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Artisan Baker Shares Tips, Techniques With Penn College Students

Kris Patterson, head artisan baker for the Penn State Bakery, recently visited Penn College's baking, pastry and culinary arts laboratories to work with students in the Principles of Bake Shop Production class. Patterson offered a hands-on workshop on bread preferments and the impact each has on the final product. He demonstrated the techniques of preferment preparation and dough mixing for the classic baguette. Each mixing method and preferment produces a different flavor and texture in the result. For example: A dough that is mixed longer will have a tighter air-cell structure and a whiter color because of the oxidation. One mixed less can have a creamier color, larger air-cell structure and a denser crust. Each student was also taught the method of shaping the classic baguette, as well as the scoring techniques the cuts that are made on the risen, shaped dough before it goes into the oven. "Kris has been a great support to the students of the baking and pastry program," said Chef Monica J. Lanczak, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. In addition to Patterson's visits to Penn College classes, two baking and pastry arts students Abigail C. Wilks, of Phillipsburg, and Kelsey L. Park, of Bellefonte are interning at the Penn State University Bakery this summer. One of the largest scratch bakeries in the continental U. S., the bakery serves six dining halls, 11 campus operations and 48 residence halls. It produces about 59,000 loaves of bread and 89,500 dozen cookies each year.