BakingCalGal -- Thursday, July 04, 2002 -- 07:35:57 PM
How-tos, tips, recipes.This thread is tagged: cooking, baking, cake
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The wacky cake recipe (it goes by several names depending on region) is also vegan.
I baked another batch of Julia's cookies this morning for our weekend guests. I made it by hand again, and I have solved the crumbly issue: Make sure the sugars and butter are very well blended. Use 2 eggs instead of one egg and a yolk, and beat well. The dough texture is then perfect. Guests are raving, btw.
When I was home sick for a few days and DH took Anna to the library, I asked him to check out a baking book for me -- any baking book. He knows I like to bake bread, so he brought me Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice.
Okay, Peter Reinhart is annoying and self-congratulatory, and the recipes are written for aspiring professional bakers. But I made the poolish focaccia and it is astonishing.
Poolish is a pre-fermented starter -- IOW, flour and water mixed with a little yeast and allowed to ferment for a few days. Generally it's all used -- unlike a sourdough, the culture isn't maintained over a long period. Because my schedule has been out of whack and I'm still a little bit sick, I ended up with about a 3 day old poolish, which was a bit tangy, when I baked last night. The dough was silky in a way I've never seen before.
It's a lot of work for one pan of bread, but I may try it again some time -- the other problem is that with 3 people in the house, it'll take a while to eat a half-sheet of focaccia!
Tangy bread sounds good, RMS. I'm going to keep my eye out for that book.
I feel the same way about IR's bread
ukazes instructions: What a freaking lot of work for one loaf. And oh, how worth it! Her brioche takes all day - four rises - and comes out impeccable.
You've all seen the La Brea Bread Book? The shortest recipes there take two days, and that's AFTER you've spent something like five days making sourdough with organic grapes and organic flour and organic water.
First you have to grow the grapes.
edit: My sister's ex-BIL swears by that book and makes all of his own starter and bread from grapes that he does, indeed, grow. But he lives in the Garden of Eden and the rest of us don't.
He gave it to me and I did the same. Life is too short and I can buy La Brea bread at WFM.
I do enjoy his cooking and his obsessive craziness in pursuit of the ultimate, though. Unfortunately, it's the same family trait that made for an unsuccessful marriage between my sister and his brother.
This is great. It sounds like something Martha Stewart would make, using some really lovely vintage hydrogen.
OK I had to skip a gazillion posts in here to keep me on the dieting straight and narrow, but I wanted to post this for later, like maybe my birthday.
I'm home sick again and contemplating my birthday cake and realizing that I don't want just one kind of cake, I want all kinds of cake, chocolate, orange, lemon, cheese, almond, this list is endless. But it would be a lot of work to make myself seven different kinds of cake, not to mention fatal to dieting. I need a really good bakery, but I don't know any.
Dohdee, sorry I wasn't around to request the M&M cookie recipe. If you still have it, could you post it? I think I'm going to try the first batch of experiments tomorrow.
Tomorrow I'm going to bake the chocolate chip bundt cake and the honey-almond crunch cake. It's my turn to provide the oneg, the coffee and cake after Friday night synagogue services. DH will bake an extra challah, I'll bake cakes, and we'll pick up some strawberries or something for the dieters.
I used silicone pans for the first time last night - to make muffins - and the bottoms got too brown. I had the silicone muffin pan thing on a baking sheet. Is that the right way to do it? I bought a whole set of the stuff at Costco because I've been wanting to try it, but I'm not thrilled with this first run.
I wish we had coffee and chocolate chip cake after services. All we get is the same old body and blood, week after week.
Last night was the first round of M&M cookie experiments. I started with the Joy of Cooking chocolate chip cookie recipe. First I made a half-batch with no tweaks as a control. It was actually not bad - much better than the rolled sugar cookies I tried a few weeks ago!
For the second half-batch, I substituted brown sugar for the white sugar, then added a little extra white sugar as well as a couple extra tablespoons of butter. These were really good, and very close to the taste I'm going for. They were kind of flat and crispy, which I didn't really mind - they were soft enough in the center. But I think next time I'll chill the dough first to see if that'll make a bit of difference.
As an aside on the topic of kitchen chemistry: while I was doing this, my boyfriend and his brother were making chocolate chip cookies from the Tollhouse recipe. They had a really bad result, which surprised me because T makes excellent cookies normally. For some reason they mixed the butter, flour, and sugar all at once, then added in the eggs afterward. The dough tasted OK, but it was really crunchy (I guess the sugar didn't get at all dissolved in the butter or eggs as it usually would). I had gone to bed by the time they baked them, but apparently the cookies were brown on the edges and soft in the middle, and they cooled into hard, dark brown, squashed-looking cookies. They are edible, but I wouldn't serve them to anyone else. Lesson learned: don't ignore the order of steps in the recipe.