No, no, I'm not going to cook my way through a Julia Child book--that's cooking, and I'm into baking. Huge difference.
After a few great pages of baking basics, the authors begin with the staff of life: BREAD. Everybody ready?
I began baking some months ago with cupcakes--I thought it'd be fun to bake theme cupcakes for my monthly book club. Then that transferred to pies and cakes, then to bread, then I took a bread class and a pastry class. and all the while I've been getting cookbooks and making things--some turned out great, some we'd rather not talk about.
And last night, as I looked at a loaf of chocolate bread that didn't quite smell or look as luscious as I wanted it to, I decided that I needed a more disciplined approach. It's the only way I'll be able to tell if it's ME that's at fault, or if it's just not a good recipe.
So--as I have time, I'm going to be baking my way through THE ART AND SOUL OF BAKING. Why this book instead of AMY'S BREAD, or FLOUR, or Sarabeth's, or any of the other wonderful cookbooks out there?
Because THE ART AND SOUL OF BAKING is as close to a baking textbook as I've seen. It lists all the common ingredients, tools, and terms, and patiently explains what they mean and why they're important in the baking business.
Since I've invested a lot of time (and money, now--I go through a LOT of flour) in baking, I decided to set my next book in a bakery--The Lovin' Oven Bakery, to be precise. So don't be surprised if some of my characters decide to pop in.
One note: because I want to be respectful of copyright, I won't be posting word-for-word recipes, though I will share the source on this blog. (Or, if I find it online, I'll post a link). Along with lots of photos--I do hope you'll join me in this baking adventure! It'll be fun, I promise!
I'd love to see photos of your victories and your oopsies. :-) I'll share mine!
So: if you want to join us, you'll need a copy of THE ART AND SOUL OF BAKING. (Buy it used--much cheaper). By the way, Sur la Table is a very reasonable site for bakeware, etc. :-) Even if you don't want to "bake along" with us, I hope you'll check in a couple of times a week to see what we're up to. I know it's going to take me several months to get this book up, going, and gone, so we'll be here a while.
|Sort of what a brioche should look like.|
|What my brioche looked like.|
And now, for comic relief, I'll leave you with some pictures of my brioche--which are supposed to look like a muffin with a little ball on top. LOL! I learn best by trial and error.
So--what is the thing (or two things) that you've always wanted to bake but never thought you could? Pastry swans? Eclairs? Multi-story cakes? Do tell!