This year one of my goals is to become a good/better baker. I find baking quite different from regular cooking as it is so exact and more dependent on outside forces like room temperature and humidity than other kinds of cooking. There isn’t much room to guess and tinker and mess around with adding things in and taking things out, and unlike, say, a soup, you can’t taste test as you go along. You don’t really know what your end product will taste like until it comes out of the oven. I will play around with cookie recipes (simple ones) but when it comes to bread I stick by that recipe! Anyway, I have had some good bread results in the past and some terrible ones so I asked for a bread cook book last Christmas (thanks mom!) and am determined that practice will make perfect and I will be able to whip up bread at the drop of a hat, well, a hat that takes 5-6 hours to drop!
This recipe is out of Gourmet 2009, blank so I’m not going to copy it down. I’m making the cornstalk buns and the recipe is available on epicurious.com which is a great website that is essentially an online archive of Gourmet, Bon Appetit and a few other food magazines so anyone can just search for the recipe. This recipe was easy to follow and I had all the ingredients already, I’m pretty pleased with the result and although they were a little on the flat side, they did look like the picture so I think they turned out right. I let them proof a little too long on the second rising because I had to go out so that might have affect the outcome. They tasted great though! The addition of the cornmeal gave them a dense, chewy texture, they kind of reminded me of english muffins. I think I will add some parmesan or maybe pecorino cheese next time. I think adding cheese would be okay, I can’t help myself with the tinkering! I also think these would be awesome with chili or a thick soup. The buns pulled apart really well and I had fun making these.
I picked up some oil for the deep fryer yesterday, danger!!!! Deep fryed goodness! When I was chef at the Reef, me and one of the line cooks started calling the deep fryer Hotfat (all one word, say it fast) and pretended it was an ancient God of some sort. You know, oh all powerful Hotfat, how do you make everything so wonderful? Teach us your ways Hotfat… and so on. Anyway, deep frying is amazing (in moderation, of course) and i will be trying out some fryer recipes soon. First up jalapeno poppers, from scratch.