Thursday, January 31, 2008

We had nothing to go with our pork chops for dinner tonight so I made a loaf of bread.
It tasted pretty good. I would've liked a slightly less tight crumb, but it still tasted pretty good. It had a nice crust. I seriously need to work on my shaping and scoring!

On saturday I'm ordering some instant yeast and bread flour off of King Arthurs website! I'm having a hard time finding instant yeast in my local stores, and bread flour is a bit expensive.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Daribg Baker's Challenge, January 08: Lemon Meringue Pie!

This is it--my first Daring Bakers Challenge! I joined for the December challenge, but unfortunately I was unable to compete. But now January, 2008 is here, and it's a new year that I officially dedicate to making myself a better baker and artist. I hope joining the Daring Bakers willl help this, and so far I think it will, I really do!

This months challenge was hosted by

So, onto the story!

I started out with making the crust. I didn't have and fancy food processor or pastry cutter so I had to use the ol' two knife method, which I've only sort of witnessed, never practiced. I thought I wouldn't be able to get the "course meal" to stick together, but I somehow managed to force most of it into a ball long enough to put it in a container and chill it for the given time. half hour later, I rolled it out and put it in the pie pan. It was uneven and definitely not the prettiest, but when I tried playing around with it, it wanted to break. So I stuck with it. I used rice instead of dried beans or pie weights for the blind baking, as that was the only thing I had. First time doing a blind bake. After removing the tin foil I found a slight puttle of sizzling butter on the crust but let it continue baking a while longer. Pieces that were hovering out of the pie pan broke and fell onto the oven bottom, which caused a fire in the oven about 5 minutes before I baked the meringue. Thanks goodness for Daddy! LOL.

The filling cam out beautiful and delicious. Definitely a keeper!

Meringue: love, love, love it! SO fluffy and yummy with the sligt crisp brown parts.

I wanted to make this pie more eye-pleasing, but I was running out of time. The pie was in the oven at 6:08 and I hade to be somewhere at 6:30, and I hadn't even eaten dinner yet! Next time, I'll make sure I have more time.

First time ever tasting this kind of pie, I really couldn't stop myself from having two pieces! I had to make sure it was fit for my family, ya'know? ^-^

I had a tiny bit of left over pie crust, so I made my brother a little cherry tart-thing. Made me wish I did all tarts, no big pie!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bakery Sweet Treats

Tonight for a snack I got some sweet treats from my favorite bakery. I've only sampled 2 of their pastries before so I was excited to try more tonight. I picked out the chocolate chip cookie and the chocolate cannoli. My sister got some other pastry filled with a cannoli filling topped with a pretty cherry. Last time I sampled one of those and a lobster tail and both were quite yummy.

Cookie: It really wasn't my favorite. I prefer Mrs. Fields. The inside was a bit to cakey, in a sort of dry way. Not very Moist and chewey-ooey-gooey, which is how I like them.
Cannoli: Yum! I have to admit, I don't really like cannolis, but it's been a while since I had one. The chocolate one, however, was awesome! The filling was very light and fluffy, not heavy at all, unlike the lobster tail I had. The outside was crunchy and chocolatey. Perfect combo!
Unknown Name Pastry: I didn't have it this time, but last time I loved it. If you know what it's called, let me know!
Lobster Tail: Was very crunchy, very filling, very, very good. I think I'll get another one next time!
I'm trying their eclair next time!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Cookie She Forgot...

First the first time in my life, I made Meringue Cookies! They were definitely yummy-yummy, too! Way too sweet for my brother, but just sweet enough for me. Next time I make these I'll be a little more interesting and put chocolate chips or nuts in them. I wasn't really sure how they'd come out and didn't want to waste any ingredients.

The color is a bit more purple-y in person but the lighting in my house is awful, especially when it's dark outside.

I did manage to get a fairly decent picture of my lunch though! I wish I could say I made te bread, but it came from my local ShopRite. It was made by a place called "La Brea Bakery" And they bake the breads 80% before shipping them off to supermarkets and such, where they finish baking them. Their website is Not as good as the bakery close by, but still delicious.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Banana Nut....Yeast Bread?

Yesterday I felt like experimenting. My mom always makes Banana Bread. But it never as any yeast in it. It seems almost like banana cake, rather than bread. Actually, it's quite good with cream cheese frosting...
After looking online, and finding no banana bread made with yeast, I new I had to try it. So I did. It was weird...It actually wasn't that bad. I kept cutting myself more pieces with dinner, so I must ave liked it a little. My family said they liked it, and that was before I told tem I made up the recipe, so that was pretty good. I tink it could have been a bit sweeter. If I ever had the desire to make it again I'd alter the recipe a little.

Onto the pictures!

Does the inside seem a little uncooked to anyone? It may have tasted a tad doughy.

Haven't cut into the loaf yet...I'm curious to see how that one came out!

Friday, January 4, 2008

You know that bread I was making? Turned out amazing. That was the best raisin bread I have ever had in my entire life. The recipe makes two loaves, both of which were gone before the end of the night! I need to start doubling recipes! I made it with the optional cinnamon sugar swirl and sugar crunch top. My sisted thought it needed a glaze, so I pulled out the powdered sugar and milk!

Here's the dough divided -

Ready for baking:

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year! It's been a little while since my last post, but I'm still baking! Rght now I have some Cinnamon Raison Walnut Swirl bread from Peter Reinhart's " The Bread Baker's Apprentice" proofing in some loaf pans. (which I got from my gran'ma and gran'pa for Christmas.) Pictures to come later!

Last week I made 3 French baguettes from TBBA. They actually came out pretty good. My family loved them, especially Mom and Dad. I think my dad ate almost a whole loaf himself! I wasn't complaining.

On News Years Eve I made Pretzels following the recipe on The Fresh Loaf. They were delicious, even better then the first time I made them. I have pictures of them!