I have this lofty dream of being a baker. Not professionally, just . . . able to bake. So far, all I've managed are some muffins. And pizza dough, if that counts. With a pizza on top of it.
There's a lot for me to learn.
Simple lessons came early. One of my muffin recipes said "mix all together in one bowl," so I added all sorts of ingredients from the list into the same bowl--wet and dry. The batter came out clumpy and was ridiculously hard to mix. And it's not like I haven't witnessed the "wet bowl vs. dry bowl" wisdom from watching cookies being made, so, no excuse. Except that the recipe skipped this instruction and I didn't have cause to think about it. Now I know. Separate wet and dry bowls.
I've recently come into possession of a stand mixer and I'm really itching to start baking with a vengeance. And I know where I want to start: bread.
Now I'm reading on the internet about different flours and the gluten content of each (mine is not a gluten-restrictive kitchen, but I do want the different types of food to come out tasting like they should). For instance: bread flour? Who knew?
There's this whole science to baking--and cooking in general--that fascinates me. I still think it's magic that adding salt to cookie batter is necessary to make them sweeter. Put ginger root in tea? Holy crap! So the chemistry of various flours and yeasts is proving to be a little overwhelming.
And since yeast is "living culture" I have of course been trying to make friends with it when I proof it. Hope you're ready to bake today, yeast. Time for your warm bath, yeast. Open wide, here's your sugar. I know it's your favorite. Now foam, you yeasty bastards, foam!
And then whenever it does, I lift my fists to the sky and shout that it lives.
Baking is fun!