baking: does it come easily to you?

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some people have the baking gene, some don't. i'm a pretty good cook but i always lose my way with doughs. what about you?

Poll Results

OptionVotes
i'm a good cook but i stink at baking 23
i'm a good cook and i'm also talented at baking 20
can't cook, can't bake 11
i'm a bad cook but i'm a great baker 7
none of the above; i just like to get baked 4


johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:17 (nine years ago) link

f*** no, baking is so difficult!

the late great, Friday, 8 February 2013 05:18 (nine years ago) link

the workings of dough are ... mysterious to say the least

the late great, Friday, 8 February 2013 05:19 (nine years ago) link

i love baking. i struggle with pastry, but I still like to keep trying. i find it kinda zen? maybe?

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:20 (nine years ago) link

i am good at baking and at cooking. get yr shit together, people; it's science.
<3

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:32 (nine years ago) link

i am, if i do say so, fairly skilled at general meal cooking
moderately skilled at baking, but only when some freehanding is involved -- i'm not a perfectionist, but i like to experiment.

which option do i choose?

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:33 (nine years ago) link

moderately skilled = you can bake, girl

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:35 (nine years ago) link

ok, i dunno -- i'm not into perfection (although my scone recipe -- which is stolen from the joy of cooking -- won someone (not me) a scone-baking work contest once!)
so i'll take it even if i don't really believe it -- most of my freehanding involves spice mixtures and additions (fruit, nuts, chocolate, toffee, SALTED CARAMEL CHIPS, sugar with ground up lavender flowers in it) not formulas like ratios of fat/flour etc. That shit perplexes me -- I use the same few recipes every time and just tweak with the above things.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:39 (nine years ago) link

baking works as long as you follow the recipe to the letter and aren't at some crazy altitude.
but i've known so many people who cannot follow a recipe. IT IS NOT HARD?? you read and you do. i don't know, talk to me when you're trying to make a gluten-free thing rise, because that is next level (literally! #archer)

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:41 (nine years ago) link

i think any skill I have just comes from having good memories of baking as a kid with my mum and grandmother -- whenever the weather turns cold, the first thing I look forward to is a baking afternoon. and i love thanksgiving/christmas, coming up with things to bake and having a weird sense of purpose about it. idk.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:41 (nine years ago) link

yeah, i'm of the belief that it's not that hard too, but you would be surprised. one time i gave my scone recipe to a difft work friend and she thought that Cool Whip™ was "heavy whipping cream" and wondered why her baked goods were not as delicious as she expected them to be.

i have a friend who makes the most amazing Romanian desserts -- i'm not even remotely close to her level of skill, I'll put it that way. She is a natural.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:44 (nine years ago) link

xxxxpost i can follow a recipe but i hate following recipes! i always think i can do things better/more resourcefully than what's written down. which works for cooking, but i guess not for baking.

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:44 (nine years ago) link

I definitely am dependent on recipes; I can't bake from scratch, or at least I don't like the idea of it. I like rules. Guidelines. I need a handrail.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:45 (nine years ago) link

bread is p much beyond my level of interest -- too complicated, not enough flavor payoff for the work involved, prefer to let someone else make that for me
i have made some breads, but they always wind up stale. every thanksgiving i make some p amazing butter rolls. but that's 1x a year.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:46 (nine years ago) link

and yeah cooking is def separate to baking -- I'll wing meals all the time. But I learned early on: with baking you pretty much have to follow the recipe to the letter, at least until you get a feel for it and can substitute to your own tastes etc.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:47 (nine years ago) link

yeah, cooking is far far more amenable to invention than baking is. i mean, add some cranberries to the dough or whatever, but don't fuck with the amount of baking powder or the flour quality.

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:47 (nine years ago) link

i would love to make good bread. i tried the no-knead method twice -- the first time the dough barely rose, the second time it overfermented and smelled like bad beer.

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:48 (nine years ago) link

yeah i never do that kind of experimentation -- i don't want to eat a bunch of shitty baked goods, might as well follow the recipe and add the flavors i want rather than try to cheat the system

also yeah i tried that no knead bread once and it was blah, not worth the effort as meager as it was. why bother.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:50 (nine years ago) link

i know a few p amazing bread bakers and it's v clear that i am not one of them

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:50 (nine years ago) link

and i speak as a regular user of alternative gluten-free/low flours... let the experts do the trial and error, then just follow their recipe.

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:50 (nine years ago) link

the first time i made irish soda bread, i was like "fuck you, my ancestors!"

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:51 (nine years ago) link

because seriously, if you can make real bread, make it

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:52 (nine years ago) link

I used to make bread a lot when I was a kid, but I don't do it at home now - my tiny kitchen is a big deterrent.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:52 (nine years ago) link

once when I was a kid i accidentally put bulgur instead of wheatgerm in the dough (mum used make a lot of tabbouleh back in the day) -- uugggh it was like gravel bread, I'm surprised we didn't break our teeth

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:53 (nine years ago) link

i made bagels once when i was 12 or so
once
what a pain in the ass that was for a fucking BAGEL. i'm not disciplined enough to do that enough times to be good at it.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:56 (nine years ago) link

i guess i just don't like baking all that much. i am ok at it, i just don't really enjoy it.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:57 (nine years ago) link

we're supposed to learn bagels in class this semester. that's going to end in tears.

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:59 (nine years ago) link

just remember that it's an exercise, not a judgement on your worth as a human! school is so cruel sometimes.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:04 (nine years ago) link

for some reason my program combined baking with the garde manger class -- so it's a bit of cognitive dissonance to be making pate brisee and then learning about aspics and chaud froid an hour later.

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:08 (nine years ago) link

Cookies, scones, cakes are kids stuff and if you can't bake them that is OK! I will bake it.

The real task is pastry, frozen store-bought pastry is grody and a lot of recipes are like "add vinegar now" or "sift a pinch of salt" or "cut in with two knives" and there's that tragic moment when you're lifting your pastry from floury surface to quiche tray and it's all falling apart in your hands, or you prebake and the sides cave in, or your butter is too hot or too cold, or you're being pressured to crimp an edge or something

The nice thing about pastry in my experience is that every failed pastry bake will still produce a mass of crumbly flaky refuse that is nice to nibble on as you roll out a new one

Graham cracker crust is delicious but it tastes like cheating

Homemade bread is a con game imo, like "brew your own beer"

dry rub come save beef (flamboyant goon tie included), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:09 (nine years ago) link

In my experience the only shitty things about baking are a) making sure you have all the correct tools, like a sifter or an angel food cake tray, and b) having to deal with oz vs. mL vs. Tbs vs. g vs. cups

dry rub come save beef (flamboyant goon tie included), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:12 (nine years ago) link

gb - the only words in there that i know for sure are pate and aspic, neither of which I have ever eaten, much less made -- the rest i'm not 100% sure about = you are waaaaaay ahead of me
you are becoming an expert and learning the secret language -- i salute you!

i'm totally kiddie stuff when it comes to baking, there i said it!

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:13 (nine years ago) link

pastry baking in summer = surest way to end up in the loony bin

soft butter has broken my heart many a time

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:16 (nine years ago) link

pâte brisée is pie dough, it's not like goose liver pâté.

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:18 (nine years ago) link

see? i didn't even know that! i'm pretty sure that the art of baking is something i would rather leave to the experts who take the time to do what they do well.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:21 (nine years ago) link

People at work seem remarkably impressed by my baking and the baking of a colleague. We're very much in the "i just followed the recipe to the letter, it's not that hard" camp. Bread and cakes are really easy. Cooking is harder.

I have the French Culinary Institute's 'The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts' at home, which looks like it would present more of a challenge, but i rarely want to bake for the office and can't be bothered to do much at home.

Head Cheerleader, Homecoming Queen and part-time model (ShariVari), Friday, 8 February 2013 08:04 (nine years ago) link

Homemade bread is a con game imo, like "brew your own beer"

I've kinda been like this with bread: it takes so long to make, and if yr fuckin with standard white, it always ends up being tasty direct out of the oven and then stale like .000334 seconds later >>:(

I've had some success on that front by using the ready bags of bread mix for the machines, but baking freehand. They add those preservatives and salts to it that give it a bit more oomf. BREAD NEEDS SALT.

Fruit bread? Now that I can get with. Ive made some damn tasty raisin toast loaves in my time.

I used to love baking butter bundt cakes and scones, but I lost my sweet tooth so I dont do it much now. Rrob is right tho: baking's a science, nothing like regular cooking. Only time I'll religiously follow the instructions.

Manti and the Catfish (Trayce), Friday, 8 February 2013 08:15 (nine years ago) link

Beholdeth: a raisin loaf I did a while back:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/179947_10150856610967757_533719155_n.jpg

Manti and the Catfish (Trayce), Friday, 8 February 2013 08:17 (nine years ago) link

Home-made bread does go stale fairly quickly without commercial preservatives but it makes the most amazing toast for days afterwards.

Head Cheerleader, Homecoming Queen and part-time model (ShariVari), Friday, 8 February 2013 08:35 (nine years ago) link

i guess i just don't like baking all that much. i am ok at it, i just don't really enjoy it.

^^^ That's me, except substitute 'good' for 'ok'.

I never baked much when I was little/younger because my mom turns Generalissimo during Christmas cookie baking and otherwise, she didn't have the time for making much more than rice krispie bars. I've turned out to be really good at things that work in a small kitchen, like brownies and cakes. Bread isn't something I'm keen to try at home - and it's one of the things I buy that has to be nice/organic/from a small shop. So nice, in fact, that it's a false economy to invest in the infrastructure of bread baking to reproduce the quality here at home. Also, you can get really good prepared pastry here because Europe, but I'm more a fan of making savoury pies when I can be bothered with pies at all.

If you use metric measures and follow a recipe correctly it's almost impossible to fuck it up. However, pound cake is great for freestyling once you know what you're doing. I make blueberry, chai flavour (dates, chai spices and a shotglass full of very black tea), and this one, with figs:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8105/8454629037_c3fb16f7e5.jpg

This has dried figs, fresh figs, fig purée, marinated figs and stewed figs in the batter, and a mix of melted butter and fig jam coating the top.

karl lagerlout (suzy), Friday, 8 February 2013 09:54 (nine years ago) link

i'm a good cook but i stink at baking

this is me, he says immodestly. baking is just too *scientific* and unforgiving but I'm getting better w/computer stuff so maybe there's hope

screen scraper (m coleman), Friday, 8 February 2013 10:21 (nine years ago) link

having to deal with oz vs. mL vs. Tbs vs. g vs. cups

god I'd like to put a cap in the ass of whoever decided that 'cups' should be a measurement. just a needless annoyance. I am adequate at baking I guess but don't do a huge amt of it

Julian-Joachim Roedelius (DJ Mencap), Friday, 8 February 2013 10:24 (nine years ago) link

thankfully things like "cups" here have been metricized so a "cup" is 250ml for eg.

Manti and the Catfish (Trayce), Friday, 8 February 2013 10:36 (nine years ago) link

can't cook, can't bake

^obviously my option

the "baking is a science, just follow the recipe" thing should make it slightly easier for me than the pure unadulterated panic and stress of cooking, but nothing i've ever tried has happened like the recipe says it should. there's always one stage at which everything just went wrong and fell apart and i couldn't work out why.

my bf makes bagels - i didn't know til seeing him do it that you POACH them! i don't even dare approach the oven when he is doing that.

just had a banana, cardamom and orange cake baked for me this week mmmmmm all mine

lex pretend, Friday, 8 February 2013 10:52 (nine years ago) link

I think this "just follow the recipe thing" is a little misleading, there are so many different variables you can't control - heat source, equipment, quality of ingredients, and even slight differences in quantities can make big differences to the end result. My general experience as a shit cook with following (non baking) recipes is if nothing else the timings given can be unreliable by as much as 100%, and ok I've got enough common sense to see if something is in danger of burning or boiling dry or is nowhere near cooked, but that's enough to give me the fear and make it a less than straightforward and enjoyable experience.

ledge, Friday, 8 February 2013 11:08 (nine years ago) link

Ok cook, ok baker, rarely bother with latter dough

ledge otm btw

book instruction rarely give enough detail imo (for baking) so seeing eg british bakeoff is useful

the right to beef at (darraghmac), Friday, 8 February 2013 11:11 (nine years ago) link

i have no common sense. i can't tell, visually, whether any food is cooked at all, let alone cooked perfectly. even if it's just a ready meal i pretty much have to burn it to make sure

lex pretend, Friday, 8 February 2013 11:15 (nine years ago) link

i'm an artist not a scientist, baking is annoying

r|t|c, Friday, 8 February 2013 11:16 (nine years ago) link

I'm kind of committed to making my own pie crusts for a while because I opened a new pack of shortening when I already had a pack opened.

Action Bell (Leee), Tuesday, 27 July 2021 20:11 (nine months ago) link

you gotta use butter

criminally negligible (harbl), Tuesday, 27 July 2021 20:16 (nine months ago) link

I usually like to use a combo of butter and shortening so that it's flaky without being brittle. But I have to make a pie today and am out of shortening, so I'll make my best attempt at an all-butter crust and see how it goes.

Lily Dale, Tuesday, 27 July 2021 20:22 (nine months ago) link

I use the recipe that Lily posted!

Action Bell (Leee), Tuesday, 27 July 2021 20:42 (nine months ago) link

i read the thread title as "banking" and i thought, Yes, yes it does!

but baking, i'm afraid it does not come easily to me.

Z_TBD (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 27 July 2021 20:57 (nine months ago) link

oh ok. i have tried butter shortening combo and found it didn't help but have gotten very flaky w/just butter. obv opinions vary on this. dorie greenspan recipe has like 1/4 cup shortening and the rest butter (i believe this is the same or adapted from julia child), and so does the king arthur one. but my shortening went bad bc i never use it so i used lard when i did the dorie one. it was ok but both of those fats seem to get softer faster. i am pretty committed to all butter after experimentation but i also really like butter.

criminally negligible (harbl), Tuesday, 27 July 2021 22:42 (nine months ago) link

1/4 cup shortening and the rest butter is what I ended up using today because that was what I had. It was a bit harder to work with than I'm used to but turned out fine, with a bit more of a shortbread flavor from the butter. I had to guess at the amount of salt because I use salted butter; I took it down to a heaping 1/2 tsp which seems about right.

Lily Dale, Tuesday, 27 July 2021 23:58 (nine months ago) link

I have found in the past that my all-butter crusts turned out flaky but a little tough, but I know other people get good results with all butter so it's probably just something about my recipe.

Lily Dale, Tuesday, 27 July 2021 23:59 (nine months ago) link

https://64.media.tumblr.com/cb4bf53cf8f6f700f83ae42dd2854637/08bdcad84931388f-ef/s1280x1920/974db38a27c6f4b327edf85285ee145784ccd25b.jpg

My first decent pie (from here)! The blueberry filling is a little one-dimensional so the next time I make it, I'm probably going to add some lemon juice and maybe ginger/cinnamon/cardomom or maybe even add some raspberries.

Action Bell (Leee), Monday, 2 August 2021 22:20 (nine months ago) link

I tried that pecan pie recipe again and this time it turned out way better. I was low on honey (which I normally use instead of maple syrup) so I subbed in mashed bananas. The consistency was different but still tasty!

Action Bell (Leee), Thursday, 12 August 2021 06:08 (nine months ago) link

glad it turned out!

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 12 August 2021 06:45 (nine months ago) link

this is my go-to, neverfail pecan pie

http://desertcandy.blogspot.com/2007/11/pecan-pie.html

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 12 August 2021 06:46 (nine months ago) link

That looks great! I notice though that it doesn't mention toasting the pecans. Do they get crispy in the bake? I assume not, and that I should toast them in their own before I put them in the filing.

Action Bell (Leee), Thursday, 12 August 2021 14:38 (nine months ago) link

if you arrange some halves on top for decoration theyll get crispy
no need to toast them though, seriously that is not at all necessary

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 12 August 2021 16:51 (nine months ago) link

Maybe it was just the bag that I got this time around, but I didn't like the texture of the pecans when I didn't toast them this time! Kind of mushy, and not very crisp.

Action Bell (Leee), Thursday, 12 August 2021 17:28 (nine months ago) link

you do you :)

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 12 August 2021 17:33 (nine months ago) link

if Leee can’t make wildly questionable substitutions he’s not interested afaik

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 12 August 2021 17:57 (nine months ago) link

<3 lol

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 12 August 2021 18:12 (nine months ago) link

ok i was wondering about this but don't want leee to be offended but since you brought it up: leee why do you substitute so much???

criminally negligible (harbl), Thursday, 12 August 2021 18:21 (nine months ago) link

i want it to be fall so i can bake these things. it's just too hot.

criminally negligible (harbl), Thursday, 12 August 2021 18:22 (nine months ago) link

lol no worries!

I guess it's a holdover from before I really got into baking and didn't always have pantry staples on hand, as well as (possibly misguided?) notions of using healthier ingredients, as well as seeing how far I can get with (homemade) vegan products. (Homemade because store-bought tends to be more expensive and I can create only as much as I need and not worry about the unused leftover spoiling.)

Nowadays though I'm mainly focused on avoiding sugar and coconut products (he sez while with a mostly full jar of coconut oil in the pantry).

xp one benefit of living in SF is that it's 60 degrees year-round and ergo always baking weather!

Action Bell (Leee), Thursday, 12 August 2021 18:59 (nine months ago) link

Just made a very fluffy banana bread, except I only had two ripe nanas so I subbed in a mango that was sitting around, ryde I don't care because it's really good.

wildleee questionable baking substitutions (Leee), Tuesday, 24 August 2021 05:18 (eight months ago) link

one soft fruit for another sounds uncharacteristically reasonable Leee

i bet it was great

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 24 August 2021 08:03 (eight months ago) link

nicely done!

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 25 August 2021 02:50 (eight months ago) link

https://tybe.tumblr.com/post/660739054009188352/strawberry-pie

This one turned out well! I’m still using Lily’s crust recipe though this time I didn’t par-bake, and yet it came out super flaky. I do like the slightly raw taste but this was a nice surprise.

wildleee questionable baking substitutions (Leee), Saturday, 28 August 2021 05:54 (eight months ago) link

three months pass...

I'm coming to realize that some fruits that I love to eat fresh do not bake well, namely strawberries -- I find the change in texture less appealing. I'm better off buying a basket and just eating it raw!

Shower Farts (Leee), Sunday, 12 December 2021 19:12 (five months ago) link

yeah strawberries don’t hold up well, i think because they dont really have much of a “skin” and the flesh is v porous

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 12 December 2021 19:44 (five months ago) link

You have to turn strawberries into compote if you’re going to use them in a baked dessert unless: the raw part of strawberry shortcake.

the thin blue lying (suzy), Sunday, 12 December 2021 19:48 (five months ago) link

i made some strawberry cream cheese muffins and the strawberries were awful.

kinder, Sunday, 12 December 2021 20:13 (five months ago) link

they also need to be with an acidic thing like rhubarb because they get so bleh by themselves

towards fungal computer (harbl), Sunday, 12 December 2021 20:22 (five months ago) link

I love balsamic vinegar with macerated strawberries.

ma dmac's fury road (PBKR), Sunday, 12 December 2021 20:27 (five months ago) link

I find strawberries very tart and acidic usually! But I've never tired to bake with them, I guess.

Ima Gardener (in orbit), Sunday, 12 December 2021 20:30 (five months ago) link

yea the moisture in fruit makes baked goods go wonky. freeze dried then crushed/powdered can give you a pretty good wallop of flavor, or dried fruit if you don’t mind some chewy bits

nebulous remnant (cat), Sunday, 12 December 2021 20:31 (five months ago) link

Dried fruits are A+! One of my favorite muffin recipes uses the, to great effect, they're such a good sweetener.

Strawberries are a little bit tart when they're raw, but that acidity tends to get overwhelmed when they're baked into a soggy undifferentiated glop. I wonder if adding lemon juice might help that out.

Blueberries hold up pretty well in bakes, save for the pies I've made so far. In fact, most of my fruit pies have been unimpressive.

Shower Farts (Leee), Sunday, 12 December 2021 22:18 (five months ago) link

ok i was going to post about this before but i felt bad for criticizing my mom's pies, which are really not bad (just...not as good as mine lol), but she doesn't do enough to address the watery fruit issue. for apple i have had success with a recipe that has you macerate the apples and let the liquid drain off for a few hours. you then cook the liquid with corn starch (it forms a caramel-like texture that is very appley) and add it back before putting it in the pie. dorie greenspan's blueberry pie recipe has the blueberries mixed with flour (iirc), then you also put unseasoned bread crumbs in the bottom. it produces the most perfect pie slice with barely any watery juice. it's important to do this with pie because the crust and the density of fruit mean the liquid will not evaporate off sufficiently, as opposed to a cobbler or crumble that is open as it bakes and also has cake batter or other starch to soak it up.

towards fungal computer (harbl), Sunday, 12 December 2021 22:56 (five months ago) link

Ground almond is great in blueberry pies, tarts and (my fave) clafoutis. Also if you are making muffins or cake, soak the bloobs in corn starch solution and they won’t sink to the bottom.

the thin blue lying (suzy), Sunday, 12 December 2021 23:05 (five months ago) link

I've followed recipes mention coating bloobs in flour, and I haven't had an issue with them sinking.

And if I ever try my hand at a fruit pie again, that ground almond hack sounds great! I assume it's there to soak up the moisture?

Shower Farts (Leee), Sunday, 12 December 2021 23:14 (five months ago) link

I really don't mind a juicy apple pie, and I've never liked that gloopy texture that you get when you thicken it. I'd much rather have the juices soak into the bottom crust, especially if I'm using an apple like Granny Smith that has really tart, flavorful juices. For cherry and blueberry pies I mix the fruit with the sugar and flour and let it stand for a bit before cooking it, which seems to work well. I use frozen sour cherries and they're really good, almost as good as fresh.

Blueberries are tricky because commercial ones have so little flavor; it's worth using wild blueberries, but even the wild blueberries you get in stores are pretty bland so you have to put in lemon juice to make them tart enough. If you ever get a chance to pick fresh blueberries and make a pie, do it. It's amazing and tart and bursting with flavor and you don't need any citrus at all.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 12 December 2021 23:35 (five months ago) link

The blueberries in the UK are really good (lots come from Poland). The ground almond hack is really effective if you’re making a French style tart, with custard: after your shortcrust is part baked, cover the inside of the base with a generous few tablespoons of the ground almond before covering with your bloobs. Bake that for 15 minutes, make some custard, then pour the custard over the bloobs and return to the oven.

the thin blue lying (suzy), Sunday, 12 December 2021 23:43 (five months ago) link

it doesn't come out gloopy! if you mean that weird canned pie filling-like texture. it's this recipe but as i recall the temperature may be too high https://www.joyofbaking.com/ApplePie.html

towards fungal computer (harbl), Sunday, 12 December 2021 23:55 (five months ago) link

Re apple pies: I totally hear harbl about the juices method! I always find a lot of water in the bottom after the sugar spice mix draws it all out. Sadly I would usually just discard it and then pile the drier apples up verrrry high in the pie since they break down so much. Just thinking about it is making me miss pie!

Ima Gardener (in orbit), Monday, 13 December 2021 00:01 (five months ago) link

I'll give it a try! I've never put any thickener in apple pies; I just slice the apples very thin and layer them with brown sugar and cinnamon, and I always use very tart green apples, and it ends up juicy but not wet. But mine definitely have a soggy bottom; Bake Off would not approve.

Lily Dale, Monday, 13 December 2021 00:21 (five months ago) link

four months pass...

Ideas on how to make chewy chocolate chip cookies? I remember an Alton Brown recipe that recommends using bread flour, ostensibly because of higher protein content, in which case, could mixing the a batter of all-purpose longer than is typical to better build up the gluten achieve the same result?

Santa Barbarous (Leee), Thursday, 12 May 2022 04:42 (one week ago) link

apparently resting the dough in the fridge for an hour or more makes them chewier but i havent tried it bc
i am too impatient & hardly ever rest my dough, also i like crunchy cookies anyway so

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 12 May 2022 05:36 (one week ago) link

yeah the nyt choc chip recipe uses a combo of cake & bread flour and also recommends to rest it in the fridge for 24-36 hours... unsure which of those things contributes to the chewiness but i can confirm it's a v yum recipe.

just sayin, Thursday, 12 May 2022 06:23 (one week ago) link

i always rest it at least 24 hours but i'm not sure how much that contributes to chewiness, it's more of a flavor thing. chewiness comes from butter content and baking temp iirc. i always make this one: https://www.food.com/recipe/worlds-best-chocolate-chip-cookies-by-dorie-greenspan-332767

i would not suggest doing anything to develop gluten in a cookie

towards fungal computer (harbl), Thursday, 12 May 2022 12:35 (one week ago) link

this is the best article about chocolate chip cookie variables https://www.seriouseats.com/the-food-lab-best-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe#toc-giving-the-cookie-dough-a-rest

towards fungal computer (harbl), Thursday, 12 May 2022 12:37 (one week ago) link

ah and it will send you straight to resting the dough, scroll up to the top of course

towards fungal computer (harbl), Thursday, 12 May 2022 12:43 (one week ago) link

lol resting the dough is probably the easy tip that I wanted to hear the least because like Veg, I am very impatient. I'll try the Dorie recipe though -- especially since it uses whole sticks of butter (I don't like having leftover sticks).

Santa Barbarous (Leee), Thursday, 12 May 2022 16:47 (one week ago) link


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