Yehey! First entry. Well, actually, this has been like the “nth first entry.” You see, I have *tried* to start blogs before… but I never actually moved to the second entry. I have always lulled (no, actually “gave up” is the term) at the first entry. So I’m crossing my fingers that I would actually move on from this first entry to the next and next… and you know.
Yey! First paragraph down, now what?
So what made me start a new blog again? For starters, I got excited with WordPress’s themes. I am really interested in graphic designing and all these cutesy stuff in the internet. Though I am by no means a graphic designer, I enjoy creating posters and logos for my friends (and anyone who trusts me :D). And so for my first post… I want to share with you one of my hobbies which is baking. Tah dah!
“Kathz my Cake” is one of the projects that, like blogging, I started this year and hope to continue doing. Ever since my grade school years, I’ve always dreamed of becoming a chef. But I failed to fight my way to culinary school. Long story short, my parents disapproved of my culinary dreams. Oh well, it’s not the end of the world and now that I have my own kitchen, thanks to Mr. Kim, I can now explore my own culinary adventures.
Enough of the introductions.
I will share my first baking experiences in Korea. I got to make fruit tart when I joined a baking class under Angie Shin. She’s an experienced and certified baker and she finished a course at THE Le Cordon Bleu (*green with envy*). She was kind enough to offer baking classes for foreigners. I saw her post in one of the FB pages I joined years ago. (I did this class 2 years ago so I can barely remember the details.) I was lucky that there were no other students that day so it was kind of one-on-one session, which was good because the teacher was able to focus on me 😀
After the class, I was so proud of myself for making my very own tart. Pretty smug, I boasted to Mr. Kim but he was not pleased. He frowned at the idea of having to paying too much (I think it was about KRW 55,000/class) for a baking class. After minutes of argument, he gave in and bought me an OVEN (*happy tears*) for Christmas. 2015 was the start of my baking adventures:
Using my brand-new-oven for the first time, I opted to bake pandesal…which was stupid, I know. I thought I will be able to rock my way into kneading dough, making the dough rise and other baking stuff, boy I was wrong. Amateurs don’t just bake breads without knowing the essentials: 1. Proper kneading techniques, 2. Proper dough proofing, and 3. Having lots of patience – which I lack. I browsed youtube vlogs for pandesal recipe. I used Panlasang Pinoy’s recipe.
Looking back, I think my pandesal baking downfall was that the “room temperature” wasn’t room temperature by standards. Our house was icy cold. We live in the mountains (like, literally) and our house gets cold even when the ondol (underfloor heating) is on high. It takes hours to heat up the entire house and that prevented the dough from proofing properly. I was actually a bit disappointed that after 2 hours, the dough didn’t look as “fluffy” as I’ve seen in the videos. Maybe I was also impatient. If I waited for more than 2 hours…
To end the story short, about 20% of the batch was a bit burnt and after a while the pandesal turned into stones. Like, hard rock stones. In fairness, it was soft and yummy when it was fresh from the oven, but I don’t know why they got denser as they cool down.
Oh well, there’s always a first for everything and even though it was not perfect at the end of the day, I was able to produce my very own bread. Cheers!
P.S. The second time I tried baking, I discovered I can use a portable heater to make the dough rise properly. It was way better than the first try but still needs more work. Perhaps I should’ve lessen the amount of flour so that the dough is a bit sticky? Hmm… I’ll blog about pandesal again when I get to try it the third time. Right now, I’m too exhausted to even think about it 😀