kitchen crazy

I don’t know if it was nervous energy, spring excitement, boredom, or just an extreme carb craving, but for some reason the urge to bake possessed me recently!  I started with the trusty recipe for boule from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  If you missed the original post, you can catch up here.

three mounds of dough rising on parchment-lined baking sheets     artisan bread cooling on wire racks

Then I tried a new recipe from the same cookbook.  Thus far I’d been so pleased with boule I hadn’t branched out, but it was time.  With the addition of butter and eggs, I created challah dough.  (I forgot to add the honey called for in the recipe, but it didn’t end up making a difference–at least not that I noticed.)  From that dough, I shaped little beignets.

beignets on a glass cake standThat only took half the dough, so I went ahead and baked the remaining dough into two loaves of challah, which went straight into the freezer once they cooled, because we did not need more bread on the loose!

But meringues couldn’t hurt anything, right?  I had some egg whites left after another recipe that called for only the yolks.  The whites needed purpose.  So I gave my mixer the mission of building some character into them.

kitchen aid mixer whipping egg whites

While I waited for that to happen, I processed white sugar into a homemade version of caster sugar, which would soon sweeten the meringues.

granulated sugar on the left; powdery "caster" sugar on the right

The idea is that you need finer sugar so it will easily dissolve into the meringues, preventing a grainy feel.  Granulated sugar is on the left, while granulated sugar after a few good whirls in the food processor is on the right.  It’s not actual caster sugar, but it’s finer than when I dumped it in there.

Hours and hours later, here is what emerged from the low-temp oven.  (I let it cool after baking all that bread: the meringues needed just 200 degrees to do their thing, and extra time drying in the cooling oven after it was turned off.)  What divas….

white meringue cookies on a glass cake plate

And since man cannot live on bread (and cookies) alone, I made a little dinner while I was at it: pan-seared chicken breast and a Mediterranean chopped salad. Bright tomatoes, cool cucumbers, kalamata olives, feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper might not add up to a truly seasonal meal, but the lightness seemed fitting for spring.

mediterranean chopped salad

Of course, that kitchen storm left my least-favorite sort of aftermath.  No, not indigestion–a sink brimming with dishes.

sink full of bowls, cutting boards, and other cooking utensils

On the plus side, I have so many things in my freezer now that I won’t need another baking marathon any time soon!  Here’s to working ahead, even if there’s a formidable mess to clean afterward.  The payoff in bread products will be my lasting reward.

Advertisements
Previous Post
Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. Cayla

     /  May 4, 2012

    It all looks so beautiful and delicious! and i LOVE a Greek salad! Yum!

    Reply
  2. Diana Fahrenholtz

     /  June 3, 2012

    Whew, you packed a lot into that day. Everything looks yummy. Hubby must love these kind of days!

    Reply

Add your two cents:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: