread science, we also made pan de sal and sweet breads. What I learned from this is that: 1) It's SO HARD to knead dough (thank God for electric mixers) and 2) pan de sal is actually sold at a loss. We were all wondering why pan de sal is sold so cheap when it's so hard to make, but that's what our instructor told us. Parang pa-giveaway nalang daw. So appreciate your pan de sal (whether in bread form or in your boyfriend's abs form. JK)
For the sweet bread, the dough was similar to pan de sal's but you guessed it--with more sugar. We made 4 different bread out of it: ensaymada, cheese bread, cheese melt bread and spanish bread. We all had fun shaping the bread into different shapes. And when the bread was taken out of the oven--ATTACK!! Especially the Spanish bread, which was sooo good! And even though I'm trying to be mindful of my weight/sugar intake, I found the sweetened breads yummier than pan de sal. :(
The afternoon session was about bars and desserts. Aah, right up my alley! We baked brownies, butterscotch bars and a pineapple tart.
|food styling by Ella Canave Anung =)) (di lang pang fashion stylist, but food stylist din!)|
Baking so much in one day was so tiring, yet so much fun at the same time! And I don't just mean the eating part! (defensive??) :)) It was my first event with the Davao Bloggers Society after such a long time (!!), I got to meet new blogger friends (Hello Alyssa, who's in the photo behind me huhu sorry haggard kaming dalawa) AND I got to catch up a bit with my best friend from Level 2--Maan--whose parents own the school, as it turns out. =)) They actually built the school to focus on skills training and the business/management aspect of baking (if your family owns a bakery). I found out that bakers are actually very in demand right now, especially abroad!
If you want a more in-depth training on baking, visit the Philippine Baking Institute at Ecoland, Davao City.