Feb. 21st, 2014

kindkit: Two cups of green tea. (Fandomless: Green tea)
Something I've cooked recently: Yesterday I made a big delicious pot of red beans and rice. I didn't use a recipe, but under the cut is a recipe-ish description of what I did. Click here )

Last week's bread (County Fair White Bread) was not a huge success. It wasn't bad by any means, but the flavor was a bit boring. Partly that's because it uses white flour only, but that can't be the only reason, because the white bread pot loaf recipe from the same book gives more flavorful results. I think the other part of the problem was that, because eggs are added after the long first rise, more flour has to be added then too, which means that there's quite a bit of flour in the final product that hasn't gone through the pre-fermentation and first rise and so doesn't taste like anything but flour. The bread did remind me of the homemade white yeast bread of my childhood, which I loved at the time. But back then I was comparing the flavor to cheap supermarket white bread, while now I'm comparing it to slow-risen multigrain breads; my standards have changed.

I'm starting to think that it's actually more difficult to make soft sandwich-style breads at home than it is to make crusty European-style breads. Supermarket breads use all kinds of funky additives to create a loaf that is soft but can be sliced thin and will hold together well, but so far no recipe I've tried has done this. I can either make soft, light sandwich loaves that tend to fall apart, or dense sandwich loaves that can be sliced more thinly and will hold together. Maybe I should try a rye or whole wheat loaf that's supposed to be dense.


Something I have concrete plans to cook in the near future: Later today I will cook a potato, sausage, and corn soup using the rest of the Polish sausage. Mmm, soup.

This week's bread is currently engaged in its second rise. It's an experiment: I modified this four-grain bread recipe by replacing 1 1/4 cups of the bread flour with semolina. Hopefully it will work. It's behaving a little differently than the usual recipe does; its gluten didn't develop as well in the first rise so I kneaded it a bit before starting the second rise.

And I'm finally going to bake the lemon loaf cake I've been wanting for ages (not the lemon polenta cake, but a simpler recipe that doesn't call for almond meal). I'm going to start that as soon as I'm done with this post, in fact.


Something I idly plan to cook someday: For the next week I mostly plan to use my accumulated leftovers, although I did buy some asparagus (on sale for $1 a pound) that needs using. Tomorrow I'm going to cook some in a Thai-ish stir fry with some pork loin, and the rest I'll probably use in a pasta on Sunday. I think I have a cold coming on, so I may not feel much like cooking anyway and will be glad to have things in the freezer that only need warming up.

In more distant plans, I have one ham hock left that should be used in something (split pea soup, maybe? suggestions welcome). And I want to try this cardamom semolina cake with rosewater. I actually have all the ingredients on hand, because pantry, but I want to bake the lemon cake first.

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kindkit

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