Monday, January 28, 2008

Baking Class...Baby Steps

As a cook, I tend to cook by instinct. Recipes are nice- as guides, for the most part, and after years of cooking and eating all over the world, I can usually get a mental taste if not picture of the expected result. But baking. Ah...there's the rub, often a butter and flour rub! After many foolhardy attempts at desserts that involve some form of baking, I was gently chastised by a dear friend. "This is chemistry dear. The ingredients are listed AS IS for a reason. And yes, that is why you ended up with little cakes, not cookies." Fortunately, I have no hesitation about eating unusually formed confections.

But I had once been an instinctive bread baker, back in my days as a fairly new mother happily creating that luscious scent of bread in the oven. I knew by practice when to add more flour, when to add more liquid and my young arms and wrists enjoyed the exercise of kneading on an English wooden table, albeit a Conran English table. But fast forward 40 years, and the arms and wrists balk at long kneading. The Maryland climate is not the weather associated in my memory banks with bread making and so I must learn from others. A one day class of Artisan Bread baking leaves me fairly sure I can relearn. But trips to and on the West Coast and holidays delay my practice - both in the kitchen and in my life. I need more instruction.

I go back for a 3 day baking class. Bring on the Flour!!

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