6.13.2011

Focaccia anyone?

If the answer is yes, I'm your gal!  A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a focaccia bread making class at Angelina Italian Bistro, my favorite place on earth in the D, and now I just may be able to whip up a couple of loaves (or a pizza)!

After finding out that Alessandro works every Saturday in June (grr!) I had to find a fill-in for my pre-made reservation for 2 for the cooking class.  I asked my friend, Craig, who I have been buddies with since Kindergarten.  (I know, so romantic!)  Luckily, he was interested.  I could not have been in better company for this.  Turns out that Craig has a long history of bread making from his own bread baking adventures to memories of his Grandma making it rise (get it?) in the kitchen.  Who knew?  I had never tried making bread before (does banana nut count?) but Craig was really in his element.


First I should say that one of the best parts of Angelina cooking classes is that if you arrive a few minutes early, you can have a cup of coffee.  Doesn't sound that exciting, I know, but I really do love the coffee there!  It's so good.  I always try to chug a couple of cups before the class begins.  Craig and I both graciously accepted a couple of refills.  Can someone say, "Yes, please!"  The owner, Tom, told us it's a Great Lakes roast...now I just have to find out which one.  Hmmm.

Anyway, after we had too much coffee, we went into the kitchen to bake.  Angelina's pastry chef, Raed, (pronounced "ride" and mentioned here) was our host.  He's such a great teacher!  He gave us a great recipe and great tips. 



As I mentioned, Craig was in his element.  Asking questions about flour, "High protein or high gluten?", honey "Should we use beeswax or wildflower honey?", yeast, water temperature, etc.  He at one point said to me, "I have so many questions.  Can I ask them?"  I gave him permission (since the class only had 4 students total, I didn't see why not).  Craig really liked the small class size because it "gives me more speaking time." 





We each made 2 loaves, a mom and a baby...


and a pizza.  Craig said that his pizza dough looked like a teacher of ours from High School.  Melvindale peeps, any guesses?


Here's everything baking.


While they baked, Raed made us a breakfast foccacia, with two sunny side eggs cooked in olive oil.  Yum!





And finally, our baked goods were done and ready for consumption!  (Well, not until after they rested obviously because you wouldn't want to kill the dough.  Trust me, that's pure professional bakers talk right there).



Don't they look delicious?  And they were!  Alessandro and I ate the pizza for lunch that day, and we used the loaf at family dinner the next day.  Spaghetti was on the menu and it was a perfect fit. 

P.S.  This was the third cooking class I've attended at AIB.  The first was a Pasta class and the second was Baking with Chocolate.  




To see future cooking classes offered at AIB, check here.  Me and my BFF Dani will be at the Art of Sautee this Saturday!

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