Saturday, 11 October 2008

Porcine Bakery

Teaching year nines to cook Quiche. Ah what greater joy can a day bring?

Like most things I teach in food technology I have had to learn how to make a Quiche myself first. I had never made Quiche before. I had never made my own Pizza base before, Galettes, Victoria sponge cakes and I don't think I had even made my own fairy cakes.

However after a quick read of Delia online, a trip to Sainsburys and an evening or a Sunday afternoon spent elbow deep in flour I begin to feel like a bit of an expert. Especially with a Victoria sponge cake for which I now consider myself (rather modestly) a grand master.

Reading up on Quiche making techniques I was only faintly aware of the term "blind baking". One of those terms that swirls around in my memory from being at my grannies house and trying to steal food in the kitchen.

Blind baking is the process where you pre bake the pastry of a recipe (in this case quiche) if the filling needs cooking itself or if it's a liquid . You place the pastry into the desired shape in a steel ring or somesuch, line the bottom of the pastry with greaseproof paper and then add some baking beans or uncooked rice to weight the paper down.

There you learn something new every day eh?

So I demonstrated this process to my year nines and aksed them to take notes as they watched. The idea being that they watch, take notes and write a plan during one lesson then the following week they make thier own.

Loads of them were mucking about though and not paying attention and this quite understandably got right on my tits. As previously stated I had spent my own precious leisure time slaving over a hot oven. Or beside it at least.

So I let it be known that I would be checking their books at the end of the lesson and if they hadn't made a decent plan following my instructions then they wouldn't get to cook the following week. Incidentally I have always liked this particular quirk of the subject I teach. The fact that you can wield the threat of them not getting to do their practical work as a motivational tool. I can't imagine threatening to suspend their precious quadratic equations would have the same impact in maths...

Anyway I marked their books at some point over the week and was shocked, appalled and filled with mirth on more than one occasion. My favourite entry was from a young lad who wrote confidently:

Step 3: Roll the pastry and put into steel thing
Step 4: Put paper on top
Step 5: Add the "blind bacon"

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