mMMmmmMMm! Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout! Class number 2 had us baking a sweet bread with an almond and candied orange topping. They are divine. I was worried that with all the sugar and almond paste, it would be too sweet but the candied orange peels really balanced things out.
All purpose flour is not common in Japan (or I just haven't come across it in the grocery store.) Instead, flour is is divided into two types: strong (bread flour) and weak (cake flour). The kabocha bread we made in class 1 only used strong flour. This sweeter almond bread used a mixture of weak and strong and you can definitely tell the difference. This bread was lighter and more resembled a bun.
Our teacher this time around didn't speak any English but the ABC staff was overly helpful in preparing us. They are really nice and though we didn't need help with translating, it was comforting to know that they were keeping an eye one us. If any other expats in Japan are interested in taking these courses at ABC, I highly recommend starting out at the Tokyo Midtown branch. Since it's in the heavily foreigner populated Roppongi area, their staff is much more skilled with their English. I'm learning a lot of vocabulary and am starting to feel more comfortable using my limited grammar constructions. Thankfully, the Japanese language employs a few very common words for certain situations and I have those ones down pat. (Delicious! Looks delicious! So skilled! Ok! Difficult!) In English, you might sound like you have Tourette's, but in Japanese, it's perfectly normal to just shout out verbs and adjectives and expect people to understand you.
I want to share some of the recipes from the classes because bread baking it really fun and actually quite easy. However, when we signed up, I signed a crazy 3 page contract (all in Japanese) and I think one of the 100 points was that I wouldn't share or sell their recipes. The details are hazy and I'd rather not risk it. So, I'm planning on coming up with some variations of my own and will post back later.
And of course, apologies to my Gluten Free gals out there...I'll be sure to cook up a nice juicy steak in a future post as well.