Traditional Breadbaking at Le Cordon Bleu Paris: Day 3

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I’m back from Day 3 of the breadbaking course, and my most enduring memory of the day is that it was cold (16 degrees C). With good reason, of course– we were making brioche and it was necessary to keep the dough (and all the butter inside) cold while we worked with it. We also got to do a lot more hands-on work, which made me happy. What did we make? Let’s see!

First we made the aforementioned brioche, which contained more butter and eggs than I’ve ever seen in one recipe at a time. Six pounds of butter. Sixty eggs

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We formed the dough into four little rolls and placed them all into loaf pans to rise and bake. But before they went into the oven, they were egg-washed, snipped down the middle, and then a long strip of butter was piped right down the middle. That’s right, more butter. They came out gorgeous, which is a good thing since the school was planning to take photos of them for their latest magazine edition.

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We also did a walnut-raisin bread and a rye bread, which were excellent when spread with (what else?) lots of butter.

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And finally we did a cheese bread, which was kneaded with chunks of Comte and topped with mounds of grated Emmenthaler cheese. When warm from the oven the cheese was nice and melty and the bread was perfectly fluffy. My favorite of the day.

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Other highlights of the day included the giant mixer overheating and needing a giant ice pack to cool down the motor…

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… and ice cream, which was left for us by the previous day’s glace class. In this picture are tarts with candied chestnuts and chestnut ice cream, as well as cups filled with frozen lemon whipped cream.

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We didn’t have as much as usual since we spent a lot of time working on dough to be used tomorrow after fermenting. And because we’ll be doing croissants tomorrow, also requiring cold butter, I’ll be sure to bring a sweater!

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