Cookery MasterClass with Marky Mark @ Bakery & Bar, 112 Telok Ayer
Cookery MasterClass with Marky Mark @ Bakery & Bar, 112 Telok Ayer
If you are a budding wannabee Chef, but need some help, guidance and steering – look no further. You simply have go try a day doing a Cookery MasterClass with Marky Mark @ Bakery & Bar, 112 Telok Ayer. #1, if you have never been to Bakery & Bar you really must visit. As Mark says he under-commits and over-delivers. The food from this joint is exceptional. So when Mark announced to the ChillaxBBQ crew his new concept that he wanted to try on us, we of course all jumped at the chance. And so today, three of the crew attended an incredible day with the main man and his incredible crew.
Read on for the adventure that Flash, Seb and I had this day with Mark.
We had previous agreed a menu with Mark. We decided on things we had never tried to cook before, and also to learn a new cooking skills. So we went with the following for our Cookery MasterClass with Marky Mark @ Bakery & Bar, 112 Telok Ayer;
De-boned, rolled, stuffed and roasted chicken; and
Hell yes – bring it on. I think we all really learnt a lot today. From Mark of course, also his amazing crew, and actually from each other too. The food we churned out was just insanely good, like really really good. Amazingly so in fact, as you will see shortly. To advise, our mate will be taking bookings now for additional adults to come and have a lesson. It’s a discreet and personal experience, so a maximum of four budding Chefs per session. Prepare for an 8am start and 5pm finish, so it is busy busy, so you need to prep for a full day of service. It is tiring indeed, but the outcomes are so impressive.
You must go for some food – you just must. I promise you will be seriously impressed. Perhaps have a chat with Mark whilst you are there. You must have his pork pie, pate, jams, creme brûlée, BLT sandwiches etc.. Also have a private word with Mark to see what secrets he has on the specials. Here you go with the contacts for them; Reservations +65 6509 6462 and [email protected]
Also another little announcement is that he is now not only doing adult classes but also kids. Kids will be ‘trained’ upstairs, creating a soup, a quiche, baking bread, and making and decorating some cookies that they get to take home. How good is that. My gang will absolutely be going to this. Dad and Lad is the idea – Dad and kids go together and prepare lunch, and then Mum pops along after having her nails done to eat it. What a great idea – a new spin-off of Cookery MasterClass with Marky Mark @ Bakery & Bar, 112 Telok Ayer.
I’m going to list the things I learnt today from the great man Mark and his crew. Did you know for example Mark has been Cheffing for decades, originally in UK. He has even had Tony Bourdain and Fergus Hendersoneating and drinking with him at his gastropub in Manchester. Any we are now lucky to have him as a mate here in Singapore – loads of content to follow, read on my friends, or contact Mark and learn your own tips too – Mark I need you to validate these my friend;
Putting breadcrumbs in to a stuffing actually keeps moisture in the meat, as well as binding it. Always use breadcrumbs for your meatballs and any stuffing you make;
There is actually natural yeast in the air. When making breads you can create you very own ‘starter-kit’. Simply mix equal parts of water with flour, and put it in to a Tupperware container. Leave it alone, and in time it will turn in to your bread ‘starter-kit’. For the sourdoughs we made with Mark we were using his TEN year old ‘starter-kit’;
As you make your bread you replace what you used from your ‘starter-kit’. If you take 100g out, you add back in 50g flour and 50g water, stir it through and you’re all topped up;
In San Francisco there is a bakers called Boudin who claims to have Sourdough that is 150 years old, because that is how long they have had their Poolish;
Apparently used by Polish bakers back in 1840, and brought to France in 1920;
This starter kit is also known as Poolish or fermentation starter. There are other names for this Globally, such as Biga, Puliche and even Mother Dough. I love knowing this stuff as a foodie. We simply take food for granted sometimes. Ask Mark described making Sourdough is a labour of love, we started at 8am and had a warm loaf in our hands at 1630 – yep it’s a labour all right;
It takes 6 hours to prove;
Mark also uses rye flour to create his ‘starter-kit’ for his rye breads, and also adds in spent grains from the beer brewing process. He gets those from Little Creatures Brewing Co. It’s and amazing smell, cheesy-beer like;
Salt will actually kill yeast, so you have to add salt to the Sourdough at the end of the process, once needed and about to be put in the moulds. In the moulds you leave the dough for yet another three hours proving, then cut the surface to make patterns and to stop the bread ‘bursting’;
Making the Sourdough is a science – Kian made this one with us, but the ‘secret recipe’ was so accurate to detail; 960g Poolish, 720g water, 1.6Kg baking flour, 30g of salt at the end. After the 6 hours proving, you knead it for 2-4 minutes, leave 20 minutes, add the salt and mix again for 5 minutes, in to the moulds and cover with a cloth;
You’ll also see the guys in the photos ‘stretching’ the bread in to the ball shape, critical for the outcome, then in to the moulds;
Mark also adds in Vitamin D as it is a dough improver that accelerates the process. Vitamin D as in orange juice, oh yes;
Have you been in a restaurant, or cooking supply shop and seen the different coloured chopping boards? Now I didn’t know this one, but; red = raw meat, blue = raw fish; yellow = cooked meat; brown = vegetables; green = salads and fruit; and white = bakery and dairy. Did not know that!!!
Now to some cooking. Shall we folks. Here some the outcomes of Cookery MasterClass with Marky Mark @ Bakery & Bar, 112 Telok Ayer.
This the plain baking flour Poolish – it has a sort of cheese smell to it. Quite pungent, but you know it’s going to work so well.
This is the rye flour Poolish mix. Wow this is so so different to the plain flour. This smells really alcoholic, and quite funky. Look at those air bubbles in this though, this is literally a living thing, and yes this is also 10 years old too.
Here’s Kian taking over for a wee while, as some of this process is truly critical to the bread outcome. He is a MastChef truly, and man oh man does this guy bust a but with his work ethic. He is relentless. One minute breads, then muffins, then coffees, then pouring pale ales, then
Flash and Seb getting in to it in a big way. Come on boys that Sourdough bread don’t make itself!!!
Whilst the Sourdough is proving it was decided that it was time for some brekkie. So we learnt to make unleavened bread, AKA the earliest form of bread made by man. So easy too. Equal parts of baking flour and water. We added in thyme and chili too, as well as salt and pepper. You need some cooking skills now to work out when this is good to go, it’s a texture thing. A picture cannot teach you that. We let these rest a little, circa 10 minutes, whilst Mark decided to share another French tradition when prepping rustic foods.
This is where you’ll be learning from the master. Enough seating at the jump for 4 eager students. It’s galley kitchen all the way and again with us, Mark and his 5 staff working in here it was poetry in motion to watch the weaving of people happening. Not one accident happened. Bear in mind 9 people, plus customers, plus knives and bloody hot shit!!!
Ah ha to the little French tradition. Apparently the farmers come from far and wide, very early in the morning, to sit in the baker-come newsagent-com-deli-come everything and sit with the Baker and chat as he is making the breads and other yummies. And as they do that they sip on tiny wee little glasses of Rose, so in the spirit of us cooking French-style today it would have been rude not too adopt that cultural need. Our mate Flash, bless him not participating – good work brother!!!
Host with the most, Chef Mark. Loving today so much, and bearing in mind, as The Carpenters sing; “It’s only just begun…”
A very simple affair but so so bloody delicious. Black pud, bacon and our bread. Ding Dong. You roll the balls of bread to this shape, and cook off in a dry pan until charred like above. You can also hold them in tongs over direct flame and they will bubble up. If you want this bread to be more Indian in style, add Ghee to the pan and let that clarified butter soak on in. Pretty simples right, but so so affective. Get some flour in folks, and you’ll never need to run to the shops if you have run out of bread. Imagine the smells wafting through your kitchen too – there’s nothing like fresh bread!!! Have a go.
Now we come the de-boning of the chickens x3 – one each. Now this is fiddly, and a new skill for us all. The point of this, is so you can create a roll, with the entire skin still on, with no holes. OK no pressure then. Seb goes first bless him. Believe me this is tough to do, if you have never done it before. Feeling for Seb, as at 6’6″ these worktops in Asia are a little low!!!
But let me also advise of a few funnies. Come on we’re a few Rose’s in now, and this is a funny thing to have so so many Double Entendres. Here is a sample and apologies to all our lady friends for the complete ignorance of being PC here. It was just funny at the time – here come a series of phrases, asks, discussions as we prep the chickens;
OK who’s never boned a bird before;
Get your hands on the breasts now and pull them apart to get stuffing in between;
Big birds are much easier to bine;
You need to have the bird in your hand so you can go down the bone;
OK now wash your hands as we are gong to start stuffing the bird;
And believe me, so so many more….
Believe me – this is tough to do. You end up with a completely flat, meat and skin only chicken. It was an incredible process to learn, and brilliant way to eat a chicken. It is literally every single bit minus the bone all in one piece. We of course kept the carcass, head, feet and all that to make a jus up.
Mark and I had a crack at the stuffing together and believe me this came out BONKERS good. Fried off some onion and garlic in some oil and butter. To about 1Kg of pork mince we added in some chopped black pudding, fresh thyme, the onion and garlic, juice of a lemon, sea salt and white pepper, bread crumbs truffle (a little), and 2 eggs. Give that bugger a stir in so all meld together. Fry a little off to give it a taste, and check the seasoning, and then in to the now flattened out birds.
In the meantime some of the troops are hungry and a customer surge happened, so out with things like the infamous Baker & Bar pork pies. You can buy a whole on of these – I have in the past, bloody brilliant. Sacrilege through as I always have it with salad cream, its a kid up-bringing thing from Margate.
Here is my bird, well and truly boned, stuffed perfectly, rolled and now sitting atop some carrots, lemon and red onions so as not to burn. Wee drizzle of oil and cover with foil. In for 200 degrees for 45 minutes, rest, back in baking paper on top for 20 or so and then off with cover and whack up heat to brown and crisp. I think that looks brilliant. Worth the effort of all that boning!!!
Flash getting his skewers in now to make sure it all stays together when roasting. I think we all did so so well – it being the first time for trying this out.
And here we all are. Stuffed birds re-united. Yep the huge one is Big Bird’s (of course), then Flash to the right, and mine is at the back. Boys be proud I think they look absolutely incredible. We did have a fantastic teacher though!!!
We not getting going on Soufflés and Creme Caramels which involved a shit load of egg yolk and white separation. Like shit loads. I think it was 12 egg yolks just for the Soufflés, which is bonkers. Big Bird has Big Hands, so get in there fella. He had all done and then broke the last one – no sense crying over messed up eggs ha ha – its omelette time for his Malaysian trainees (the gigglers at the back).
This is the creme brûlée mixture. High heat cream, in to which I scraped out two vanilla pods worth of seeds. I had to cream up egg yolks with a heap of sugar until they changed to almost white, and the sugar granules had all gone. Then we added that very very slowly to the hot cream – any faster and it will become scrambled eggs. Pour that in to little mannequins, in to a water bath and in the oven to set. This is getting sieved to remove any nasty bits of seed pod, only leaving the seeds within the brûlée itself! Just to show the accuracy of what this restaurants does when service food – every dish is weighed to ensure it is the same for every client.
Now to the soufflé. Again a very complex dish this. Egg whites that were almost meringue stage whipped, which were added to a thick roux, with American mustard, loads of cream, two cheeses and shit loads of egg yolks too. This dish is a shit your pants moment when waiting for this to rise, and stay risen when you open the bloody oven. We served these in coffee cups for our guests – wiped all over first with butter and lined with bread crumbs so the soufflé does not stick. Boomer of a dish. Lots of comments about how good this was.
This is what I mean regards to the stretching of the dough for the Sourdough loaves. You have to roll it over and under type thing. This then sits again in the moulds to set in to the shape of the loaf. Just before it is due to go in it was razor blades out at deep slashes of the top of the loaf to create a unique pattern bit also to stop the loaf blowing up.
Thanks to Elton for this awesome snap of the Soufflé – it does look damned good right!!! Light, fluffy, creamy and cheesy all in one. A ding a dong a ding a dong!!!
Here are our 9 guests invited to this luncheon soiree – thanks everyone so so much for coming. So so glad you made it, and thanks for the praise an commentary of the food we served up for you. Sadly we missed my Amy today, she would have loved this too.
Louise Darby sent us an email aftwerwards; “Thanks Gents. Loved your home-cooked meal, the flavours were out of this world. Great way to spend to Sat afternoon, I look forward the next one.”
Elton Freeman also sent us a WhatsApp after; “Soooooooo goooooooooood.’
Now that kind of commentary makes it all so so worthwhile. And thank you to Jo, Stacey, Ashby, and my gang on the day for all the kind words on the food outcomes. Believe me after we served we ran back to the kitchen to get some of it in to our stomachs too ha ha..
Chicken done – roasted, rested, browned off and now rocking to eat. We served the starter and dessert in individual portions, and the main as a three carving at table side, with communal salad, and Sourdough loaf. I did say it was a rustic dish before. Bloody brilliant. Free-flows were flowing too, all we could see was smiley faces every time we came to serve, clear, chat or hand over some bubbles. As a hobbyist foodie, it was great to have the chance. Loved every minute.
Here’s mine all carved up. A drizzle of the jus and dig in please folks. I think that looks just insanely good. A picture paints a – but believe me the aroma from this was knock out, and you ain’t getting none of that aroma from this snap. So so good.
Brûlées are set, and rested and now we are adding a level amount of to them all to then start the melting to give the slightly bitter, and of course crunch top to these beauties. I have to say best I have ever had, and these puppies are one of my favourite desserts – I have had a shit load of these elsewhere and I tell you this is up there if not the very best. Quality of ingredients, eye for detail, perfection all drive the outcome.
You should just about to see the blue of the flame as we burn the fist sugar off.
All of a sudden you start getting toff apple smells that reminded me of days at margate. Double wow, though was knowing what lies beneath. Oh my gosh these were just so bloody good. Yeah we had some left over so in the kitchen we had a bog one between us ha ha!!!
Finished article. A stunning custard beneath with a divine crunch and bitter caramel bite on the top. A heavenly dessert indeed.
Our final bit of fun was getting our loaves out of the oven that we started first thing on the day. See the razor blade designs now in the final baked of loaf. Loving them. Back right is our coach today Marky Mark, back left yours truly, front left Flash and front right Big Bird. I think they look simply stunning. When they just come out they start to reduce in size and it causes the most amazing crackling sound like Rice Krispies when you pour the milk over them. And the smell here, the aroma is to die for. It’s stunning!!!
Just realised I have not been in one photo ha ha, just me food. Anyways for proof that I was indeed there with the rest of the ChillaxBBQ and Bakery and Bar crew here I am. What a CRACKING day it was.
And of course the very next day we have it for brekkie. Flash and I were pinging each other – he went strong on rye and we went hard on Sourdough. We had some of the Blueberry and Blackberry jam too that was made on premise with us that very day!!! Tomorrow for brekkie it is chicken liver and bacon pate on me toast! Heavenly!!!
Crappy iPhone photo sorry – but here is #1 who sadly missed the experience during the Saturday getting tucked in to the bread and jam on the Sunday. Oh yeah and having wolfed down the chicken we brought back too – Soufflée for her tomorrow too.
So there you have it folks. To be honest this blog about Cookery MasterClass with Marky Mark @ Bakery & Bar, 112 Telok Ayer, could haver three times as long. So many little learnings, quasi throw-aways of past experiences, recipe suggestions, even just watching, and of course anecdotes were given. It was a brilliant day for ChillaxBBQ crew, we loved working with the crew from Bakery & Bar. It was truly such fun, and so insightful. And getting the responses we got from paying guests at lunch, concreted the brilliant day any more. I’ll say it one more time. If you are a budding foodie, wannabe cook – get in contact with Mark and get yourself enrolled. I’ll be back with the kids soon, and then back again for me to learn some new things. Even if you don’t want to learn, get your arse down and eat the food here. If you do come I absolutely guarantee you will – ENJOY!!!