My husband suggested that I try making regular kneaded bread with the Kitchenaid the other day, since I hadn’t gotten around to it yet. So I did.
I’m not going to lie–it was a bit of a chore, to be honest. I like the no-knead bread for a variety of reasons: short ingredient list, simple prep, few dishes, and reasonably low calorie count. The kneaded variety had a host of ingredients, steps, and messy dishes. I’ll probably do it again, perhaps if I wanted to make pumpkin or cinnamon bread, for example, but for regular day to day bread, I’m definitely sticking with no-knead. My husband agreed, asserting that he prefers the artisan style of the no-knead bread.
That said, here’s the evidence. It went well, all things considered:
I absolutely trashed my kitchen last night, but it was totally worth it. My parents came over for my mom’s birthday dinner, and my husband and I pulled out all of the culinary stops. Well, almost all. I did buy the brownies for dessert after realizing that I had completely forgotten about dessert and had time to swing by the store between work and dinner. Oh well.
That said, I made baguettes for the first time with my brand new couche. Here they are baking:
It’s a bit of a blurry picture, but you can see the pan of water underneath the baguettes, which apparently helps the oven maintain the correct humidity. I learned a couple of very important lessons about baguettes, though. One, they don’t take all that long to proof, and two of them jumped the couche, which made me really, really glad that I’d left the couche on a cutting board so that I wasn’t scraping excess dough off my dining table. Two, I should have dusted the couche with more flour or Crisco’d it or something, because even though it is supposedly non-stick, those suckers DID NOT want to come off after baking. Seriously. Three, even mildly mangled baguettes straight out of the oven are pretty darn good.
Our second adventure was homemade ravioli. I improvised a filling of 1/2 cup goat cheese ricotta, a whole bunch of spinach chopped up in the Mini-Prep, and sliced pancetta that I started cutting into smaller pieces with a chef’s knife and then resorted to cutting with kitchen scissors. Add dashes of fresh rosemary and thyme as well as a solid splash of olive oil, ground black pepper and kosher salt and voila! Ravioli filling.
The pasta itself was interesting, because I was having some trouble with the dough/moisture thing. At one point it was too dry, and shortly thereafter, it was too wet. Argh!
I should had taken a picture of the finished product, in retrospect. That said, they were delicious, and very filling. Awesome bonus–we even had dough leftover for fettucine:
In preparation for cooking my mother’s belated birthday dinner on Friday, I stocked up with some new toys tonight. Since the no-knead bread thing has been going so well, I decided to go ahead and try baguettes. Baguettes are a little bit more work, so I wanted to give myself every possible advantage. Hence, I went to Sur la Table and bought a baguette shaping pan. Hopefully, this little gadget will help! I also got a bench scraper, since I inexplicably don’t own one.
While I was there, I decided to go ahead and commit to a ravioli maker. Since my husband is far more sensible than I am, he insisted that I go with the $26 ravioli tray and rolling pin instead of the $130 Kitchenaid attachment that I wanted. You know, to see if I even liked making ravioli. See why I married him?
So watch this space to see if it is an unqualified success, or if I’ll be cleaning my kitchen with a toothbrush for the next month.
Well, we didn’t win, but I helped prep for the big game by baking a bunch of cookies with the Kitchenaid and homemade frosting for the first time. I think it went well!
I’m taking a stab at my first homemade loaf of “real” bread, as my husband noted. In his defense, I can pretty much make banana bread in my sleep these days, so “real” bread is a little different and a little harder. I’m not used to working with yeast, so this will be a bit of an adventure for me. I’m taking pictures, so those will get posted as soon as I can get them off my camera.
Wish me luck! I guess busting out the Kitchenaid was inspirational after all!
Filed under Baking, Cooking
My parents have this great dream of buying a big-ass boat when they retire and spending their golden years on the water. They aren’t really sailors, more like motorboaters, but obviously they’ll need to know a little bit about direction and all that.
My first inclination for this blog was for it to be a place for me to chronicle my and my husband’s DIY efforts on our house. Obviously, that’s still going to show up here. It has to–my coworkers, friends, and family are eventually going to get really tired of talking about my house.
That said, I’ve decided it would be more interesting to see how my DIY efforts in other areas start to happen as well. I’m not totally starting from scratch, but in some areas, I might as well be.
For example, my husband was teasing me on Thursday when he said, “You know, if we wanted to cook at home more often, we should have resolved to eat out more. Then it might happen.” He’s right–I have a lot of great intentions and fairly uneven follow through. Like, we got a Kitchenaid stand mixer for a wedding gift almost two years ago and it just made it out of the box for the third time ever on Tuesday.
It’s not like we have grand amounts of counter space, but twice in two years? Yikes. In my defense, it now has an actual home, but still.
So here we go–this blog is about to become my accountability buddy, and that’s a little bit frightening. Woohoo!