Friday, March 13, 2009

Adventures in Cookbooking -- Week 4

Again I'm surprised that I own a book this popular, and I've never used it before. This week was How to Bake: Complete Guide to Perfect Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Tarts, Breads, Pizzas, Muffins by Nick Malgieri.
It's a great read. And I know I've looked through it a number of times. But somehow, for some reason, this was the first time I cooked from it.
I chose a recipe called Soft Rolls. Pretty basic, hard to mess up, right? Ok, except I did. I'm not a novice with yeast. I am very comfortable with it. I make bread once or twice a month. Yet I could not get this recipe to work. I have to think it's user error, but I'm not sure where I went wrong.
The recipe gave options for a stand mixer, food processor, bread machine, and by hand. I have a Cuisinart that has a dough setting and a special dough blade. Easy! I follow the instructions. I mix the (maybe) seven ingredients. I put it in a greased bowl in a warm-ish place. I cover with plastic wrap. And nothing. Not a bit of a rise. Not even three hours later.
Ah well. I shaped it into rolls regardless. Maybe now they'll rise! Nope. In the oven with the heat? Yeah! Now they'll rise.
Nope. They were dense little nuggets of dough. I'll put the blame on my shoulders for now. Perhaps I'll test another recipe and see what happens.
So far, it's one keeper recipe as is, one keeper with modifications, one keeper for adults only, and one not-so-keeper. I'm on the look out for an easy roll recipe. We'll see what next week brings!
See, not soft in any way, shape, or form.
Hard, sad little rolls.


Megan said...

I had that book - and I had trouble with quite a few of the recipes. Not sure if that makes you feel better or worse!

Kristin said...

Oh that is sad! I'm in the middle of making my first loaf of bread right now (recipe came with the Williams Sonoma pan I just bought). It's rising, but I'm nervous. There were some parts that were not as smooth, so I'm afraid there is going to be some Operator Error with this loaf!!

lainie said...

Poor little things.

Did you ever wind up baking that other bread you were telling me about, the one that takes days to make?