Thursday, November 11, 2010


That is, What Would Paula Deen do?
I've never been the biggest fan of Paula's food, if only because her food hinges on the fact that it's your down-home Southern cookin' with no g. And cookin' includes copious amounts of butter, eggs, lard, cheese, cream, and anything else that's probably terrible for you, obviously not vegan/vegetarian, and delicious enough that suddenly selling your soul for that last piece of pie doesn't seem like such a horrible trade off. To whit, my grandfather is convinced Paula Deen is trying to personally kill him in a slow, methodical manner with her delicious down home cookin'. This might be true for all of us, but at least the road to our deaths will be littered with apple fritters, cheesy casseroles, and deep-fried everything you could ever want! Woooo!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I beginded a Tumblr!

Hello friends! I have created a sister blog on Tumblr called "Knit it and Quit it" that details different knitting and craft projects that I'm working on. If you're curious about my non-baking activities, head on over!
And more baking soon...with pictures from MY NEW CAMERA!! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gingerbread Apple Crumb Topping Pie

When I think of fall, I think of the following things in the following order:
1. That weird fall smell that's very distinct but that you can't really describe, but I know you totally know what I'm talking about
2. Pies both apple and pumpkin
3. Time to bust out my scarves again, yay!
4. Leaf piles
5. It's finally seasonally appropriate to have hot soups again, yay!

Today's blog post will focus on the second thought, surprisingly enough. I know you're just having a heart attack with surprise right now that I'm going to talk about pie today, because I totally never ever talk about it.

This? Never.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

C. Stout Cupcakes

My good friend Caiti's birthday came to pass, and I love when my vegan friends have birthdays. It's a great excuse to use them as guinea pigs for my vegan baked goods.
I asked Caiti what she wanted for her birthday, and she was infuriatingly vague. Whatever you want, she said. I know you'll figure something out, she said. No coconut, she said. So I figured I'd find something in my vegan cupcake book that I hadn't tried before. I absolutely knew it was fate when yesterday, flipping through my recipe book, I came across Chocolate Stout cupcakes. Caiti's last name is Stout. FATE. C. Stout cupcakes it was, and boy howdy it was a good choice.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Failure Loaf (days 4-9)

R.I.P. my first attempt at sourdough bread.

It's been a while since I've had a spectacular failure at baking bread. It's good for me, though; it keeps my baking ego from "rising" (see what I did there? Baking puns! Lolololo) too much. Experiments like this let me know that even I can fuck something up that even cavemen could do without even really trying. Apparently sourdough has always been the "old school" way of leavening bread without instant yeast and it's been done that way for thousands of years. And I failed. But that's okay! Because it means more baking eventually.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Days 1-3

For three days now, I've been "feeding" my "starter", as the people on the internet say. Which means, three days ago, I mixed a cup of water and a cup of flour (King Arthur unbleached bread flour, in case you were wondering, which I totally know you were) in a tupperware container:
Day one.
and let the gooey mixture sit until the next day. I don't have pictures of day two, because I didn't have access to a camera. The mixture had thickened a lot, and the top was bubbly and swollen-looking. It definitely smelled yeasty and sourdough. I stirred it up a bit and poured half out. The mix was kinda clumpy. I stirred in a half cup of water and a half cup of flour and stirred. The mixture didn't smell sour any more but it was definitely yeasty.
Today is day three, and the mixture looked like it did on day two:
Day three, before feeding.
Yeasty and sour-smelling, just like day two. Lots of little bubbles pockmarking the surface. I repeated what I did yesterday:
Day three, post-feeding
The mixture is now currently more watery than pre-feeding and clumpy, like day two. I'm figuring it's gonna go like this for the next four days. Stay tuned, folks.
Coming up: Vegan experiments in custard pie

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Sourdough Diaries

I've been doing this thing where I try to bake more often, and I'm finding that I enjoy breadmaking almost above baking of any kind. Bread baking is like a science experiment, and each time I make bread I understand the nuances of it more and more, tweaking things to get the perfect loaf. Bread baking often comes down to just knowing something about the dough that you can't measure -- you just have to figure out, through trial and error, things like exactly how warm the water for the yeast should be, or when the yeast has reacted to the water. You just figure it out as you go, and once you figure it out, it's like riding a bike -- you don't forget. The first time I had a loaf measurably rise, I pretty much threw myself a ticker-tape parade (I had many flat, unsatisfying loaves of bread prior to this). For me there's almost nothing more satisfying than lifting the dishcloth off of a bowl full of rising bread and taking in that yeasty, doughy smell and see how large the loaf has swelled.