Friday, 21 January 2011

The wonderful world of Viennoiserie

According to our helpful friend wikipedia, viennoiseries are "baked goods made from a yeast leavened dough in a manner similar to bread, or from puff pastry, but with added ingredients (particularly eggs, butter, milk, cream and sugar) giving them a richer and/or sweeter character". And indeed they are. But I mostly like to think of them as all the things that make a perfect breakfast. There are few things that can brighten up my morning as easily as a warm, crisp butter croissant and the thought of being able to make my own is simply delightful. This week our demos were split into making up the doughs and preparing and baking them. We were making: croissant, pain au chocolat, danish pastries, a few varieties of brioche, hot cross buns and devonshire split buns. Fot this we required a batch of bun dough, brioche dough and pâte levée feuilletée - a laminated dough, like puff, but with the inclusion of yeast.

In demo chef had an unfortunate bit of bad luck with some seemingly dead yeast in his bun dough, meaning it didnt rise, but he made up for it by bringing an abundance of them the next day. Everything else turned our wonderfully and by the second day we had a breakfast buffet fit for a king

This week we had another mid-week wine tasting demo, this time on dessert wines. From this I can draw two conclusions:

1. My school is truly like no other, and
2. Sweet wines, much to my surprise, are infact delicious.

In Wednesdays bake-a-thon, although we had a fair amount to do, we also had a bit of waiting around for the doughs to prove so overall it wasnt too hectic. By the end of the 6 hours we had so much pastry, it was a bit unbelievable. The surfaces were covered in croissant, brioche and hot cross buns and then ovens filled with danish.

My only concern after learning how to make such tasty croissants is my waistline. Here are all my tasty treats good to go

One a penny, two a penny


Pastry goodness

Breakfast time will never be the same again


  1. Hello, really like your blog. Thinking of coming to London to do the same course but starting end of June. Wanted to ask you whether you work now while studying or if you dont does the timetable of the school allow you to work part time if you wish to?

  2. Hey fofikka! Nice to hear from you. A lot of people at school manage to hold down part time jobs in small bakeries etc, it can be a pain with the timetable changing occasionally but it is workable. I was working beind a bar last term but hunting for something more relavant now. I have a friend at school who lives and works in oxford and still manages it around the timetable. Any other questions, fire away x