Sunday, March 04, 2007

The end of 1 week in Vietnam

The end of 1 week in Vietnam
On Thursday, we tried the 2nd of the 3 choices (Baguette with fried eggs, Noodles or Bee Hoon Soup, Porridge with salted eggs, peanuts, vegetables and pickles) available for breakfast at our hotel – Noodles Soup.

And to kick start our morning, what better way than to have a cup of ca phe (Vietnamese Coffee). The coffee here is very thick and sweet (Haha! What we would call in Singapore… Espresso with condensed milk).

We proceeded to the bakery as usual with 3 other Singaporean consultants (Mr Foo, Mr & Mrs Kum). At the R&D laboratory, Pin Da and I were taught to use the frozen sweet bun dough to shape into 3 different breads (Pork floss buns, Ham Buns, Hot dog Buns). Here are the thawed frozen sweet bun doughs and half finished products in the proofer.

We were also taught how to make Bahn Mi (Vietnamese Baguette). While waiting, for all the breads to be proofed, we saw Chef Meng doing some chocolate decorations and asked him to show us. Amidst all the chocolate decorations, this one caught my attention and we learn how to make this chocolate decoration pattern.

Our buns baked and out of the oven, with some finishing touches!

After lunch, we would usually head to this sugarcane stall just outside the bakery. Often, we would see other staffs of the bakery and would try to make conversations with them (Most of the time, we would be figuring out what they are trying to say rather than start a proper conversation). The afternoon was spent rounding the plain sweet buns (frozen dough) which is used in huge amounts daily!

On Friday, when we first entered the R&D laboratory, these cute animal breads were sitting on the table next to the oven. From this, you can see that the Vietnamese bakers are very good at handicrafts.
Our Bahn Mi… Proofed and ready to go into the oven to bake!
Our baked buns… 100% done by ourselves.
This is an interesting bread. Korea Bread. It is packed with black sesame and on top of that, a high amount of modified starch is used to make this bread. You can see the difference in the gluten structure of the bread. Crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside, sweet and fragrant!

For dinner, we were recommended to try this place “Hai Lou” which is about 2km from our hotel.

The famous Vietnamese sticky rice.

Boy! Saturday… Yes we are working 6 full days here. First thing that was done in the morning, making this frozen hot dogs buns (notice the pattern… very similar to Danish pastries, but they are actually normal hot dog buns).

Rondo Sheeter… Extremely useful in a bakery.

Laksa for lunch??? (Haha. More like Curry Bee Hoon. Anyway, the curry here is slightly sweet).

Croissant Buns…

And we have the privilege of learning some baking skills and technique from Mr Kao himself. He taught us Financiers, French Puddings and a new pattern of shaping sandwich loaves. Financiers…

French Puddings (using all the remainder egg yolks… as the financiers use egg whites).

New pattern of shaping sandwich loaves…
Today is Sunday!!! Our off day!!! We explored the area around our hotel, did some shopping and spend the afternoon chilling at Trung Ngyuen Coffee (an equivalent of Starbucks or Coffee Bean here in Vietnam).

Well, it seems like this Bake Journal is becoming a day to day narration of what I do at Duc Phat Vina Bread Company… I will blog about more interesting finds in Vietnam soon.