Sunday, 9 January 2011

Experiments with Dough

So, one of my many random New Year’s resolutions was to blog more. Sadly for you, dear readers, this means that there may be much non-shiny related wittering.

Firstly, I am learning to cook things that aren’t cake. Whilst I remain convinced that a person can cover all necessary food groups with experimental cake recipes, I have yet to convince anyone else.

I’ve always steered clear of making pastry, as it seems fraught with go-wrongable things, but the stuff that comes ready made is always full of strange ingredients. And lard. Bleurgh.

So, I found a recipe for a tart. It had squash in, which is one of my favourite things, especially since acquiring the king of peelers from Lakeland, which happily removes evil squash skin in a second (and means that the boy no longer has to hide behind a cushion in terror as I hack randomly at the poor vegetable with a large knife). Apparently, all ingredients were to be chucked in a food processor and mixed, which sounded super-easy. I always thought pastry took forever and involved rubbing butter and flour together, or some such alchemy, but apparently this is no longer the case.

So, I made pastry, hurrah! And I learned what “blind baking” means (sticking pastry case in oven to pre-cook covered in baking paper and dried beans, for those who want to know).

Behold my tart!

Doesn’t it look lovely? And it came out of the tin and everything! It was even edible and I didn’t poison anyone. I call that a result.

Also, lovely boss gave us the very generous gift of a breadmaker for Christmas. Have wanted one of these for ages, as making bread always looked terribly tricky.

The instructions called for just chucking everything in the machine and ignoring for 4 hours. Whilst this is absolutely my kind of cooking, I didn’t for a second expect it to work. The machine is so very quiet, I didn’t think it could possibly be growing a loaf of bread in there.

But look! We opened the lid to a perfect (and delicious) loaf of bread, hurrah!

Am baking genius.

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