When I was a kid, I – like lots of other children, I’m sure – dreamt of being trapped in a toy/candy/department store overnight and being able to freely play and roam about unsupervised within. Arriving at Brasserie Bread for an evening baking class feels much the same as we are welcomed into an empty store save for workers whom we can see through the glass going about their business in the baking area.
There are 10 of us attending Brasserie Bread’s new Artisan Pastry – Cakes & Tarts baking class, led by training manager Matthew Brock. He tells us a little about himself (he was a chef before going into breads and pastries) as well as artisan baking. The passion he has for what he does is evident and is something to be admired and respected. Amongst us there are ladies who run a café and a former Masterchef contestant so we’re in good company! I have Ms Sourdough as my partner-in-crime, as who else could be more fitting to attend a baking class at Brasserie Bread, firm advocates of sourdough and artisan practices?
We are treated to a warmed round of sourdough and, although I have had Brasserie Bread’s sourdough many times before, eating it oven-warm heightens the enjoyment with shards of blistered crust flying everywhere with each bite. But there’s no kicking back, as soon we’re all getting down to work with each recipe step being carried out by hand tonight.
|Ms Sourdough (aka Breadhead) & her most apt apron|
We make friands to start...
...as well as frangipane tarts for which we’ve made our own sweet shortcrust pasty. Matthew shares a handy tip for pastry – for small individual tarts, roll the dough into a log for resting which will make it easier to divide into portions and keep a round shape when rolling out.
|Matthew Brock demonstrating the rolling out of pasty and piping of frangipane filling|
And then there’s a gooey chocolate brownie to finish!
We sit down to a light meal of individual smoked trout quiches at the end of the evening, for which we rolled out unsweetened shortcrust pastry prepared earlier by Matthew. The class has been fast-paced with some of the perks being having all your ingredients measured and weighed out for you and, of course, not having to do the washing up afterwards! Then you also get to take home your delicious baked goodies...
Ms Sourdough and I met up over the long weekend just passed and made use of the remaining dough from the baking class to recreate the frangipane tarts but topped with slices of pear. The pastry is wonderfully short and crumbly and quite forgiving – my dough looked a little dry when working it together during the class but it held better than I expected following a rest in the fridge. If only we had professional tart rings to use instead of having to improvise with egg rings!
|Leftover pastry makes for a good sablée cookie!|
Brasserie Bread conducts a variety of baking classes on various evenings and weekends. I can attest to the fact that our arms were given thorough workouts and highly recommend taking along a full-length apron, although if you don’t remember to do so the kind people at Brasserie Bread will supply you with a disposable one. My apron was covered in flour and flecks of butter by the end of the class and I was all the happier for it.
Mademoiselle Délicieuse and Ms Sourdough attended the Artisan Pastry – Cakes & Tarts baking class as guests of Brasserie Bread. A big thank-you to Mei Tan who organised the particulars of our attendance and best of luck as she prepares to embark on travel and study on the other side of the world!
1737 Botany Rd, Banksmeadow NSW
Tel: 1300 966 845
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-3pm
Sat & Sun 8am-2pm