Monthly Archives: July 2012

Second Attempt (and Casualty the Second)

This baking thing is getting expensive. First the butter dish jumps out of the fridge. This time, as part of the clean-up, I put the paddle and dough hook for my stand mixer into the dishwasher. They’re metal after all, right? Why shouldn’t they go in the dishwasher! Well, apparently they shouldn’t. When I took them out after the cycle had run, they were heavily oxidized, to the point that even after scrubbing them clean and washing my hands for several minutes with the scrubber, not only was the scrubber ruined, my hands were still slightly discolored. The two pieces sort of look ok, but I’m not sure I trust them with food anymore. I’ve already ordered new ones, and I won’t be doing anymore baking until the new ones get here.

But the bread came out pretty good. It didn’t rise as well as I could have hoped, but I think I know why and can fix it for next time. I made what the recipe calls “Italian Easter Bread”. It has 3 kinds of cheese in it (all Italian cheeses) as well as cracked black pepper. It’s a rich bread with a bit of a bite to it.

This is after the dough attempted to rise. It more flattened out a bit without so much vertical rise, so the bread came out a bit heavy, but still very yum.

And after baking, the little loaves were nicely brown with little bits of gooey melted cheese running all through the bread. And the house smelled like toasted cheese for hours!

I just need to stop sacrificing things in order to get my baking done, or this isn’t going to end well.

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First Attempt. First Casualty.

Last night started my first attempt at baking something from scratch since finishing my baking course.  Of course, there had to be a casualty along the way.

This used to be the lid to my butter dish. It decided to jump from the top shelf of the fridge and left a nice gouge in the floor. These are just the largest of the chunks. The shards that went flying were small and numerous and took quite a while to clean up. It’ll be a few days before I’m comfortable walking barefoot in my kitchen again.

Today went better, though. I was fully prepared with the dough and the filling.

After rolling out the dough, layering in the filling, attempting (with more or less success) to roll the dough up and cut it (using a secret weapon of dental floss!), I had rolls in pans that were pre-filled with the pecans and caramel in the bottom.

Then after a little bit of time to rise and some time in the oven, there were CINNAMON ROLLS!

The house still smells wonderful. Next time, though, I think the rolls need a bit more of the caramel in the pan to start, and I want to make an icing for the top. But these are very yum for a first attempt.

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Summer Lazy

It’s been a few days since I wrote anything, but summer is settling in to a pattern.

Work is somewhat miserable right now. It’s July, so there’s a whole new crop of residents. You know the joke that says don’t get sick in July? Yeah, no joke. But we also have a new computer system as of a month ago. It seemed to work fine at first, but the deeper into it we get, the more small things there are to trip over, and everyone is on everyone else’s last nerve because nothing meshes quite right.

The weather hasn’t helped, either. A string of days with highs well over 90, some approaching 100…to the point that low-80s is considered a cold snap just isn’t much fun. Luckily, the big storms mostly missed this part of the state, so no big power outages.

And there are definitely some good things to this summer. Lots of range time. Just about every week, if not more than once in some weeks! Yesterday, for example. I was just running through my head trying to figure out how many rounds I’d gone through (and figure at least as much again for my shooting buddy).
— 100 rounds through the HK.40 (I really had forgotten how much fun that thing is to shoot)
— 60 rounds through the M&P.22
— 200 rounds through the Walther.22 (first time with enough magazines to make shooting this one worthwhile, and it’s awesome! Definitely worth having waited for the 5″ barrel, too.)
— 100 rounds through the M&P 15-22

And yesterday was just Monday. After tonight, I’m off the rest of this week, so I can’t imagine not getting to the range at least once more.

I’m enjoying summer this year.

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