Today I want to talk about baking! I'm really excited to be baking. It's not something I've ever been good at. The only times I really had anything turn out was when I was about to have a baby. Baking was my “nesting”. Rather than cleaning (which I really probably should have), I would always start freaking out, thinking, “I can't be a mom! I don't know how to make cookies or pies or fudge!” (which turns out to be more a refrigerator thing than a baking thing. Which shows you how much I know.)
With the kids out of the house and in public school, I have so much free time lately. I'm in need of some hobbies – and taking suggestions, by the way – and I decided to learn how to bake for real. I tackled biscuits first, but I tried drop biscuits which is really kind of a cheat. Then I made my Grandma's cinnamon roll recipe. They weren't quite as good as I remember Grandma's being, but they were still good and fully recognizable as cinnamon rolls. I'm still tweaking that recipe. I burnt them the first time I tried, back when I first got the recipe. I think either the temperature is a typo or my oven runs way hotter than hers. This time I cooked them for 12 minutes instead of 20, and they were a nice golden brown. I might try on a lower temperature next time and see if that's any better.
Today I made a whipped shortbread recipe that I found on facebook. It was a pretty simple recipe and turned out pretty decent. Had a cherry in the middle. Ivy really liked them.
I had to buy some loaf pans, but I'm ready to try to tackle bread. I'm thinking about trying this Amish White Bread recipe a friend shared with me. I don't have any bread flour though. Would all purpose or self rising work about the same? I'd like to try to make banana bread, but Maya is a banana fool and never leaves any long enough to turn. Maybe I can hide a stash or talk her into saving some for a bread experiment.
I need to get a pie pan. I'd like to learn to make pie crusts, for both fruity pies and meat pies. I have a pen pal from the UK who sent me a mincemeat pie recipe and was nice enough to do conversions and everything, but I got the letter when I was super-sick and now I can't find where I put it. I'm feeling pretty awful about that. I'm hoping I'll find it when I clean up my bedroom this week. If not, I'll look up another recipe and give it a try anyway. I probably need to get special tins for that anyway.
Are you a baker? Will you share your favorite recipe?