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Old 31-10-2007, 07:46 PM posted to,
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Default Bread and pastry 'hands-on' class at Chatsworth House Farm Shop

Bread and pastry 'hands-on' class at Chatsworth House Farm Shop

Some of you may have seen a picture of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, the
home of the Duke of Devonshire and featured in the Keira Knightley version
of Pride & Prejudice as Mr Darcy's home (and believed to have been the
inspiration for it). I was there in August running my dog in an agility
competition at a Country Fair, and last night Helen and I went to the Farm
Shop (Chatsworth is known for its food as well)for a 2 1/2 hour pastry
making course.

As it turned out, there were only 3 of us on the course, which was great.
It was held in the farm shop bakery which was fascinating in itself. Huge
bread mixers, steam proofing cabinets, a gadget that turns 4kg of bread
dough into rolls, and 4 9000 computer terminals used to make sure that
every recipe uses exactly the same ingredients every time it is made. The
course was taught by the Head Baker, Tony Robb.

We started by making croissants and Danish pastries. We used the English
method, "In the English method the flour, salt, water and dough fat are
mixed together. This dough is rolled into a long rectangular shape, three
times as long as wide. Two-thirds of the dough is covered by dabs of
butter. The third without butter is folded into the middle first then the
other end is folded on top."
More or less as shown he

We rolled it out and turned it 3 times, then cut it into triangles and
rolled them up into croissants. We did this with half the dough, the other
half we treated the same way but cut it into squares and then cut them out
to make Danish pastries with mincemeat.

The method for cutting into pastries we used is illustrated at the bottom
except we folded our squares in half (making a triangle) before cutting).

Then we were given some milk bread dough and taught to make plaited
loaves. This was not easy. In fact, I found rolling out the 'ropes' the
hardest bit. Fun though.

And finally, Orange and Raisin Brandy Soaked Shortbread.
This used shortbread bases which we had to roll out into 2 circles, and a
mixture of:
70g orange juice
15g brandy
175g raisins
20g candied peel
70g mincemeat
Soaked overnight.
Two circles of shortbread pastry, one the base, one the lid, and after
baked dusted with caster sugar.

The course was great fun and I learned a couple of new tricks. The
croissants were a bit heavy I thought. We froze the milk bread without
tasting it but then we were really just learning plaiting with the dough.

The shortbread was delicious but fattening!

We are at the moment having our first proper Halloween trick or treat
we've had ever (since I was a kid in Miami that is).
Where we used to live, hardly anyone came and often not in costume.
Here in the village where we live now, we've put decals on the windows, a
flashing pumpkin (artificial) in my study window, a sign in the ground and
a ghost hanging from a 'flagpost'. And the kids are nicely costumed and
polite. It's great.

Doug Weller --
A Director and Moderator of The Hall of Ma'at
Doug's Archaeology Site:
Amun - co-owner/co-moderator

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