The Great Baking Escapade Begins

One of the initial issues of the 2020 Pandemic was a shortage of toilet paper, flour, and yeast. I am now the proud owner of 97 rolls of TP from a restaurant supplier and a 25-pound bag of flour from Costco. Yeast is still a touch-and-go situation. This is the first in a series of blogs of baking my way through 25 pounds of flour. So you know, I’m not much of a baker.

Alexia with Big Bag of Flour

My experience with baking is mostly limited to my time in Food Lab while an undergrad nutrition student. For some reason, an RD’s education including many hours devoted to baking. There is a lot of chemistry involved in cooking foods and this is especially true for baking. A lot happens from the initial mixing to the final cooking of quick breads and yeast breads. After my schooling, I have only made the occasional muffins.

I’m a well-educated novice.

My first two recipes were both for my husband’s birthday. I made cornbread as a side dish to his requested ribs. I followed that up with a mini-cake.

The cornbread recipe is here courtesy of Ina Garten and the Food Network. Trust me on this, you do NOT want to know the nutrition info on this one. It’s a bunch of cheesy, jalapeno-ey deliciousness. Just let all those nutrition concerns go and enjoy this recipe.

Cornbread in Pan and Sliced on Cutting Board

This was a very simple recipe. Not much to report baking-wise. The cornbread turned out okay, but it was more of a southern-style cakey-cornbread (due to the 3:1 ratio of flour to cornmeal). While delicious and a huge portion, I will not be making this one again.

Next up was a mini-cake with this recipe from Dessert for Two.

This was a more detailed recipe and all did not go as well as planned! The final product was very good – nice flavor, good crumb, perfect amount of sweetness that makes you go mmmmm without being too overpowering.

My biggest lesson from this recipe was that it does no good to melt butter for a recipe if your next step is to mix it with cold milk. The melted butter turns right back into solid butter! This could absolutely have been anticipated… yet I did not anticipate it. Next time I make this, because this one is a good recipe, I will make sure my milk is not cold before I start!

I should add that this was my first attempt at trying to actually decorate a cake. Don’t judge!

And while my husband liked the frosting, I prefer a frosting with cream cheese.

Follow my blog for more posts about the Great Baking Escapade and learn along with me!

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