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.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hey, Everyone!

If you're in doubt over what to get me for my birthday (less than two months away, just in case you were wondering), I am now in love:

Baking Bites featured this Upside-Down Cooking Guide Apron that needs to be in my life. In fact, the web site that sells it has craptons of adorbs stuff. It makes me want to have kids just so I can have an excuse to have, say, a Guitar Flipper Spatula or a Cake Pan Shaped like a PBJ (I'd make a faux Grilled Cheese one for my mom's birthday 'cause I know she loves 'em) or a Pac Man Oven Mitt or a Holy Toast Stamp. I WANT ALL OF IT. Hell, the web site is called Perpetual Kid. Who needs kids to have Drumstick Mixing Spoons?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Carb festing

-Baking Bites has this delicious Plum Custard Pie with Almond Crust that I have been dreaming about. Why are plums so underutilized in pie making? There need to be more plum pies out there. I am going to start a trend that takes the nation by storm! But first I need to convert that pie to a vegan version, which would be quite a challenge considering it has custard in it and all.
-Sticky buns are a task I have yet to tackle, but I would really love to ASAP. This recipe for Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns with Dates and Cranberries needs to be made immediately, because I need those all up in my life. The recipe even includes directions to make candied orange peels. LOVE.
-Sweet Portuguese Bread? Yes and please.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Strawberry-Rosewater Cobbler with Lemon Poppyseed Pastry

Well, goodbye summer, amiright? You know it's fall when it's fifteen degrees cooler in the shade than the sun and it smells like bonfires. I love the fall. There is something really kind of alluring about it. I don't think any other change is seasons is as electric, it's like you can feel it inherently in your bones. Yeah, when spring comes around it's totally great, but it's a slog and it's always so muddy and slippery and dreary till May or so...and once it gets nice it's practically already summer anyway. But fall lends such a drastic and exciting change, so much more than any other time of year.
Okay. Now that I've waxed poetic about fall, I'm going to write about my favorite summertime dessert, something I like to trot out once or twice a year, mostly because it is my favoritest dessert ever in the history of everness: strawberry rosewater cobbler.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cake Love

I have been on this kick lately where I have totally been loving food things that look like other food things. I found this adorbs cake set over at Marj's The Icing on the Cake and I really would love to try something like this out soon. In fact, she has a whole page of pretend food cakes that are so good looking I almost don't want to eat them. I love reading a the parts about how she made them, it's really interesting to see how she did it. Actually, a really adorable cupcake book my Aunt gave me has a few recipes for cupcakes that look like other foods. I smell an experiment coming.
More soon! Strawberry-rosewater cobbler to commemorate the already-gone summer...