Thursday, July 28, 2011

Red Hot Developments and Re-Do's

I really crack myself up. I know it's not cool to laugh at your own jokes, but if you can't laugh at yourself, no one will. Don't get the joke? Give it a minute and keep reading.

My new kitchen will be primarily white. Lots and lots of white with possibly some black appliances. So I decided a few well placed pops of color were just what the kitchen doctor ordered. I have always been a fan of red, especially in kitchens, so I decided that when the time came to get some new kitchen gadgets, I would go red. The time came yesterday at Home Goods (my first trip by the way and I'm totally obsessed). Get the red hot joke now? What do you think of my new goodies? I love them and I hope you agree. I also got a new cutting board, an 8x8 baking pan, some glasses, wine glasses, etc. I'll be sure to share them later.

On another note, please excuse the reduced blogging this week. I've been having a nice time with my family in California and blogging has sort of been pushed to the back burner. But have no fear, I will be back with a vengeance next week.

I have done a little bit of cooking over the last week, but mostly I've just been working on perfecting past recipes. First up, the honey white bread. I decided that perhaps my mixer was to blame for the lack of rising last time and I would attempt to make the bread by hand. I figured that our grandmothers and great grandmothers and great great grandmothers made bread and they didn't have standing mixers, so why couldn't I do it too? (Do you hear the stubbornness creeping into my voice? It was definitely there and frankly sustained me later).

So I started the same way as last time with letting the yeast rise, but this time I had way more confidence because I bought a thermometer, so I knew my liquids were the right temperature. Then, instead of using the mixer to beat the ingredients, I used a whisk and mixed by hand. When the recipe said mix for 5 minutes, I whisked for five minutes (using a timer to be precise). When the recipe said knead for 10 minutes, I kneaded for ten minutes. It took a little while and I sort of had to improvise while adding the flour, but boy did it work. The dough looked gorgeous when I was done. Although, word of warning. Kneading and mixing by hand is a serious work out. My arms were numb by the time I was done and I was dripping sweat (a real sexy image I know). This picture shows you what the dough looks like after the first "rise". It was such a huge difference from last time, I can't even tell you. Probably twice the size.

This was the dough before the second rise my first time around.

This was the dough before the second rise my second time. I don't think it demonstrates the change very well, but it was tremendous. Also, I got a second loaf pan so I can make two loaves, because I'm a bread addict like that.

This is post second rise. They are so fluffy and squishy I just want to poke them! Anyone else feel that way? No, just me? Try the recipe and you'll see what I mean.

Final loaf first time around.

Final loaves second time. Huge, brown and gorgeous. And seriously freaking delicious. OMG. That's all I have to say about that. I may never make bread using anything but my hands ever again.

Ok, one more thing and then I'm done. I know, longest post ever. I made the red velvet cupcakes again. My aunt loves them and I wanted to make them for her. This time I got loads of red food coloring. No messing around here.

I took this picture the day after making them. They definitely darken as they cool, but once you bite into them it's pure red. Well, more like scarlet. But either way, the two tablespoons of red food coloring really did the trick.

Ok, I think that's it. Hope you all are having a wonderful week!

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