The Pastry School Diaries: Bready, Set, Dough! - Rachael Ray Every Day

The Pastry School Diaries: Bready, Set, Dough!

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Editorial Assistant Lauren Katz is enrolled in the part-time Pastry & Baking Arts program at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experiences!

It was a short week of classes this week because of Columbus Day, and I was greeted on Tuesday night with our second midterm. While each final exam includes a written and practical element, the midterms are only written. It covered all of the bread baking basics, and I'm feeling quite confident about how I did!

The remainder of class was spent making and rolling out croissant dough (stay tuned for next week when we bake them!) and baking various types of brioche.

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Pain au Raisin

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Brioche loaf sprinkled with decorating sugar

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Chocolate brioche loaf sprinkled with a mixture of granulated and light brown sugar

Although brioche and croissant baking is a fairly different process than that of regular breads, this entire unit has made me rethink my pastry career aspirations. In the beginning, I was so excited to learn--and fall in love with--the bread baking technique. I still am learning something new in every lesson, but while I originally imagined finishing this unit with an aspiration to open the next Balthazar, I am now starting to think my passion lies somewhere else. Maybe it's in our third module, cakes, fillings and icings. Or maybe my passion lies in the basics, like custards, meringues and ice cream. Luckily, being only a third of the way through my program, I have plenty of time to decide!

Check back next week for a croissant update!