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Archive for the ‘Cooking and Baking’ Category

I always have a problem with my spinach getting slimy in the fridge before we use it all up. It lasts only 7 days or less for us (I’m the only one in the family eating it).

One day I inadvertently stored a bunch of fresh ginger root in the same bag (trying to quell the overpopulation of separate ziplock baggies in my fridge).

The spinach lasted much longer! Was I surprised? Not really. I already knew about the antioxidant and other health properties of ginger–little did I know it would keep my spinach from spoiling quickly. Plus, the ginger is still fresh and usable!

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Covered w/foil to protect the darkening crustRising high in the toaster oven.too dark, too high, too soon.A sorry excuse for bread; a great excuse for bread pudding!wet, underdeveloped textureWhat a toaster oven does to breadCovered w/foil to protect the darkening crustNotes to self for the next batch or bread:
-Use the dough hooks of your mixer instead of mixing w/a wooden spoon. You’re not strong enough to stir in enough flour to get it to pull away from the bowl.
-When neading, go till it looks smooth with blisters–at least 10 minutes, maybe 12. You already tried 8 min., but it wasn’t smooth at that point.
-Add more oil/butter to the rising bowl next time. Last time, you didn’t have enough and it still stuck to the bowl when you turned it out onto the pastry cloth.
-For a nicer, crispy crust next time, add steam or a little water for the 1st 5 min. of baking the loaves. Spray the sides of the oven w/water or pour a cup of water on an already-hot metal baking dish beneath the unbaked loaves, and shut the door so the steam goes onto the loaves.
-Success: this time, you greased the loaf pans only halfway up, and now the loaves are finally rising higher above the level of the pans (unlike last 2 times)!
-Measure water exactly next time. Too much water=sticky dough. Too little water=dry loaf.

Why is this the 2nd batch of bread where my dough is still so sticky after neading? Not enough flour still???? Oh. I know. I put a little too much water in the dough. I fudged on that knowingly. Though it’d be no big deal. Change that next time.

Mmmm, it smells good right now. My two lovely loaves are in my lovely brick toaster oven right now!!

Woops–they’re rising so high!! That must be because I followed a crazy recipe that says to add 2 packets of yeast, not 1. They’re getting way too dark–better put foil over the top to stop that.

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