It’s time to meet your baker

1 Mar

Last week I got the bug.  The cooking/baking bug.  I’ve never really been one to be adventurous when it came to cooking, but here lately I’ve reconsidered my position.  Maybe it’s my desire for a hobby.  I so desperately want something to do.  Something to define myself.  Something to say “this is what I do.”  Will it be cooking/baking?  Perhaps.  Who knows.

I began my exploration last week by making Spaetzle.  It’s a German dumpling which was fairly easy to make & absolutely delicious to eat.  Next I made a roasted corn chowder.  Again…amazingly tasty, though I had a hard time enjoying it with the knowledge of how much heavy cream I’d put in it.  My arteries cried out in pain the entire meal.  Lastly I turned my eye to baking.  Specifically something that involved the use of yeast.  I’ve never made fresh bread and I decided that this past weekend was the time to change that.  I opted for Alton Brown’s recipe for an Overnight Ginger Citrus Ring.  It was quite involved by not too technically challenging:

I finally get to use the dough hook on my stand mixer.  The poor thing.  Time after time I’d pass it up for the whisk attachment or the standard paddle.  I’m sure it had almost given up hope.  But nay!  It finally got to stretch its legs and see some action.  Plus I got the added bonus of watching dough rise.  By far more exciting than watching grass grow with the added bonus of not irritating my allergies.  [wink]

Then I got to try my hand at some fine chopping.  Let’s just say the idea of me and a large knife is a scary one.  I’ve had many an encounter with kitchen cutlery and I always end up on the losing end.  Bleeding.  And dancing around in circles while cursing.  It’s great entertainment.

Then came the part I feared the most.  Rolling out dough.  I’ve never had much luck in this area.  I usually over flour my work space or under flour my rolling-pin.  Holes usually appear in my dough.  Great gaping chasms that wreak havoc on almost ever dough-rolling endeavor.  Luckily yeasty dough is much easier to work with.  I rolled that ball of dough with gusto.  It never stood a chance.  It begged for mercy and received only decimation in response.  Take that dough!  Flatten yourself in the face of my boot-quaking fury!

All I had left to do before the “overnight” part was to assemble it into a ring.  That I can do.  Turns out I’m an amazing ring maker.  I know…you’re speechless.  The next morning I let it rise a bit more and then snipped some decorative holes in it before it met its maker….I mean, baker.

While it was chillaxing in the oven I whipped up an apricot-ginger glaze.  Because what’s a ginger-lemon filling without an apricot-ginger glaze?  I sad filling, that’s what.

By Sunday afternoon all that was left to do was slice and devour.  Oh, it is good.  I hate to toot my own horn, but I baked the shite out of that bread!  [wink]

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