Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Yesterday I mentioned a book on baking that I have been reading. My mom recommended it to me a few weeks ago and in a rash of book ordering, I added it to the list. So glad I did.
The book is called A Passion For Baking by Marcy Goldman. And although it is a cookbook, I am reading it. Cover to cover. Which means of course: I am becoming my mother. At softball games in junior high school all the other moms would come and watch the game. My mom, after making sure my 'costume' was clean and that I was ready for 'rehearsal' would cheer from the bleachers cookbook in hand, in between good recipes. She was a foodie before being a foodie was popular.
I am finding this book so captivating because the author is a food scientist. She knows what baking powder is made of, when it was invented and how it reacts differently than baking soda. She tells me to allow some ingredients to come to room temperature for some recipes to achieve a certain kind of dough. In other recipes however the same ingredients should be cold, if not icy. And she tells me why.
So, I know this might not be your niche. I know you are probably not on Amazon right now clicking express delivery for a baking book. But, I'm sure you can relate to the feeling of learning. And learning about something you love and do all the time. And the feeling that you think you have something down when you realize there are other, better ways to do it.
And I love that feeling. But it makes me nervous.
This morning, in my kitchen, as I was making probably my 100th batch of scones, it all felt new. Should I let the egg come to room temperature? Was that for scones or something else? Usually there are some ingredients that I just throw in. A tablespoon of lemon juice? Why measure? Just squeeze the lemon over the bowl and be done with it. But she was so particular about measuring and explaining why not enough lemon juice or too much lemon juice might have adverse effects. So, I measured everything.
What Marcy doesn't tell you is if you have enough time to dress your toddler as the butter and honey melt together. Or if the time in between the first honey glaze and the second honey glaze is enough time to make the beds. And that is the kind of baking I do.
So hopefully with time, I can incorporate her tips and manage to incorporate my own multitasking flair and still get something quite tasty. These scones were quite tasty. But I might need to try another to be sure.
FYI: Last week there was an unofficial English Muffin Challenge day. We are having another bake off tomorrow: soft pretzels! Feel free to join us and post links to your blog with your soft pretzel success stories (or, really, any other soft pretzel stories you might have!).
Posted by Dave at 8:56 AM