It's a Lovely Day In The Neighborhood

Production of breads and rolls is three weeks in, and class has been fairly monotonous.Each morning we stumble into class and sit down for a lecture, which is sometimes followed by a quiz.Once we are done with lecture it is time to start our day.

We are to mise-en-place (pre-measure and scale out every ingredient on the recipe) everything that will be made that day.Our table, nicknamed “Team Awesome”, first starts by cleaning the table.As we use our bench scrapers to get all the gunk off of our butcher block table, we remark on how disgusting this gray soup is.Its amazing to me just how filthy the table is, did the last class forget to clean or something?We than hurry about the room, collecting scales, bowls, scaling containers, and other bits of things to get our formulas prepared.

And let the mixing begin!
Production is next; utilizing two large mixers, we start to make our breads.Carefully watching as each dough comes together, checking it from time to time to ensure proper texture and development.We clean as we go, taking away dirty dishes to be washed and trying the best to keep our table clean. An occasional “looks nice team awesome,” is heard from our chef as he walks around the room keeping an eye on the other students like a worried hen.Once the breads are mixed, they are left to rest and rise.

Shaping and Panning
Once the dough has rested for atleast 2 hours its time to shape the dough.We plop dough the huge batch of dough on the table and scale our the appropriate portions.We surround the table, happy to help roll and shape the dough.Finally placing it in a loaf pan or on a sheet to be proofed and than placed in the oven.

During this extra time our whole class goes to lunch.We are all happy, for the most part, to receive some food, but its usually cold and doesn’t taste too good.But, it is a school, so we cant expect perfection from students who have been cooking for 3 days!

Final Product
As our class finally trickles into the classroom, the calming smell of baking bread wafts down the hall.Students from other classes slow their pace and look in with eyes pleading, hoping to get a fresh roll or piece of bread.Our whole class helps as we take the perfectly cooked bread out of its pan and places it, steaming hot, into boxes.Only about two-thirds of the finished product makes it out of the classroom, the rest is divided up amoung us and scarfed down like we havent eaten in three weeks.

I do hope that the others in my class feel the same at the end of the day.Like we accomplished something, and proud of the product that we made.Tomorrow is another whole new day and a whole new set of different breads to make.

French Baguettes ready for the oven

Here we are egg-washing dinner rolls and putting on poppy seeds before baking them.

Our chef showing us how to stipple, or mark, the bread to allow gasses to escape from the bread in a controlled fashion while baking.

Hot focaccia right out of the oven.

Finished ciabatta, the entire loaf was gone in about 5 minuets after the picture was taken.

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            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.