BakingCalGal -- Thursday, July 04, 2002 -- 07:35:57 PM
How-tos, tips, recipes.This thread is tagged: cooking, baking, cake
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You posted it, Marya.
No, I think Marya was saying that cooler water is better than warmer water, because "you won't kill the yeast by dissolving it in water that is slightly too cool" -- it was a little ambiguous and I had to read twice.
Oh, I see what you mean, rms. Yes, it is ambiguous, and I wasn't quite on my toes as it was 3:30 in the morning.
kas and rms had it right. Sorry for over-elaborated syntax.
I like to both err on the side of coolness AND, if there's any doubt about its quality, test my yeast by dissolving some in water with a pinch of sugar and leaving it for a few minutes. If it's not humping up and looking alive and bubbly in ten minutes then I toss it and buy more. It sucks so much to have bread ruined by dead yeast.
I don't think I've ever had yeast not bubble up, but I always proof it anyway. We make bread often enough that our yeast never gets the chance to die peacefully of old age.
It's more likely storage conditions than age. I've bought yeast from the supermarket that was well within sell-by date and was dead.
I think someone here mentioned the simple cake frosting rule: one block cream cheese, one stick butter, as much confectioner's sugar as it needs, flavor to taste. I tried it tonight, with hazelnut Torani syrup and a little dutched cocoa, and it rocks. Especially on a moist, dense, chocolate cake.
Except that about a 1" slice is all I can handle.
Oh good, I need to try that. The last few times I've tried cream cheese frosting, it's come out way too rich. It tastes fabulous for the first couple of bites, but no matter how rich the cake, you only end up tasting the frosting and then it just gets to be too much. I'll try this one with the stick of butter next time.
My new favorite very,very easy frosting is Insanity Rose's sour cream chocolate frosting - you just mix bittersweet (or I suppose you could use milk) chocolate with sour cream - no beating or anything - and it turns out really good. It's got a subtle sour taste, but only very subtle - little kids might not like it, but all the grownups at the party loved it.
Ok, I am making my Aunt Bev's oatmeal bread today and I'm done with the kneeding and it's sitting in a greased bowl ready to rise. I don't know if I did the kneeding part right though. What is the point of kneeding and is it supposed to get really tough?
It's supposed to get elastic and resistant, and have a smoother surface than it did at the beginning. The point is to develop the gluten in the flour. That's part of how the crumb in the bread develops, I think.
If you find it hard to get to that stage, try a trick I got from the Fanny Farmer book: knead for a couple of minutes, cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for ten minutes, then come back and knead for another 8-10 minutes. I usually put on a timer and also play music during the kneading.
Ok, so it's sort of one of those things that you need a little experience to know exactly when it's done being kneeded. If I didn't kneed it enough, what's the bread going to be like?
It might not rise as high or have as firm a crumb, I think. It's a matter of degree, though, and I've never gotten inedible bread after kneading for ten minutes.
One way I learned to test if I had kneaded enough is to pull at a piece of the dough. It should stretch instead of breaking.
I agree with Marya. It might be a bit dense, but it will not be inedible.
Ok, well I hope it works out! If not, it's not like it has all these expensive ingredients, so it's not going to break the bank if I have to start all over. Bread is cheap!
Oh, the other thing that I think might make the bread a little weird is that I used regular molasses, not light molasses. My grocery store doesn't carry light molasses. And my lord, I had forgotten how much molasses stinks. It's amazing that it can make so many yummy things, but the raw product is so nastay.