French Pastry

A few years ago, I hired a French Pastry Chef to come to my house to teach a group of friends how to bake in the French way. She had studied in France and had quite the resume so it was a real treat that she agreed to make a house call. How she imparted her wisdom and magic to us was to hand us recipes and told us to start working. I thought she would take us by the hand and show us slowly step by step what to do but not that was not the case.

Basically she threw us in the water and observed our attempts. It was like when you learned to drive a stick shift.

You have to drive and jerk the car ound until you feel what it needs. You have to absorb the knowledge.

She talked us through the four hours we worked. It was so great to have her there to correct us along the way. Each step needed plenty of correction too.

I have a brother who is a chef and he told me to immediately do all the baking again the very next day so it would ingrain . Good advice. Sort of a get back on the horse thing.

Poem to French Pastry

flour , grams , butter, stir, folding , kneeding, sucre,

You become magical floating mystical miracles in the oven

transforming mere ingredients into joy.

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