Tuesday, August 11, 2009

who thought of that

Yesterday was a loss. I was totally overwhelmed in the office. If I'm out of the office for any stretch of time, it seems forever before I'm caught up. Still not there, but I did gain some ground. I had my new payroll input training session yesterday. It seems pretty straight forward.

A good friend, Chris Herrin, arrived in Chicago yesterday. He will spend some time here at our bakery, helping out/working. Very talented guy. He is the pastry chef at Bouchon Bakery in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. I've known Chris for some time. He was an intern at the NBC in the mid 90's. Very close to William Leaman, my teammate on the 2005 team. Anxious to get some ideas from him. He's very knowledgeable when it comes to incorporating unique kitchen ideas with bakery type pastry. Yesterday, he told me that if you cryovac wrap a banana for ten minutes, you can unwrap it and use it on top of open face fruit tarts and the banana won't turn brown. Something about changing the composition of the banana. He mentioned other things, but the banana trick sticks out in my mind.

Today, we are going to shape the pretzels that we will be selling tomorrow night at the Aville market. I'm planning on making plain traditional laugenbrezels and the long, cheese filled laugenstagen. We will mix and shape them today and let them ferment overnight under refrigeration. Tomorrow we will dip them in a caustic soda bath, and bake them. The caustic soda is what gives them the colour and shine. It is very dangerous to work with. You need to wear rubber gloves and goggles when dipping the pretzels. I'm not sure what chemically transpires with the lye bath. I think it has to do with more denaturing of the wheat protein. Stuff sure does work. It's one of those things, ya wonder how that started. Did Franz wake up and say to Hans, "I have an idea. Let's try dipping raw bread in this bucket of very poisonous liquid". Or did a piece of raw dough fall into the same bucket, and Franz decided to bake it anyway?

Turns out Monday was a pretty good day in our store. Customer count was good.
Re-instilled my faith. It's easy for me to get discouraged over a, even slightly slow day. I guess I think to myself, "It's finally hit us. So far the economic slowdown really hasn't found us". I think it's true of most bakeries. I've said it before, we are offering real value.

Gotta run, gotta get things started. Gonna be a beautiful day Wednesday. Markets should be rollin'.


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