Well at least one thing went right – melting butter – no knead bread

Okee-dokee, I’m going to give you all heads-up:
*The first part of this post will be about an easier method that I found to melt butter in the microwave. This is the one thing that went right for me.
*The second part of this post is a too-long rambling story about my trying to make a no-knead sandwich bread going by a recipe video. The bread turned out dreadful due to a flicker of bad luck.

So, you’re welcome to read one part and not the other part or both parts or neither parts.
You’re welcome to comment on any part or no parts of this post. lol
Thanks so much for visiting, I appreciate it. ūüôā

Melting butter in the microwave
Whenever a recipe calls for melted butter (Margerine, oleo), Instead of using the stove, I use the microwave. Most of the time, I pretty much have a splattered mess, no matter how careful I am to cover and vent a deep bowl with chopped up butter.
Then today, I had an idea, that worked quite well for me.
I chopped the butter up. put it in a small glass bowl, put the bowl in a plastic bag, I left the bag open.
I set the bag in the microwave and heated it for 10 seconds at a time until it gradually melted the butter.
I waited several minutes to let it cool, then carefully removed the bowl and my melted butter was ready to use.
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The Sad Sandwich Bread
I’m not much for following recipes on videos. I’m old school, I’m better at following written directions and photos are helpful too.
So, whilst feeding my newest distraction of watching videos, a bread baking video popped up in the feed. It was for a no-knead sandwich bread. I thought that sounds like a good idea. I watched the video. It was simple enough instructions.
I gathered my ingredients, set them on the counter and let them warm to room temperature. I even used a thermometer to check they were warm enough.
I followed the directions, except for the amount of liquid. I left out 1/2 cup because when I added it to my flour mix, the mix started to become too soupy. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a pre-heated microwave and left it to rise.
(I use my ‘turned-off’ microwave as a hot box. It keeps the heat in quite well.)
I let the dough rise for 30 minutes, checked on it and it looked like it was doaming quite nicely. The recipe called for a 40-minute rise. So, against my better judgement, I left it 10 more minutes. Not a good idea. It started to flatten on top. I should have stopped at 30 minutes. I figured that perhaps, it wouldn’t matter all that much.
The dough was nice and sticky and stringy, just like the video showed it should be.
It laid in the pan just as the video had shown.
As instructed, I let it proof for 40 more minutes.
My oven was preheated and ready to bake this yeasty wonder.
I put the pan in the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes. I finished cleaning up the dishes. I folded a load of laundry and then went in the livingroom and watched Holiday Baking Shows with Shelibean.
After about 10 minutes the electric flickered, but I paid it no mind. Nothing turned off, not the lights nor even the tv. It’s not unusual for the electric to flicker, it’s normal for us.
After 30 minutes I checked on the bread. It was not baking pretty and hadn’t risen in the center like it should have. I’ve not baked too many breads that didn’t get a nice rise in the oven. The flat middle was a frustration for me.

I went online and looked up the reasons for bread not rising in the middle. None of the reasons fit my situation, except when I read that temperature might be too low.
I thought that could be it. I kind of suspected the temperature might need to be a bit hotter than the recipe called for, but it’s been a long time since I baked a yeast bread, so I trusted the recipe.

I went into the kitchen. I saw the digital stove display thing read 350. I thought, yep, that’s got to be it. It’s too low. So, I went to the stove to raise the heat and discovered that the darned oven was turned off.
Well, shucks, it must’ve turned off when the electric flickered. I was not happy. The 350 on the digital stove display wasn’t the degrees, it was the time 3:50.
I’m such idiot. lol
I turned the oven on 375¬į and left the bread in the oven. After the oven heated, I let the bread bake for 25 minutes and then left it to brown deeper on top for 10 more minutes.
I took the pan out of the oven and set it on a rack. The loaf looked awkward, but it sounded hollow when thumped. I hoped it was baked through.
I buttered the top good and proper. The recipe said that buttery the top when it’s first out of the oven, will keep it soft like a good sandwich bread should be.
The loaf came out of the pan beautifully, which gave me even more confidence that perhaps, it was going to be okay after all.
My husband looked at the loaf. He said, “It’s not a bad looking bread. It might surprise you and be just fine.”
I said, “Yes, but it’s a sad looking bread.”
It sliced easily. The first few slices looked almost good; however, it wasn’t baked thoroughly. It was doughy to the touch. It wasn’t exactly good enough to eat, the bit around the edges were, but that was it.
My husband was a good sport and toasted some of it, but that didn’t help. I thanked him for being a sweetheart and trying to make it okay.
I sliced it in half lengthways to show how dreadful and raw it was on the inside. I guess the tunneling cavern is the reason it sounded hollow.

I hate that it was such a sorry loaf of bread, but it was fun trying the new recipe. I think I’ll stick to the bread recipes that I’m familiar with.
Or perhaps, I’ll try this one again.
I can’t say for sure.
At least I got a blog post out of it.

If you stayed with me through my ramblings this far, I thank you ever so much. ūüôā

I wish you all a wonderful rest of the week full of happiness with baking or crafting or thinking about good times or going out and enjoying the sunshine.

 


 

Chicken Cordon Bleu

The other day, I was watching an old black and white movie and a woman in the movie said that she had made ‘Chicken Cordon Bleu’.
I’d heard of cordon bleu entr√©es several times over the years, but usually in reference to a restaurant menu. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that it could be made at home. I wondered just how hard it would be to make.
I went surfing around and came upon a really good recipe and decided to give it a go. I’m surprised at how easy the ‘Homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu’ recipe is to make.

This is one of the few recipes that I made real close to the published recipe.
I used:
Panko bread crumbs
Deli Black Forest Ham
Swiss Cheese slices
I didn’t use toothpicks, the chicken stayed rolled up quite nicely without them.
I checked the internal temperature of the chicken and made sure it was over 165¬į. I’m real careful about that.

I served the Chicken Cordon Bleu with baked squash and a baked yukon gold potato.
It was a hearty meal and very tasty. My husband sure enjoyed it too.I condsider my attempt at making Chicken Cordon Bleu a success. I’m always happy to add another tasty recipe to our menu.

Have you tried any recipes that were inspired by a mention on a movie or tv show?
Was it a success?

Wishing you a successful rest of the week.

 

 

recipe can be found at:
Taste of Home – Homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu

 

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Different kinds of Flats

Recently, I was in search of a pan to make individual small round flat corn bread pones. I thought in might be a nice change from my normal pone of cornbread cut in wedge slices. I shopped through all the cake pans and settle on a whoopie pie pan, it seemed the perfect one for my needs. It took me a month of shopping and watching sales before I finally ordered one.For some reason the name ‘Flats’ was going around in my mind in relation to my recipes I was planning to bake in my new pan.
I was glad to get the pan, but had no need for a batch of cornbread flats, so I made a batch of coconut flats. It’s my recipe. They have a light cakey taste.. (yes, I know they’re not flat-flat, but I still call them coconut flats anyway.)

The next batch that I made I adjusted my recipe and made pumpkin flats. The pumpkin flats have a firm-pie-like texture. They tried to stick to the pan. I got them out quickly. As they cooled, we could easily pick them up and eat them by hand.

My next batch of flats was the muffin ones. I’ve made these a couple of times. They’re a nice change from the norm.

I still haven’t made the cornbread flats, but I plan to someday. I plan to make more different kinds of flats. They’re fun to make and a different way to enjoy regular food stuff.

What do you think, am I an old silly-heart
or do you think flats is a good idea?

update 12-1-2017- Here’s a photo of my cornbread flats. I’ll probably make cornbread flats more than regular cornbread from now on.20171128_180521

related post: Chicken slow cooker pot pie and Muffin Flats

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Baked Donuts

The other night I decided to give my
new Wilton Donut cake pan a try.
I used a regular yellow box cake mix.We really enjoyed these.
We preferred them without frosting
and ate most of them that way.

Although the ones with frosting was a mighty sweet treat too.

It took 13 minutes for them to bake each time. Since I had only one pan it took over 2 hours to bake up all the batter.
As soon as I got near my pc, I ordered a couple more 6 cavity Wilton Donut pans to speed up the process next time.
I thought about getting some silicone pans, but I’ve never used them. I stuck with the trusted metal ones.

I’m curious, have you ever used silicone baking pans?
How did they do? Did you like them?

Here’s wishing you all a week of tasty treats and smiles.

 

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Pumpkin CheeseCake

p1080062-0The stores have started placing shelves in the middle-isles with seasonal baking supplies. Generally, we don’t pay much attention, but the other day¬†a Libby’s Pumpkin Cheesecake mix caught our eye. We decided that since we like pumpkin pie and we also like cheesecake that we may like this mix as well.p1080039We were wrong. Well, not wrong, just disappointed that it tasted too much like a regular old¬†pumpkin pie with a small bit of a tangy taste¬†of cream cheese.

We’re glad we tried it even though we had to throw 3/4 of it away. We won’t be buying it again.
From now on we’ll take our pumpkin pie straight up with maybe a hit of whip cream.

Have a great rest of the week!

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2016 WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Nostalgia

2016 WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge
~Nostalgia~

What kinds of experiences stir emotions for the past within you?

p1060971
Baking a cake always makes me feel nostalgic and always makes me miss my Mom.
My Mom was one of the best cook and bakers that I’ve ever known. I’ve so many fond memories of her culinary creations.
Whenever Mom would put a cake in the oven, she’d warn us not to walk heavy, jump, stomp or run through the house because it would make the cake fall.
With a smile in my heart for Mom, I usually ask my family to walk lightly when I have a cake in the oven.

 Wishing you all sweet nostalgic thoughts
& fun with the WP photo challenge!

*Just a note
I’m guessing a store-bought box cake mix wouldn’t be as apt too fall because they’re so mathematically engineered for maximum results.
I suppose a cake made from scratch with plain flour, baking soda or baking powder might have a bigger chance of falling.

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Old Timey Apple Pie

applepie-1My husband has been reminicing about the homemade apple pies that I used to make. He talked enough to get me wanting an apple pie. I bought a bag of apples and got out my ‘Old Timey Apple Pie’ Recipe. I was particurilarly excited about making a pie because I finally figured out how to make the lattice pie crust and wanted to try it out. It wasn’t as hard to do as I once thought. I used to make the solid pie crust top.

We enjoyed the pie… However, if I ever make it again, I will have to adjust the recipe because it was way too sweet. That’s the thing about the old timey recipes, some are sugar-heavy, this recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups.

All-in-all, it was a pretty decent pie. We enjoyed it over the course of a few days. I enjoyed making the pie and plan to make another one someday with adjustments to the recipe, or maybe another recipe all together.

I hope you all have an enjoyable week.

applepie

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Pumpkin Muffins

0P1050644a2Except for a half teaspoon, I had a full 15oz can of freshly opened pumpkin that I needed to store or use.

puppmknI thought about freezing it in cubes to cook with later on, that’s what I usually do.

My husband suggested that I make cookies or bread with it. That sounded good, but also like a lot of work.

I thought for a bit and decided to add some of it to a box of Jiffy Muffin Mix to make pumpkin muffins.

The first batch, I tried to keep it minimal and only add pumpkin pie spice and some of the canned pumpkin to the Jiffy Mix. Unfortunately, it was a big fail. The muffins were heavy and pretty much tasteless. I promptly tossed them in the trash.

The second batch was a winner though.
0P1050632I started the second batch by adding what I thought would make pumpkin muffins taste sweeter and have a better texture. When I was finished adding a half dozen more ingredients to the Jiffy Mix, my batter was large enough for 12 muffins.  They smelled wonderful and baked up beautifully. Even before I tasted one of them, I was pleased with the results.

To give the muffins a bit more sweetness, I made some strawberry cream topping and served it with the muffins. My husband and I really enjoyed the muffins and the strawberry cream together. The 2 different flavors complimented each other deliciously.

It really is fun for me¬†to make new recipes¬†using familiar and basic products. I’m always pleasantly surprised when after a couple tries I get the recipe right and it turns out tasty and edible.

Do you enjoy adding ingredients to familiar mixes to either spruce them up or make something different? Do you have a favorite?

Wishing you happy cooking!

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Chocolate Ice Cream Bread

chocolatebread1Well, here it is ‘Chocolate Ice Cream Bread’.
It tastes like a cross between a brownie and a chocolate cake.
chocolatebread2I’m happy that I’ve tried all 3 flavors in the Neapolitan ice cream.
It’s an easy recipe and bakes up beautifully.

Wishing you all fun with creative cooking.

 

*I used¬†a¬†small batter made like my¬†basic ‘Boiled Custard Bread’ recipe.
Use melted ice cream instead of boiled custard.
Add flour a little at a time to the melted ice cream until the batter is a creamy consistency.
If you get the batter too thick, thin it with a little bit of water.

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Strawberry Ice Cream Bread

P1050425Well, it was bound to happen, that’s right, I made ‘Strawberry Ice Cream Bread’. One can only¬†bake around with vanilla ice cream or custard for so long before the other flavors become too tempting not to try too.

I had been playing with the idea to use strawberry or chocolate ice cream to make some ice cream bread. I mentioned it to my supportive & wonderful husband and he went out and brought home a gallon of neopolitan ice cream.

P1050416I made a small loaf of strawberry ice cream bread. I’m so amazed how this bread can rise so lovely and come out of the pan without sticking.¬†The strawberry bread¬†has great texture and wonderful taste. I love the pretty color too.

This was such fun to try. Now next up is chocolate. I hope it does as well. I’ll let you know.

Happy creating!

 

*I used¬†a¬†small batter made like my¬†basic ‘Boiled Custard Bread’ recipe.
Use melted ice cream instead of boiled custard.
Add flour a little at a time to the melted ice cream until the batter is a creamy consistency.
If you get the batter too thick, thin it with a little bit of water.

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