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Athena

The Baking Topic

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Baking was one of my first loves. I find it to be one of the most relaxing and satisfying of hobbies. 

 

I'm a bread baker as well, so let me know if you get your yeast on too. 

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My fiancée got me a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas. I would marry it if I could. I just baked 500 Italian cookies for my sister's wedding this weekend.

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@OnceSane get your mixer on with the dough hook, you can make focaccia easy peasy with it. 

 

Using commercial yeast to make bread wasn't that hard of a transition for me, but jeepers is sourdough difficult. At least it was for me. My starter lives at the back of the fridge mocking me.

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I will be watching this thread, but not contributing as I suck at baking. 

 

If anyone knows gluten free recipes, please share!  I am gluten free, and my daughter is moving in that direction.

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I will be watching this thread, but not contributing as I suck at baking.

Same here, but my daughter, who'll be 13 this August, has taken it up this summer and has asked for baking stuff for her birthday.  So, we may throw in an occasional question or two about what might have gone wrong with a certain recipe or for some helpful hints. 

 

So far, we've had homemade white and chocolate cake, cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, blueberry muffins,and noodles for homemade chicken fettuccine alfredo (because she likes to cook, too) . Can I tell you how hard it has been to keep my weight down this summer?  :)

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@OnceSane get your mixer on with the dough hook, you can make focaccia easy peasy with it.

 

Sweet!  I do have the dough hooks.

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@BizBuzz we're gluten free too. My oldest has sensitivity & I do too, although mine is more a chronic annoyance while hers is almost immediately apparent. I haven't played with too many gluten free baking recipes because we're trying to break the habit overall, but I would be interested in anyone's experiences.

I previously loved to bake. I'm not much of a cook, but if it's a sweet bakery thing I'm there. Cakes & cookies are my favorite, along with various bar type treats. The big problem with that is I love to eat the stuff too. As in, get out if my way it's a sweet bread like thing. Honestly I think bread & chocolate had to be a food of the gods.

Edited by ramble
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I love to bake! There's something so mathematical about it. I don't do it as much as I'd like because it takes time, and with just me at my place, a lot of recipes are just too much food to use.

Angel food cakes and breads are my specialties. And I'll admit I'm one of those people who look down my nose at mixes and dough hooks - it's just not for me! IMO kneading and punching down are the fun parts, something about aggression. Lol

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I love to bake! There's something so mathematical about it. I don't do it as much as I'd like because it takes time, and with just me at my place, a lot of recipes are just too much food to use.

Angel food cakes and breads are my specialties. And I'll admit I'm one of those people who look down my nose at mixes and dough hooks - it's just not for me! IMO kneading and punching down are the fun parts, something about aggression. Lol

 

I agree, but I am not mathematical at all. It is comforting to weigh things out. I bake metric when I can and have a food scale. I don't bake as much as I would like and bread is time consuming even if there is two proofing stages spread over hours.

 

I don't use mixes, and once in awhile, I'll use a dough hook. For certain recipes, I don't mind it. But 90% of the time, I hand knead. It is very relaxing and cathartic.

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I just had to show off my almost Pinterest fail of the one thing my 3 year old asked for for his birthday (today). He asked, "Mommy, Bran can have An-dee-mall cupcake for berfday peez?" 

And I couldn't say no. I have never attempted piping anything or, you know, decorating this intricate without step by step instructions, but here's the final result. They would have come out better had I had all the correct tips for piping and the like, but I think I improvised decently. :) 

7zyIA5S.jpg

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I can bake cakes, cookies, and pies. Bread is a bit of a challenge. Every time I remove the cloth from the bread after the second rising, it sticks and my bread deflates.

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@MyaStone, those cupcakes are adorable! But didn't you tell a story in the "Kitchen Disasters" thread that your son wouldn't eat pancakes shaped like Kermit? How will he feel about eating those cute little faces on the cupcakes?

 

I love to bake--cookies (especially every kind of Brownie and Blondie), pies, cakes. I agree with whoever said above that the science is very appealing. I like it that you're not expected to tinker much with baked goods recipes. Everything else, people think they just have to tweak somehow. (Watch Worst Cooks in America sometime. How many of those people cook from recipes? They're always trying to be "creative" and ending up poisoning people!) 

 

The one thing I don't bake with much is yeast. Too much of a time suck.

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I love to bake, even if I end up cheating and using a mix. The biggest thing I've done in the past year was make 36 dozen mini cupcakes for my parents' 50th anniversary party. I used cake mix, but made the buttercream frosting from scratch, and sprinkled gold sugar on top. I had lots left over, but they froze (and thawed, which is more important) surprisingly well.

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@Mya Stone, no problem!

 

@forumfish, I recently made some cupcakes from a box mix and had too many so I froze some. I've never done that and I was wondering how they'll be. I figure my husband will microwave them for a few seconds when he wants a quick snack and they won't be too bad. 

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I love to bake, but I struggle with making things look pretty. Everyone who knows me knows that the birthday cake may be lopsided and the writing on it may look like a two year old did it, but once cut it will be the best thing they've eaten all day.

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I've been a busy little Mya. I baked 500 Italian cookies for my sister's wedding at the end of July, and posted a pic of them all lined up on Facebook. A childhood friend of mine commented, saying, "I'll pay you if you'll bake some for my wedding in August!" A couple of phone calls and emails later, I was hired to do my first paid baking gig! 200 Italian cookies! Piece of cake, right? Well, I had my 3 year old running around like a madman, but I got them done! Here are some pics! 

nERlRIQ.jpgh7YYGo4.jpg8uH09dw.jpgJwnYMaG.jpg

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I'm just going to take what comes my way. I'm in the RN program full time starting in a week and a half and I'm afraid to overextend myself. 

But still, I just made $150 (plus supplies) for baking, something I love to do! Who woulda thunk it?  

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Mya Stone, those look great!

 

In the meantime, my daughter finally got a crepe recipe and I seriously could've eaten the whole batch.  It sucks that they're so easy to make, too, because that means she can whip up more whenever she wants some, which means that I'll be having one...or two....maybe three.... :)

 

I have a feeling that my next question will be a long shot, but here it goes:  When I was a kid, my mom and grandmother made what they called cake brownies.  It was as big as a cake, but a little bit more dense and the taste was very brownie like except for the gooey-ness.  The first time I saw a thin, dense/heavy brownie with a gooey texture, I was thinking "what is this?".  Of course, they were chocolate and tasty, so I got used to them real fast, but they weren't the brownies I grew up with.  Anyway, I didn't bake for years until I had kids and started doing a bit more.  At that time, I asked my mom and my grandmother and neither of the still have the recipe.  I can't find anything online with pictures that look like what I remember and it's driving me crazy.  I did have brownies at a friend's house that was very similar to what I was used to, but she said it was a box recipe and you just cook it a bit longer (I think that's what she said). However, mom and grandmother never used box stuff.

 

Has anyone ever had these and if so, do you have a recipe or maybe a different name for them than "cake brownie"?

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Thanks, GreekGeek, but those are the opposite of what I wanted.  The confusion was probably my fault--I get way too wordy.  The gooey ones were a new experience for me and I quickly learned to like them, but they weren't what I grew up with.  The ones I grew up with looked more like a slice of chocolate cake (except they weren't quite as moist). 

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Hold on Shannon, I've actually got a recipe for you that is for cake brownies.  Give me a minute, because I'm going to have to actually type it in here. 

 

Okay, before you wonder if I've left out an ingredient, I haven't, other than the eggs (and this recipe can be halved, by the way) there is no leavening agent. 

 

Cake Brownies (recipe courtesy of a bunch of Oklahoma Church Ladies twenty plus years ago...long story that, I will spare you): 

 

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes

 

Ingredients: 

 

2 cups All Purpose Flour 

2 cups white sugar 

2 sticks butter (I have subbed in coconut oil, by the way, it works well) 

4 eggs

1 teaspoon salt 

2 teaspoons vanilla 

4 full squares unsweetened baking chocolate or 14 tablespoons cocoa (you can do half chocolate and half cocoa too) 

 

Pan: oblong cake pan (9x13)

 

Melt butter and chocolate together in saucepan over low-to-medium heat and set aside to cool.  Mix flour and salt together in separate bowl.  When using cocoa: add cocoa to melted butter and stir until well combined.  Add vanilla to slightly cooled butter-chocolate mix.  In separate bowl beat eggs until VERY foamy (usually 3-to-5 minutes, key to the "cake" texture), eggs will be lemony in color.  Add sugar and beat another 3-5 minutes on high (sugar and egg mixture needs to come to the ribbon stage, where when you pull the beaters up, it cascades down in a slow, smooth, thick ribbon like appearance...if you don't know what that looks like, just go by time).  Add chocolate and mix gently.  If adding nuts or chocolate chips (1 cup of either is fine to add) add prior to folding in flour .  Fold in flour and salt mixture, do not mix: fold. 

 

More like a cake than a traditional brownie.  Let cool completely before slicing.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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recipe courtesy of a bunch of Oklahoma Church Ladies twenty plus years ago

Ree Drummond, is that you?

 

I kid, I kid...

Edited by Qoass
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Merciful Zeus, no,  it does not :-)  I'm married and have been for fifteen years, but I was married before that to my son's father.  His family was from Oklahoma and my ex MIL was a big baker.  He was a nice enough guy, just not the nice guy for me and I ditched him, but kept the recipes.  All of which hailed from Oklahoma church ladies :-) 

 

I also have a set of cookie recipes courtesy of the Mormon Missionary women who used to borrow my vacuum back in the day :-)  I'm a vegetarian (pescetarian, actually) heathen, but I apparently collect the food recommendations of the godly as a side hobby. 

Edited by stillshimpy
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My mom used to make fudgey brownies for my fussy brother and cake-y brownies for everyone else. The difference was simply adding an egg for the latter. She'll add yolks, whites, or entire extra eggs just because she has them on hand.

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Thank you, stillshimpy!  I'll print out that recipe and try them out.  Bella, thanks for your suggestion, too.  I'll try that sometime as well.

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...get your mixer on with the dough hook, you can make focaccia easy peasy with it.

Oooh, does anyone have a good recipe for focaccia? I love it, but it is stupidly hard to find in my grocery stores (and I live in a major city, too!). I've never made bread before but I've always wanted to try.

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Oooh, does anyone have a good recipe for focaccia? I love it, but it is stupidly hard to find in my grocery stores (and I live in a major city, too!). I've never made bread before but I've always wanted to try.

 

I've made focaccia several times with a few different recipes. It's also one of my favourite breads. The more authentic and traditional recipes involve a very sticky dough that you knead in olive oil and proofed in olive oil bowls.  

 

If you've never really made bread before, I recommend Lorraine Pascale's recipe for Rosemary and Sea Salt focaccia. I've made this a few times as it is super easy. It uses a mixer for the kneading, but as a result of the less olive oil involved, it's more like a regular bread if you get my meaning. It has the olive taste, but it's not as rich. Good luck! 

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I will be watching this thread, but not contributing as I suck at baking. 

 

If anyone knows gluten free recipes, please share!  I am gluten free, and my daughter is moving in that direction.

 

 

@BizBuzz we're gluten free too. My oldest has sensitivity & I do too, although mine is more a chronic annoyance while hers is almost immediately apparent. I haven't played with too many gluten free baking recipes because we're trying to break the habit overall, but I would be interested in anyone's experiences.

I previously loved to bake. I'm not much of a cook, but if it's a sweet bakery thing I'm there. Cakes & cookies are my favorite, along with various bar type treats. The big problem with that is I love to eat the stuff too. As in, get out if my way it's a sweet bread like thing. Honestly I think bread & chocolate had to be a food of the gods.

I create grain-free recipes for cakes, cookies, brownies, scones, etc. using nut and/or seed flours.  I have a group on Facebook for people on restricted diets, but I don't know if I can name it here.

 

From the upper right and clockwise, lemon-blueberry scones, honey cake, thumbprint cookies.  All made with nut and coconut flours.  The upper right pic is of refrigerator pickles, which I also make.

 

Oh, and they're all sugar-free, too.

 

Medley.jpg

Edited by Minerette
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That looks scrumptious! But the time is a factor. There are so many good things I already know how to make quickly, and other, less time-consuming recipes I'd like to try.

 

I'm already thinking about what to make for a client who likes chocolate and whom I'm seeing in November. He eats very few carbs, and I wonder if he might be gluten-free or on a low-carb diet for other reasons. This will require some thought, especially since there is no good way to inquire about this.

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I have been eating low carb for about 6 months and I can't think of a single low carb recipe that would include chocolate unless you incorporate it into a salad! Even then, the chocolate itself is not low carb.

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Has anyone ever tried to make a chocolate espresso dacquoise before? I saw it recently on an episode of America's Test Kitchen and was fascinated, but it seems like a MASSIVE amount of time and effort. Here is a recipe: http://www.districtkitchenette.com/blog/new-years-eve-2014-chocolate-espresso-dacquoise

 

I'm not much of a baker, so I already admire those who are more talented than I am in that area, but this one is seriously impressive.

 

Although I'm not even much of a dessert person (I have to be in the mood for it), this dessert looks unbelievably delicious and I want one now.  Roasted sliced almonds, roasted hazelnuts, hazelnut meringue, dark chocolate ganache, espresso-amaretto buttercream? Okay, if someone made that for me, I'd either marry him or give him all my worldly possessions, or both.

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Has anyone ever tried to make a chocolate espresso dacquoise before? I saw it recently on an episode of America's Test Kitchen and was fascinated, but it seems like a MASSIVE amount of time and effort. Here is a recipe: http://www.districtkitchenette.com/blog/new-years-eve-2014-chocolate-espresso-dacquoise

 

They also did this in the 2013/S4 (episode 8 technical challenge) of Great British Bake-Off using Mary Berry's recipe here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/hazelnut_dacquoise_98875 

 

I don't think Mary was shown making it in the how-to specials afterwards, but there are lot of tips given to her recipe when the contestants make it for the challenge. 

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I may have to bite the bullet and try to make the dacquoise at some point, just to say I tried it. ATK's show did say you could make parts of it ahead of time and then assemble the whole thing later.

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I am all about fancy cooking and special-occasion food and challenging myself, but anything that involves repeated use of a ruler to get everything to line up exactly gets my "life's too damn short" response.

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Does anybody here watch Martha Bakes? I'm not what I would call a Martha fan, per se, but I love this show. I think it's because I'm much more into baking than cooking, and a lot of TV chefs pretty much ignore baking. It's not visual enough, maybe?

Anyway, was just wondering if anybody else watches it, and if you do, would you visit a show forum for it if I requested one?

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I went to the farmers' market this morning, saw a bunch that looked tempting.  But I decided I could do better myself, so I am baking potato and rosemary bread. Will report back in a few hours.

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I wish there were more shows on baking. I cook so I don't starve to death, but I love to bake. As far as baking being less visual, I guess that depends on your preferences. I am sick of watching people chop veggies. I simply don't find it fascinating. I would rather watch someone put together a cake or pie.

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Mittengirl, have you seen The Great British Bake Off? It's been on PBS (I think they call it The Great British Baking Show) and it's nothing but baking. It's so much fun and some of the creations the amateur bakers make are amazing.

Edited by emma675
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I need some helpful hints.  My daughter loves baking and is doing really well except for cakes.  They are coming out dry.  We did buy one of those cake pan strips and even though it said it would fit a 9" round pan, it was a little too big.  But it did help keep it level.  It did not, however, keep it moist as promised. We even cut the cooking time by 5 minutes and still...dry. 

 

Any ideas?

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In my baking experience, too dry is either overbaking which you've ruled out or over mixing which can make the batter tough. Is that possibly the case?

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