Sunday, February 20, 2011

Try, Try, Try Again...

Ok...I'm a short-order cook that's opening a Diner style restaurant.  Cooking eggs on the grill, bacon, great hashbrowns, pancakes, french toast, hamburgers, club san, blt's and so on and so on, that's like second nature to me.  Bakery items...that's a weak point for me, which is why I've been working on a number of different recipes for breads and cinnamon rolls.  Actually, I do have a set of recipes that I like and am working it's just trying to refine them to work with 1) elevation, 2) refrigeration, and 3) oven temp.

Now...I'm currently working with residential equipment.  That means a smaller mixer, working with whatever bowls and containers we might have, and a regular household oven along with a store bought pizza stone (you gotta cook artisan breads on a stone).  Given that, my breads and cinnamon rolls aren't turning out too bad.  Ok, they still need some work...I'll explain.
First - cinnamon rolls.  The dough was a bit stiff, not as wet as it should have been (I know, you're thinking that 'wet' is the wrong word...actually, the process and recipe that I'm using results in a 'wet' dough).  Regardless, I was able to roll out the dough (with some effort) and spread the butter/cinnamon mixture.  Rolling the dough kind of went ok too though again, I could tell that the dough was stiffer than what it should have been.  However, cutting the rolls went great - nice and rounded rolls.  As you can see in the picture though, the dough was a bit thick...I didn't get it rolled out thin enough (but I don't want it too thin).

The cinnamon rolls cooked up great - they grew as I expected them to...a good sized cinnamon roll!

The frosting is a cream-cheese frosting - I may be a little thin with the frosting...try, try, try again. 

This recipe is a great buttery dough with honey.  There actually isn't any sugar in the dough but the rolls still have a really great taste allowing for a great tasting cinnamon roll.  However, with the dough being too stiff (not wet enough), the completed cinnamon rolls were a bit dry.  Don't get me wrong - they still tasted great...and they have all been eaten, but still, there were a bit dry.  Also, I didn't have enough of the filling in them so that's another thing that I'll work on.  Looks like more testing and tasting and then testing again.

For the breads, I cooked a French Boule, Deli Rye, and Chocolate Bread.

I can't ever remember having 'Chocolate Bread', but I'll certainly cook it again!!  As with the cinnamon rolls, all of the doughs were a bit stiff.  I think it may have to do with, well, obviously too much flour, but also, it looks like the refrigeration does play a role in how the dough sets up.  The last time I made the boule and rye breads, I used our garage as our second refrigerator (we often do that during the winter time).  This time though, because the outside daytime temps were in the 40's, I used our refrigerator.  The doughs really set up...more so than what I had expected.

While the completed products weren't dry at all, the breads really didn't 'spring' like they should have in the oven.  The results were a bit odd shaped loaves but what the heck - they tasted GREAT!!

So, still more work to do but I can only do so much while working with residential equipment.  The ovens I'll have at the Diner are professional baking ovens with 1" stones for the deck.  The temps will be more consistent, the heat more even, and with all the other professional equipment, well, it'll be easier to make my doughs and bake my breads.  Still, it doesn't stop us from enjoying whatever it is that I cook here as you can tell by our family dinner:

Again, my strengths are as a short-order cook - I admit I'm weak on the bakery end of things, but I'm relentless in wanting to get things right.  So as I keep working out my recipes and menu items, I'll try, try, and try again till I get it right.  And when I do...I can smell the bread cooking now!!!


1 comment:

  1. Yum...If you still need ideas on how to create a great cinnamon roll, I may have a good recipe for your to try.