Friday, February 03, 2012

Baking Day!

I decided to tackle a few baking projects that were sorely overdue a few weeks ago, and I just now got around to actually posting it. Oops. Several people asked me for recipes, so here they are, in no particular order of deliciousness.

1. Bagels.

Once I realized how easy, and how good, these were, I knew they needed to make it into a regular baking rotation. Today's the perfect kind of chill, dreary day one needs for standing over boiling water and then fishing bagels out to pop in a hot oven. These are not summertime baking projects, so it's a good thing that the Southern Hemisphere is really confused on what season it is supposed to be.

Recipe via The Sophisticated Gourmet.

2. Waffles.

My husband LOVES waffles. So do I, but usually when I want them, I'm in no mood or hunger state to actually make them. So I whipped up a batch, undercooked slightly, and am going to freeze the lot. When we get a craving, we can just pull a couple out, pop them in the toaster and they'll be as good (or better) than fresh. (No soggy waffles!)

There is very little to making waffles. Regular pancake batter works if you're lazy, like me. Beating egg whites separately from the yolks and folding them into the batter produces a lighter waffle. Belgian yeast ones take a lot more work and my husband wasn't particularly impressed, so take that as you will. (Maybe being lazy is okay in the kitchen?) Google "waffle recipe" for a host of options, it's really simple!

Trick: add a couple of spoonfuls of malted milk powder to the batter. It adds a little something.

3. Pop Tarts.

Okay, you know, those things that burn your mouth when you pull them out because you just can't WAIT to bite into the pastry + filling goodness. I've had the recipe for ages but kept putting it off. Having guests seemed like a good time as any to stock a few snack goodies in the freezer...and so I experimented with Smitten Kitchen's recipe, though I also used one from the Chicago Tribune as a secondary guide (I used a little of the extra-fine/pastry whole wheat flour that was hanging around as per their suggestion). I had high hopes for fillings: blueberry jam, mango-cupuaƧu jam, and cinnamon/banana/cream cheese.

But they were a miserable failure.


Too soft of a crust, too warm of a day? I don't know, but it just didn't work. These things weren't ever going to hold up in a toaster, so there was no chance of replicating my beloved frosted cherry variety. Frustrated, I gave up.

The crust got converted into a chocolate pie, which needs to come out no more than twice a year or we will be running dangerously close to sugar coma territory. So while the pop tarts were a failure, at least I didn't waste my ingredients. If you try it, tell me how yours went. Maybe I just live in too humid of a climate...

No comments: