Baking, Who am I kidding?
I've always felt that cooking is a little more difficult than baking. There are so many ingredients, various styles and techniques required to cook a good meal. I just thought with baking, just follow the directions and you get delicious cake or fresh bread. Thats what I thought. Well, during this "Shelter In Place" I had a lot of time to burn. Cooking is my passion but every once in awhile, I'd like to try different things, like baking!.
My daughter and myself love a nice French baquette. I always wondered how's it made, a little yeast, some flour and a tray of water in the oven to make that crispiness.
This wouldn't be the first time I tried to bake. Once upon a time I tried to make cupcakes. The recipe asks for soft butter. My rationale was whatever way to melt butter was ok. Wrong, first lesson, when a recipe asks for soft butter that doesn't mean melted butter.
So, that mistake won't be repeated.
Well, I took a look at the recipe for a French Baquette. I followed it to a T and saw the dough rise twice., so far so good but when the recipe said to form a baquette like shape and lay it on a cookie sheet, I did on parchment paper. Stuck the tray of water in the preheated oven to create steam which will make a crusty bread. But when I placed the baqueete on the parchment paper it had no body. After putting it in the oven, it was flat, no body, no firmness.
So, I said maybe I'll go back to basics and try making a simple chocolate chip cookies. But review of this simple recipe I noticed that the recipe required 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar. I felt its way too much sugar. Then I was thinking what about substituting white sugar with Stevia but 1/2 cup and brown sugar 1/2 cup. Well, even though Stevia may be a good sugar substitute, using it for baking may not be the best nd cutting the quantity down for white and brown sugar definitely has an effect on the overall consistency and chewiness of the cookie.
The cookies I thought was suppose to melt down so to speak by putting a clump of batter on the parchment paper. The cookies did bake but never melted down. The next batch I flattened the dough, in the final analysis, the cookies were brittle and very heavy?
That was the straw that broke the camels back. I will never bake anything ever again. Baking is a precision craft an exact science.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
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