Hi: Just want to greet - I have taken the plunge and started my own blog as I have joined so many fantastic sites that throw out challenges for baking and cooking - probably my favorite occupation and the most relaxing and creative for me. I now belong to "Daring Bakers","Tuesdays with Dorie", and "Weekend Cookbook Challenge." I spotted another one on making pasta dishes - I might join that as well, so I have a lot to keep me busy.
My first challenge was the Daring Bakers' "French Bread," then TWD's "Snickery Squares," and their "Apple Pie-Cake." I'm going to put them up here so I'll have something on my site until the next time, although, technically, I did not have my own blog then. Here they are:
Subj: My Daring Bakers French Bread - Feb. 29
Three very pale and hard crusted baguettes, a bit too salty but really tasting rather good. I ate a whole baguette as soon as they cooled. My pictures are for first rising and my finished product, with Phoebe, aka "The Princess Fluffy" in the background.
It has been quite an adventure and I can't wait for the next challenge. Just wish my bread had browned instead of having the color of cottage cheese! I am determined to try again with boules instead of baguettes. I think my room temperature was a bit too warm so I have bought a $2.00 thermometer from Sid's Hardware in Brooklyn for my next bread, and am tempted by a baking stone and pizza paddle I have seen on Amazon.com. I used my stand mixer dough hook for kneading, and a piece of cardboard to turn the baguettes onto the baking tray and a plant water sprayer for the baking phase, so it really wasn't that expensive to get stuff together - not counting the Julia Child CD of course (about $40.00), which I couldn't resist.
I am so pleased I joined this group. I know it will hone my skills and get me beyond the nice comfy sponge cakes and cupcakes I usually make.
Subj: My Tuesdays with Dorie Snickery Squares - Mar. 3
I've just finished my Snickery Squares. I like them - perhaps next time I will choose semi-sweet chocolate rather than bitter-sweet. Otherwise, they are quite delicious. I enjoyed the caramelizing, a first for me, so now I have learned a new baking skill. The peanuts didn't turn white when I dunked them in the boiling sugar but they came out tasting good anyhow. Got lots of compliments at Wednesday night's potluck.
Subj: My Tuesdays with Dorie Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake - Mar. 11
I really enjoyed this challenge - the crust making went very well; I had it in the fridge for a day and it was not too sticky to roll out; used foil and some sprinkled flour to get it to go smoothly and it flipped quite easily into the dish. I used Golden Delicious apples and baked it for 65 mins. I just loved the puffy rising of the crust due to the baking powder. What would I do differently next time? Use foil strips to cover the edges of the pie dish as the edges got too brown and use a mix of different types of apples for more flavor; otherwise it was a winner. I took it to the Office on Monday and it got excellent reviews so I felt much encouraged. I have never baked an apple pie before now. Am looking forward to the Brioche Raisin Snails for next week. Lovelycats.