Julie - Diary of a Le Cordon Bleu Bread Baking Class
by Julie Compton
Today was my bread baking class at Le Cordon Bleu. I was up before the crack of dawn, as I had to be there at 8:30am. This was my first adventure on the Metro and it was a lot easier to figure out then I thought it was going to be. Arriving at the school I was greeted and received a Cordon Bleu apron and towel plus the recipes for the day. The class and I then had juice, coffee and croissants as we waited for class to start. We were then led up to the classroom up three flights of stairs. There ain’t no elevators in France, no wonder they stay so tiny.
The class had 12 students, a mix of young and old. About half the class was from the US and there was another girl from Canada, she was from Edmonton and was familiar with Call the Kettle Black!
In class the chef taught us how to make baguette dough by hand and while that proofed he showed us how to make country bread and rye bread with a mixer. As an extra we got to make croissants that we rolled and chilled in three stages. During this time we made some buns that were dinner roll size and our country boule. We let the rolls and boule proof while we shaped out baguettes. We then set them aside to proof and continued on with the croissants. We also made kugelhoff and fugasse.
After an hour for lunch (a cold buffet) it was back to class. After everything had a chance to proof it was time to prepare things for the oven. Starting with the baguettes we floured and scored the tops of them. We then prepared the country boules, buns, rye bread, and fugasse. We had some extra time while things baked and proofed so the chef showed us how to make brioche. We then finished off our croissants by rolling the dough out into a long rectangle, cutting it into triangles and shaping them into their signature crescent.
All in all it was a great day of baking and learning about making bread. I now have enough bread to last more then my entire trip!
I brought home:
- 4 baguettes
- 1 large brioche
- 2 small brioche
- 1 kugelhoff
- 1 medium rye bread
- 1 medium country boule
- 1 fougasse
- 10 buns
- 18 croissants