baking

Simply Bread

Remember in college when your bank account would sometimes get down to .27 cents?

Well the ole Webb piggy bank isn’t too far off from that. Since Daniel started his new job, the couple of transition pay checks from last job and new job have SUCKED, which is to be expected. Nothing new, and we get by. Can’t say that I’m not excited about tomorrow being pay day though.

Anyways, we ran out of bread yesterday morning, and I was trying to figure out how I was going to obtain some more. I googled “bread”, and then clicked on the first recipe. “Beginners Bread Recipe”, is what it was called. We’re talking Home-Ec bread recipe, THE BASICS. I’ve only ever made bread one other time, so I figured I’d probably need the most simple recipe, and I happened to have all of the ingredients for this particular one, which is rare.

I did it! And it was quite an enjoyable experience. I had just enough organic unbleached all-purpose flour left over from the World Market in Georgia to use, and I managed to find exactly enough dry yeast.

 

It was perfectly consistent all the way through, with a tougher crust and an extra soft inside. It had the texture of the white mountain bread one would get at Publix, with the taste of cuban bread. I tried keeping it inconspicuous last night while we had small group at our house, but Daniel found it…. and needless to say, we are out of bread again this morning.

Guess you could say we were super biblical last night since we literally “broke bread” together. He. He.

Want the recipe? Here it is. The only addition I made to the steps was I added the sugar to the disolved yeast water first, and let sit for a few moments before I added everything else. I also had to use almost a whole cup more of flour to get the consistency right.

You can also substitute 1/4 cup of ground flax seed for flour.

Bread baking is definitely different than other baking, and I think I might really like it. There’s a patience and a kneading technique one must develop to end up with a superb loaf of bread, which is something I wouldn’t mind developing.

Have you ever made bread before? What’s your favorite kind of bread?

Yummy Spring Cupcakes

So I had been itching to make a batch of some cute cupcakes to scarf down after I found these wonderful vintage inspired cupcake liners from The Bakers Confections on Etsy. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at baking, but the real truth of the matter is that I don’t get to do it that much. So perhaps I have great POTENTIAL… but am still working out many kinks. Anyways, I really love lemon and raspberry flavored things, so I decided to do the cake part lemon and the frosting raspberry. Here’s something that I’ve learned the hard way: if you are going to make butter cream frosting, DO NOT use salted butter. No matter how bad your hand wants to pick up that savory, fatty brick of goodness, head my advice (and probably the advice of every baker who knows anything).

Anyways, this batch of cupcakes turned out pretty delicious and I thought I’d share the recipe. I looked up several different recipes and kind of took bits and pieces from each to form my own. So here it goes:

For the Lemon cake (12 cupcakes):

1 1/8 cups of all purpose flour

1/2 tablespoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites

2/3 cup buttermilk

lemon zest from one lemon

3/4 cups sugar

1/2 stick of unsalted butter, room temp.

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line your cupcake tin. In your mixing bowl, add together the flower, baking powder and salt. Then add the ingredients in the order they are listed, giving each ingredient a few minutes to get well acquainted with the others. The recipes I read said I had to mix certain ingredients in other bowls with my hands and let them sit and then add them, but I didn’t have time to do all that and they turned out great. Spoon the batter into your liners about 3/4 of the way and your all set! Mine only needed to bake for 18 minutes, so just check them with a nice or a tooth pic if you have to go over that time.

For the Raspberry Vanilla Butter cream Frosting (unless you have your own recipe):

1 stick of butter

1-2 cups of powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/4 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/4 tablespoon raspberry extract

1-3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Start with your butter. Make sure it is room temp and has a nice smooth consistency. Mix the butter by itself with the paddle attachment on medium speed for a couple of minutes. Sift your sugar in one cup at a time at low speed, and eyeball it to see where you’d like the consistency to be at. Once the sugar is well incorporated, add the salt and extracts. Then add the milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time while watching the consistency. You might not need 3 tablespoons, but only 2 or 1 so pay attention!

Enjoy your yummy spring cupcakes and let me know how they came out!