Wednesday, June 16, 2010

White Bread

Did I ever mention I just had a baby 3 months ago?  Yah. That was meant as I joke. I always mention it. It's my excuse for everything. Well, this time, I am not using it as an excuse.  I am using the "I just had a baby" sentence to explain why I made white bread instead of cookies.  I am officially on a diet.  *Sigh*  I don't know why I torture myself but I do.  And before we go on any further, yes, I do know that carbs are not necessarily diet friendly.  However, I have been having baking withdrawals, and it's better to make white bread than say, a double chocolate triple layer fudge cake.  Not saying that I CAN make that, but just saying it's better that I not try that.

So I attempted white bread the other day....

It was my first attempt at using yeast, and I have to say I was proud of the way my yeast proofed in the warm milk.  For all non-bakers out there, apparently, yeast is supposed to bubble at 110 degrees to show that it is "alive".  This is called proofing.

Everything was going great with my baking.  The dough rose for a total of four hours and I popped it into the oven.  [Side note: I didn't realize how long it takes for dough to rise. End side note.]  Here is where it started to go downhill:

The recipe called for the bread to be in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees, but 20 minutes went by and the dough started to get brown on top.  SIL and I made the decision to take out the bread early because it looked done... which was a bad move to say the least.  I let the bread cool, broke it in half, and discovered that the middle was uncooked.  It was all cakey and doughy and there was no way I would feed that bread to even my worst enemy.  I even forgot to take a picture because I was so disappointed.

You would think things couldn't get any worse but they did.... The edges of the bread were okay so HJ and I tore the bread to try it, only to discover that the recipe called for too much salt!  Waaaaaaaaay too much salt.  The recipe called for 2 tablespoons of salt, but I think they meant to type 2 teaspoons.  I thought I read it wrong so I checked it again, but nope.  It says 2 tablespoons.  If you doubt me, you can look at the recipe here.

So it went in the trash can.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happy Birthday HJ!

HJ and I decided to actively save money for a house recently, and he banned me from baking because it costs so much. (Enter sad face here.)  Yesterday, I decided to bake anyway (ha! so there!) because today is HJ's birthday and BJ's 3 Month Birthday! However, I decided to be good and use the ingredients I had, so I made cupcakes using the box cake mix, the ultimate betrayal of all bakers.  Oh well, it turned out yummy and I made homemade icing.  I used Birthday Cake mix and Cream Cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

5 Tbl Butter (melted)
1 Block (8 oz.) Cream Cheese
2 Cups Powdered (Confectioner's) Sugar
Food Coloring

1. Mix or beat together cream cheese and butter.
2. Mix in shifted powdered sugar
3. Add in food coloring.

See how easy that is?  Well. I learned that no matter how easy a recipe looks on paper, I, being the new baker that I am, can still mess it up!  I didn't sift the powdered sugar, mostly because, well, I don't have a sifter, so there were small clumps of powdered sugar in the frosting.  Good thing I wasn't planning to give the cupcakes away!  And the other thing... doesn't the color look a little blegh?  I used four drops of blue food coloring but it didn't turn out the way I wanted. I've been reading that I shouldn't use the simple food coloring found in grocery stores (mine are from Wal-Mart) and I should use food coloring made specifically for baking.  I'd like to repeat that HJ has banned from buying anything related to baking, so I couldn't buy this specific food coloring.  I guess Wal-Mart food coloring will have to do for now!  After putting the cupcakes in the refrigerator, they came out yummy anyway.  So there.