Hello, I am Liam Mackenzie and I am a student at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in the Photographic Technology program. I am a visual artist and I am passionate about learning, cinematography, and being aware of global events.
The purpose of the blog is to complete an assignment for my Technical Communications class. The assignment includes creating a blog that is about of the other classes that are offered here at NAIT. The program that I was given was the Baking program. The three subtopics that I will be covering are: the history of baking, bread baking and pastry baking.
The earliest record of bread was 450-385 B.C., which was recorded by the Greek scholar, Aristophanes. Aristophanes has mentioned that Greeks baked “doughnuts” made from crude flour and honey, along with honey flans and patterned tortes. The next record of baking was found with the Egyptians during 2600-2100 B.C. The Egyptians used baked goods to serve the royalty and used in sacrifices.
Bread is also a part of many historical traditions that are still celebrated today. Bread is used as a symbol in many religions such as Christianity. One of the historical traditions that still stands today that involves today is Good Friday as a way to break a fast.
The making and baking of bread has spread from Greeks to Egyptians to the Roman Empire. During the forth century A.D., the craft of pastry baking found it origin. The Roman Empire’s festive and epicure personality allowed a craft such as pastry baking to thrive. Some pastries that were invented during this time are: cakes, pretzels, and sweet cakes.
Baking is defined as cooking flour-based in an enclosed oven and/or a griddle. Some other common ingredients includes: yeast, butter, eggs, sugars, and spices. Some ingredients are mandatory in order to achieve a certain aspect(s) of bread, whilst other contexts are there to achieve a certain taste of the bread.
Yeast is one of the mandatory ingredients in bread. Yeast are microorganisms that are classified a part of the fungus kingdom. The reason that yeast is used in bread baking because the bacteria eats the sugars and release carbon dioxide in the dough, causing it to expand and rise. Yeast is also used to strengthen the batter. When water and flour are mixed together, gluten is formed and gluten increases the elasticity and durability of the dough. With the yeast releasing carbon dioxide into the dough, it forces water and flour molecules to bond and create more gluten.
Type of wheat plays an important role in bread baking. Wheat is chosen based on what end result is desired. Wheat is divided up in six classes: hard, red winter; hard, red spring; soft, red winter; durum, hard white; and soft white wheat. Each species of wheat is used in different recipes to achieve a certain trait in the bread. Hard/red wheat are used in breads and similar goods, whereas soft/white wheat are used in pastry baking.
Pastry Baking is making and baking flour and shortening mixed treats, which is consumed as snacks, with tea, and/or after meals. The three most common forms of pastry baking are: pie pastries, puff pastry, and rough puff pastries.
Pie pastries’ crusts are one part fat (with butter, lard, or pastry fat) and two parts of flour based on their weight. The fat and flour are combined to form the crust and ice water is added to form keep the crust’s form. The filling can be anything from savory quiches to sweet tarts.
Pâte feuilletée fine, or normally called, puff pastries are equal weight of fat and flour. Some of the fat is used to create the crust. When the crust is settled, rest the fat is wrapped by the crust a several times, a process called “turn”. During baking, the puff pastries expand to eight times their original sizes. This treat is served with ice cream, whipped cream and other pastries.
Rough puff pastries are less popular, but are easier to bake. These pastries contains a higher fat to flour ratio. The crust is “turned” over itself, causing air bubbles. The air bubbles causes the pastries to become flaky or “rough”, earning their name.