While volunteering at a Health Promotion Board event last month, I got to know Glenda, and found out she runs Olive & Glen Culinary School with her husband, Oliver. And today, I had the opportunity of attending the Baguette & Brioche baking class at their home-‘school’. 😀 Seven other ‘students’ and I went over to their place at Gangsa Road (Bukit Panjang) for a 3-hour class.
And here’s the life-sized standee of Oliver, in their home. This guy’s a celebrity, man! Who else, besides celebs, have life-sized standees of themselves in their own home? Plus newspaper articles and pictures too!
Unlike my previous bread baking experience, this time, it was more of a demo class than a hands-on one. Here are the pros and cons:
Pros: Easier for note-taking when your hands aren’t covered with flour. Video-taking is also possible! More opportunities for Q&A as the teacher doesn’t have to move around and check on each ‘student’. Lessons are less expensive (at about $80/pax at Olive & Glen).
Take a picture or record a video!
Cons: No hands-on practice – kinda takes the fun out of bread baking, but you can take home the recipe and tips, and practice on your own.
As I have mentioned, one major advantage of a demo session is the opportunity to take notes. And I’ve learnt quite a bit about Baguette and Brioche baking.
First, the baguette…
Ingredients used are: Ice Cold Water, Unbleached White Flour, Sea Salt and Instant Yeast ONLY.
The TRICK to making a good baguette is to use ice cold water. Also, minimize contact with the dough so the heat from your fingers doesn’t get transferred over.
Baguettes in all shapes and sizes…
We were given Japanese Curry too! Goes very well with the warm baguettes! Yum!
For the brioche…
Ingredients are: Water, Full Cream Milk, Unbleached White Flour, Cold Eggs, Instant Yeast, Sea Salt, Caster Sugar, and Salted Butter.
For the brioche, add the water first if you are using a mixer, and last if you are mixing all the ingredients by hand.
If you want to buy a mixer and you are deliberating between a Kenwood and a KitchenAid, go for the Kenwood. It lasts longer and has an internal “fan”, according to Oliver, which prevents the machine from overheating. The KitchenAid, on the other hand, comes in a range of pretty colors, but doesn’t have a fan, and tends to move about on your kitchen-top when it’s in use (perhaps you’ll need an anti-slip mat and steady hands to keep it in place).
*Oliver and the giant brioche*
That brioche is quite easily the biggest I have ever seen. I thought they are only made in tiny, cupcake-size. But wow. And this one has chia seeds sprinkled on top too! Chia seeds have a lot of soluble fibre and omega-3 goodness, so use them liberally!
Brioche and jam – the perfect match:
We got to taste other breads too!
The very yummy Chocolate Bread (with dried cranberries inside too!)
Pistachio Butter (in the bottom left-hand corner) 😀
Notes and takeaway bags:
Bought some chili crab for dinner since I’d brought home one of the baguettes! 😀
Olive & Glen Culinary School also has other artisan breads and sushi classes. To inquire, call Glenda at 9147 3989 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and say you’ve read this blogpost so Oliver and Glenda can arrange for something special for you. 😉
Visit their website for more pictures and information: http://artisanbreadsandsushi.com/