Sunday, March 14, 2010

Questioning my abilities

I'm starting to question my abilities in the kitchen, in particular as it relates to baking.

Baking has never been one of my favorite activities in the kitchen (I think it's the flour that seems to go everywhere when I bake), but lately, it's been a disaster.

A couple days ago I made a batch of Irish soda bread from a recipe I found on Food Network.  Nice enough recipe, but the resulting 'dough' was overly moist, and could not be handled without more flour incorporated into it.  I did that, but it was still quite limp.  I ended up putting it in a loaf pan.  That worked fine.  As the 45 minute mark in the oven arrived, I started testing it for doneness.  My pick came out wet.  Another 5 minutes.  Still wet.  Another 5.  Seemed OK now.  Mind you, I did a batch of fruit cake around Christmas that was an utter disaster -- a mucky mess inside -- despite the fact that my testing pick came out clean.  So I've become a bit skittish about how valid a test the "toothpick" test is.

The resulting soda bread was tasty, but clearly overbaked.  And frankly not sweet enough for me.

I called Dad, who makes soda bread every year.  I got his recipe, which was nearly identical to the one I used with the exception that it had much more sugar (good), but also more buttermilk.  He always bakes his in a loaf pan, so no worries.

The batter for that batch was very runny, but heck, it was going into a loaf pan, so shouldn't be any issue.  OK, it was a bit full, but maybe, like muffins, it wouldn't rise too, too much. 

I was wrong.  I created The Soda Bread from the Black Lagoon. 

 No loss, however.  The squirrels will be happy with the scraps I'll throw to them, and the loaf itself came out fine, and tasted lovely.

 Final specimen.


  1. Sooooo funny Dave. My husband and I enjoyed your story. I'm sure it tasted delicious!

  2. Yum. All your recipes sound delicious. I'll have to try them.


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