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MCBanjoMike
05-18-2010, 11:56 AM
Let me tell you one thing: I love to bake. I'm no great shakes in a kitchen - I can make a few decent recipes, but nothing too exceptional - but I'm pretty good when it comes to cakes, cookies or even pies. Part of this is hereditary, since my mom has been making tasty desserts for as long as I can remember, and part of it is that I'm willing to follow a recipe to the letter, no matter how unreasonable the amounts of sugar and fat in it may seem. Sadly, I can't bake as often as I'd like to, since I'm already fat enough as it is. Instead, I usually have to wait for a special occasion to arise before I can cover myself in flour and butter. And when that happens (and when I feel like it), I will document my experiences here.


Episode 1: L'entortiste

It all begins with Calories Man's horribly-titled thread about the hidden potential of eggs. As I was browsing it a few weeks ago, I came across the delicious (and excruciating) recipe for shakshuka from The Smitten Kitchen (http://smittenkitchen.com/). I'd never seen this blog before, so after copying down the egg recipe I started browsing through the archives, looking for something that might inspire me to feats of kitchenly greatness.

As soon as I saw this recipe for Almond Macaroon Torte with Chocolate Icing, I knew that I had to make it. I also knew that I had my work cut out for me, since I usually dabble in somewhat simpler fare. Here's how it went down:

Satuday, 10 AM - We're inviting the in-laws over tomorrow for Mother's Day brunch. A perfect opportunity to try out a decadent new dessert!

Saturday, 7 PM - Hitting up the grocery store for my ingredients. First thing that I notice about this recipe: it's freakin' expensive to make. 300g of ground almonds works out to about $9, while the whopping 20 oz. of chocolate is somewhere in the range of $12-15 or so. Man, that is a lot of chocolate. You also need 6 egg whites, although that's not too bad next to everything else. Still, this is shaping up to be a $25 dessert. Maybe I could cut that price down by purchasing my almonds and chocolate at a bulk store - being after 6 PM, however, my only choice is the local Metro grocery.

Saturday, 9 PM - Let's get this show on the road! Clearly, no harm can come of starting a complicated recipe that I've never done before this late, right? Of course not.

Let's start by going over the composition of the torte. The inner structure is composed of four large, rectangular macaroons, each one 4 x 12 inches in size. These are basically cemented together with icing, and then the whole thing gets a layer of icing on the outside. Conceptually, it's pretty simple.

The first thing to do is to make the macaroons. I didn't really document this procedure, because it turned out to be surprisingly easy. The longest part was drawing nice 4x12 rectangles on parchment paper; after that, you just whip up some eggs, put your almonds and other ingredients in, then spread the resulting goop into the rectangles. I used my double-layered, air-insulated baking tray for the actual baking, which I can't recommend highly enough. I've haven't once burned the bottoms of my cookies since I made the switch, and my oven tends to run on the hot side. Of course, since I only have one of these trays, I had to bake the macaroons two at a
time. I still used the recipe's suggestion of rotating the baking tray from the top third of the oven to the bottom third, but that's because following recipes to the letter is just what I do, man.

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/2Macaroons.jpg

Saturday, 10:20 PM - Here are two of the finished macaroons. Lookin' good!

While the second set of macaroons are baking, I start to work on the icing. This is where things get a little sticky, if you'll pardon the expression. First up, we chop 20 oz. of chocolate. I use a semi-circular blade that we were given that makes this job pretty easy. It's extremely sharp, it gives you good leverage and it's relatively difficult to injure yourself with - an important feature if you're as much of a klutz as I am. I should really take a picture of it, though, since I can't find a similar one on Google Images to show you. Oh well.

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/1Chocoratu.jpg

This is the result of my labours: a frighteningly large pile of chopped chocolate.

Saturday, 10:50 PM - The last of the macaroons is almost ready, and in the meantime I have been busying myself with the preparation of the icing. I'm starting to have a few doubts about this recipe, however. Deb's recipe call for he 20 oz. of chocolate (that's over a pound!) to be dissolved into 10 tablespoons of a boiled water/sugar mix AFTER it has been taken off the stove. In theory, that's fine; in practice, this doesn't really work out so well! Since you're supposed to take the pot off the burner before mixing the chocolate in (to avoid burning it), the tiny amount of hot water has a hard time of melting the chocolate completely. The resulting sludge is extremely thick, to the point where spreading it on the macaroons promises to be pretty difficult. Still, I promised I would follow the recipe to the letter, so off I go:

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/3TheFrostening.jpg

Saturday, 11:00 PM - Here I am, using my knockoff Spread'N'Serve* to armor-plate the first macaroon layer with the hardest chocolate known to man. It's still spreadable, since it just came off the stove, but the resulting layer is far too thick. At this rate, I'm going to run out of icing before finishing the job. Heck, I'll probably sprain my wrist, while I'm at it. Something needs to be done, but first we're going to add the second macaroon layer before the icing solidifies:

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/4Addingalayer.jpg

Saturday, 11:15 PM - We've gotta do something about this icing, so it's time to start improvising. I start by heating the icing up over a double boiler, which is to say "just another pot with some boiling water in it". Since the frosting is 95% pure chocolate, it's probably fairly susceptible to burning, and at this point I don't want to take any chances. This helps a bit, but it clearly won't be enough to thin icing down to reasonable levels. To compensate, I add a bit more liquid. The recipe has you make more of the sugar/water mixture than you actually use, so I start by adding what's left of that back in. Not entirely satisfied with the results, I also add in splash of milk.

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/5Fixinthefrostin.jpg

Despite the fact that I'm smiling in this picture, I'm not actually very happy with how things are going. Once the liquid is mixed in and the icing has been heated up, however, things start to look a little brighter. There's hope yet!

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/6Theaftermath.jpg

Saturday, 11:45 PM - Despite all of my efforts, things have not gone quite as planned. The end result is that I was able to frost the tops of all four macaroons, but as you can see from the photo, there isn't a drop of icing left to be had. Also, the not-very-spreadable nature of the frosting has yielded a top layer that can hardly be considered attractive.

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/9Leftovers.jpg

Archie is unimpressed with the final product.

While I generally subscribe to the school that it doesn't matter what your baking looks like as long as it's tasty, this is outside of my acceptable limits. That said, it's closing in on midnight, I'm tired and I have a very messy kitchen to clean up. Fixing this will have to wait until tomorrow morning, so for now, the torte goes into the fridge.

[Time passes]

Sunday, 10:00AM - Rise and shine! It's time to bake my way out of this mess, and since time is short I will be pulling out a trusted pinch-hitter to take care of things. The quick mocha icing recipe from the 75th Anniversary Edition of the Joy of Cooking is an icing that I traditionally use when making my girfriend's chocolate-chocolate birthday cake. It's fast, easy and tasty, making it the perfect choice for a dessert that needs frosting post-haste.

Sunday, 10:20 AM - No sooner said than done. This icing, contrary to the one I made the night before, uses a measly 3 ounces of chopped chocolate. This is melted in a double boiler, at which point a whopping two cups of icing sugar are stirred in. The recipe calls for a quarter cup of liquid, but gives you a few options; typically I'll use coffee, to give the icing something of a bite that will diminish the sweetness. Today, though, I decide to stick with my original plan from last night and add some milk instead. With the frosting ready to go, I make haste in icing the torte before it sets too much.

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/7Thedayissaved.jpg

Sunday, 10:35 AM - It is done! The not-mocha icing makes for a much more attractive surface than the scarred chocolate plating hidden underneath it would. Of course, the end result is that I have now frosted my frosting, but that can be our little secret. The original recipe calls for the torte to be garnished with slivers of almond - this would certainly make it look better, but I occasionally react to raw almonds, so I decide to play it safe. Not VERY safe, since the macaroon layers contain over a pound of ground almonds, but I never claimed that my internal logic was consistent. I should brainstorm a bit and find something to spruce up the appearance, but that has never been my strong point anyway. I suppose that a good first step would be moving the torte onto a slightly more attractive presentation platter, but I don't actually own anything decorative that is big enough.

Did I mention that this dessert is kinda huge?

Sunday, 2 PM - It's time for the moment of truth. Brunch is winding down, so I go to the kitchen and cut pieces of the torte for the four of us. This is partially to keep the in-laws seeing the dessert sitting on a baking sheet and partly to keep them from seeing me go at it with the biggest knife in our kitchen. The torte is fairly resistant to all forms of conventional weaponry. Eventually, I would come to realize that this is because the extra-thick icing holding the macaroons together still hadn't warmed up completely after being in the fridge all night. That was after spending four hours out on the counter - but considering how dense this dessert is, I shouldn't have been so surprised.

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/8Thetastyinsides.jpg

Sunday, 2:07 PM - Let's dig in! The torte is very rich and very tasty, though it is fairly tough to cut through with a fork. It looks lovely, though, as you can see from the cross-section above. We each got a one-inch slice, which was more than enough to sate our appetites for sugar. All told, the four of us only managed to eat a third of the torte. Like I said, it's kinda
huge.

But you know what that means...


Monday, 8:00 PM: - Leftovers! After dinner the next day, I had the breakthrough that would take this torte from "very good" to "sublime". The leftover torte was in the fridge, and I didn't have the benefit of getting it out four hours ahead of time today. Instead, I did something that worked out much better in the end: I heated each piece of torte up in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. The end result was heavenly. The heat both softens up the chocolate layers, making it easier to cut and eat, and also brings out the flavor. It's similar to eating fresh chocolate-chip cookies as they come out of the oven. In fact, just typing this is making me regret that I promised to give the last chunk of the torte to my parents. Well, hopefully they'll share some with me when I deliver it to them.


THE VERDICT

This dessert took a lot of time - and no small amount of money - to make, but I think I liked it enough to try it again. There are a few changes to be made, however, since the icing recipe doesn't seem to have the right proportions and the super-thick middle layers wound up bringing the whole thing down a bit. In the future, I think I will make a smaller amount of the "official" icing, probably using 12-13 oz. of chocolate instead of 20, and I'll add more liquid to make it manageable. Rather than frost the top macaroon with the dark chocolate icing, I'll probably make the quick mocha icing that saved my bacon this time - although I may go back to using coffee in it, rather than milk. It may take a few iterations to perfect this recipe, but they should at least be fairly tasty iterations.

Balrog
05-18-2010, 01:15 PM
You got a sister, Big Mike?

Violentvixen
05-18-2010, 03:01 PM
Smitten Kitchen has awesome stuff. The recipe been linked to multiple times on the forum, but the car bomb cupcakes (http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/car-bomb-cupcakes/)are divine.

teekun
05-18-2010, 11:21 PM
Smitten Kitchen has awesome stuff. The recipe been linked to multiple times on the forum, but the car bomb cupcakes (http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/car-bomb-cupcakes/)are divine.

Oh my god I need these NOW.

shivam
05-18-2010, 11:24 PM
my wife makes the best scones imaginable. next time she does, i'll take pics.

Marfy
05-19-2010, 03:31 AM
I love vegan baking. It can be a little bit more of a challenge, and it's great to know I am making something almost any of my friends can eat, with all their various dietary restrictions and preferences. I heartily recommend anything that theppk.com and its various associated authors have produced.

A good oven is so essential, though. I've given up baking of any sort after a few months of using the oven in my student flat here. There are only so many cupcakes with insides the the texture of Jello and burnt tops that my friends will eat.

Kirin
05-19-2010, 08:39 AM
My local co-op market makes some absolutely devine vegan double-chocolate cookies. I don't even know what's in 'em, but they're great.

Marfy
05-19-2010, 08:47 AM
Margarine and oil, probably. Vegan stuff isn't necessarily healthy.

Kylie
05-19-2010, 08:50 AM
A good oven is so essential, though. I've given up baking of any sort after a few months of using the oven in my student flat here. There are only so many cupcakes with insides the the texture of Jello and burnt tops that my friends will eat.

Putting a fairly large pizza stone or unglazed ceramic tile in the bottom, or on the bottom rack, of your oven will go a long way towards making the oven heat evenly -- since dings, gunk on surfaces, discolorations, and just the normal heat-no-heat cycle of the oven will all contribute to uneven heating. It'll take a little longer to preheat, but the radiant heat of the stone will keep it from going totally cold anywhere. It won't make it perfect, but it will make a huge difference in a finicky oven.

Marfy
05-19-2010, 08:56 AM
Putting a fairly large pizza stone or unglazed ceramic tile in the bottom, or on the bottom rack, of your oven will go a long way towards making the oven heat evenly -- since dings, gunk on surfaces, discolorations, and just the normal heat-no-heat cycle of the oven will all contribute to uneven heating. It'll take a little longer to preheat, but the radiant heat of the stone will keep it from going totally cold anywhere. It won't make it perfect, but it will make a huge difference in a finicky oven.

Wow, cool. I'll definitely have to try that at home. Alas, the oven here might be a little too small for a pizza stone, at about a foot and a half wide and maybe two feet deep. Thanks!

Kirin
05-19-2010, 09:49 AM
Seconded. We have a pizza stone we originally bought for, you know, making pizza, but we now leave it in the bottom of the oven all the time.

MCBanjoMike
05-19-2010, 09:53 AM
Wow, cool. I'll definitely have to try that at home. Alas, the oven here might be a little too small for a pizza stone, at about a foot and a half wide and maybe two feet deep. Thanks!

Wow, is it an Easy Bake oven? That sounds tiny. The smallness explains why you can get such big temperature fluctuations, though.

Marfy
05-19-2010, 10:03 AM
Wow, is it an Easy Bake oven? That sounds tiny. The smallness explains why you can get such big temperature fluctuations, though.

No, it's European.

Also just old and crappy. The cook top sinks inwards so that any oil or sauce in a pan will invariably slosh towards the right/left side of the pan depending on if I'm using a right/left burner. This also means that the pan heats unevenly (to the point where half of the pan is so cool, you could touch it) and really, this discussion is not appropriate for a thread filled with DELICIOUS BAKED TREATS.

Violentvixen
05-19-2010, 12:26 PM
I love vegan baking. It can be a little bit more of a challenge, and it's great to know I am making something almost any of my friends can eat, with all their various dietary restrictions and preferences. I heartily recommend anything that theppk.com and its various associated authors have produced.

I hadn't heard of this website, but the recipes looks pretty interesting.

Marfy
05-19-2010, 02:15 PM
I hadn't heard of this website, but the recipes looks pretty interesting.

I heartily recommend the Mexican hot chocolate (or whatever they're called) cookies and magical coconut bars, both of which are from the cookie cook book and available for free online. The Mexican hot chocolate cookies can be quite spicy - I hate spicy food but love these, and others that love spicy food hate these. If you know you like chocolate + spice, add in a little bit extra cayenne. So good. I don't think there's any samplers from the cupcake book but it's absolutely amazing. Vegan margarita cupcakes, anyone?

The "recipes" section can be kind of spotty - some of them are user submitted and not so good. Anything by "Isa" or "Terry" is from the authors and a safe bet.

Even if veganism isn't your thing, the recipes on here are unique and original (to me, at least) and well worth your time.

MCBanjoMike
10-08-2010, 11:38 AM
Episode 2: COO-KEE

Hey, kids! It's time once again to delve into the world of the sweet and fatty, land of the delicious baked treat. Last time, I brought you my first attempt with a somewhat difficult recipe; this time, however, we're on my turf. Today, I'll be presenting The World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (http://www.chef2chef.net/recipes/recipe-archive/0/A00571.shtml), a recipe that I have made many times with great success. I made two batches this week alone! A word of warning, though: these cookies are decadent with a capital D. Decadent, I guess. Part of this is due to the generous allowance of butter used in making them, and part of it is because they are slightly more than 1/3 chocolate by volume. I like to think of it as the golden ratio for chocolate chip cookies.

So if you're ready, if you think you're MAN ENOUGH, then let's get this show on the road. The first thing you'll need to do is...

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/Cookie0.jpg

Oh, right. As I said, I made this recipe earlier this week for my ladyfriend's birthday (this particular batch was made to bring to work for a bake sale) and I hadn't gotten around to doing the dishes yet. Ahem.

...

Now that that's taken care of, let me show you the most important tools for this recipe. (The photos are a little bit crappy because I took them with my new iPod Touch, which apparently wasn't designed with low-light situations in mind.)

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/Cookie1.jpg

You'll need a smaller mixing bowl for the dry ingredients (left), a larger one for what will eventually be the cookie dough (right) and an ice cream scoop. Yes, an ice cream scoop. You'll see.

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/Cookie2.jpg

Start by putting 3 cups of flour, 3/4 tsp of salt and 3/4 tsp of baking soda in the smaller bowl. Whisk them together with a whisk or a fork or a hedgehog or something. In the bigger bowl, put 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar and a cup of butter, cut up into chunks and hopefully not too cold. No, those aren't scrambled eggs, it's the butter. >:|

Cream the butter and sugars together; you can probably do this with a mixer, but real men use THEIR BARE HANDS. Once that's done, add a tablespoon of vanilla extract and two eggs. Then wash your hands, so you don't die from salmonella. Then mix it all together! You are permitted to use an electric mixer for this part, I won't make fun of you.

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/Cookie3.jpg

At this point, if anyone else is around, you should probably make a show of trying to scrape some dough off the beaters before you lick them clean. If you're by yourself, well, what happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen.

Now it's time to add in the chocolate chips. The original recipe calls for a whopping 3 CUPS of chocolate chips, which is totally nuts. You may be frightened; you may think that this is too much chocolate; you may wonder if man was meant to make such rich cookies. Perhaps a wrathful god will strike you down for your insolence! But do not let fear cow you; I say to thee, hold the line!

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/Cookie4.jpg

Yeah, that's a lot of chocolate. Here, however, I have taken a small liberty. Rather than using 3 cups of chocolate chips, I have only used 2 and a half. While it might seem like I am backing down from my earlier position, in truth I am simply making room for my secret weapon: the peanut butter chip!

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/Cookie5.jpg

Replacing 1/2 cup of chocolate chips with peanut butter ones gives these cookies just a hint of PB taste, which really adds to them in my opinion. You can, of course, opt to go with the straightforward version too. You know, if you're scared. Or a little girl. A scared, little girl.

Once you've mixed in your 'chips, it's time to form the cookies. This is where your secret, scary friend the ice-cream scoop comes into play. The goal here is to make your cookie dough balls pretty much spherical, and depending on the size of your scoop, it can be a pretty good way of mesuring how much dough you need per cookie.

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/Cookie6.jpg

Here's a tray that's ready to go. Once again, I am using an air-insulated baking sheet, which means I never burn the bottoms of my cookies. The recipe suggests parchment paper, and while that's certainly a reasonable thing to use, it's entirely unneccesary with my baking sheet.

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/Cookie7.jpg

It might be a little hard to tell from the photo how big the dough balls are, but I'd say that they are roughly golf-ball sized. Try to resist the temptation to flatten out the dough balls once they're on the sheet - since the dough will spread naturally as it cooks, starting with a sphere will ensure that cookies are still nice and thick by the time they're done. This helps keep them soft and tasty even several days after they are made, should any survive that long. Try not to get any cat hair in the cookie dough, it's unprofessional.

Time to pop these babies into the oven. The recipe calls for 350 degrees Farenheit, but my oven runs a little hot, so I tend to set the temperature at around 335. I bake my cookies for around 11 and a half minutes, which gives me good results, but obviously it will depend on both your oven and the size of cookies that you are making.

And now, friends, pull back the veil on reality - I mean your oven door - and peer into the very face of madness!

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm200/MCBanjoMike/Talking%20Time/Cookie9.jpg

Aww yeah.

All in all, the recipe makes between 24-30 cookies, depending on how big you make them. This batch I made pretty big, so I only got two dozen out of the deal. Each one, however, is a monument to butter and chocolate, a cookie fit for the king of kings. Despite that, this recipe is both fast and easy to prepare. Heck, the only thing that keeps me from making them every week is the fact that each one you consume cuts 15 years off your life. But is a life without homemade cookies really worth living? It makes you think, man.

...

Well, see you next mission!

krelbel
09-11-2016, 08:29 PM
Hey, we have a baking thread, and I baked something today! I've never baked anything before, but now I have!

You see, I was planning on going to the beach, but cold weather and clouds disagreed, so I was sitting around bored when I remembered this (http://achewood.com/index.php?date=06092006) Achewood comic. And as Ray says, nothing is more old-school than baking your own damn staff of life. Plus, I just watched bread week of the latest season of Great British Bake Off. So I decided hey, I'm going to bake my own damn staff of life, and that's exactly what I did.

I knew from previous research that you can't fall off of any google search regarding bread without hitting a million disagreeing expert treatises on the subject on your way down. So to avoid wasting all day reading about Bread Pro Tips, I googled "first bread recipe" and felt lucky. That took me to thefreshloaf.com: Lesson One: Your First Loaf (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/yourfirstloaf). Perfect. But I read ahead and saw that Lesson Two (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/addingmore) added milk, butter, and sugar to the recipe to make it tastier, so I skipped ahead and decided to cook that one.

I don't have a bunch of work in progress pictures! Hito helped show me how to mix and knead the dough, then it rose, then I shaped it, then it rose again, then I baked it. I even found a Pro Tip while I was waiting for it to rise, and added a cup of hot water to a hot cookie tray (which was preheating in the oven) at the same time as putting the bread in the oven, so the steam would give it a nice crust.

It turned out really well! Look what I did you guys:

https://i.imgur.com/zT85Ln5l.jpg

Looks good, but can we see the interior texture in terrible lighting? Sure:

https://i.imgur.com/Ug2qsFZl.jpg

Very pleased with the results. The texture's close, but that's understandable given the recipe; this would make for a great sandwich bread. Next time, Hito's going to show me how to make his favorite beer bread that doesn't require kneading.

Yay baking! Sorry for threadcromancy, but I figured there must be a baking specific thread, and here we are.

taosterman
09-11-2016, 08:35 PM
Looks delicious. Bread making is so fun, and not nearly as intimidating as its reputation. Here's some challah that this goy made today:

http://i.imgur.com/AbdT5WU.png

Sadly I have a cold so I currently cannot taste it. But I made two loaves, so it should theoretically last into my recovery.

Red Hedgehog
09-12-2016, 06:30 AM
I made two loaves

So you're ready for Shabbat!


I was skeptical the first time the spouse and I made a vegan* challah, but ground flax seeds really are a good substitute for eggs.

*On subsequent times, we unveganized it by using an egg wash on the top to make it crispy, but it was a good way to use the metric ton of flax seeds we had.

Violentvixen
09-12-2016, 06:33 AM
Yay baking! Sorry for threadcromancy, but I figured there must be a baking specific thread, and here we are.

We have a much more recent one (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?t=12738), I think this one was more of MC's personal journal thing.

MCBanjoMike
09-20-2016, 08:29 AM
We have a much more recent one (http://www.talking-time.net/showthread.php?t=12738), I think this one was more of MC's personal journal thing.

I don't mind if other people want to use it! Baking rocks!

krelbel
09-20-2016, 12:22 PM
I don't mind if other people want to use it! Baking rocks!

It does!

So that loaf of bread was tasty. So tasty that my small dog managed to jump up on the high counter, something we didn't know he was capable of, and eat it while we were out. Good thing bread's cheap!

So I made another. Bread's nice because it's like 20 minutes of actual work, spread out over like 4 hours of getting other stuff done at home. Perfect recipe for lazy weekends at home. Same recipe, I just wanted to try resting the dough before shaping it, something I heard but didn't try with the previous bake. Except I forgot the tip that you should still cover it while it's resting. This resulted in the exterior drying out, to the point where there's a visible seam going through the center of every slice. Not so bad that you can notice it in the texture, but it's cool to see what happens when you screw up like that.

Also, I baked this loaf for a couple minutes less than the last one, not for any good reason, only that it looked done when I checked it a little earlier. Turns out, it was a couple minutes underbaked. So I still have plenty of learning to do with regards to being able to tell when things are finished cooking.

The nice thing is, this recipe is forgiving enough that even with the seam, and even underbaked, it still makes a damn tasty piece of toast.

Falselogic
09-20-2016, 04:53 PM
I could always combine the two threads?

taosterman
09-21-2016, 05:53 AM
Also, I baked this loaf for a couple minutes less than the last one, not for any good reason, only that it looked done when I checked it a little earlier. Turns out, it was a couple minutes underbaked. So I still have plenty of learning to do with regards to being able to tell when things are finished cooking.

You can use an instant read thermometer and figure out what temperature signifies the bread is done baking through trial and error, or referencing existing recipes. I had a lot of trouble with whole wheat sandwich loaves being mushy in the middle until I figured that out.

krelbel
09-21-2016, 12:32 PM
You can use an instant read thermometer and figure out what temperature signifies the bread is done baking through trial and error, or referencing existing recipes. I had a lot of trouble with whole wheat sandwich loaves being mushy in the middle until I figured that out.

I do have an instant read thermometer (bought it since I didn't trust myself not to undercook roasts) but the recipe I was following didn't indicate a target internal temperature. I'll keep my eye out for that in the future, though.