Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just Like Heaven

After the tree guys were gone, I spent Saturday afternoon cleaning and reorganizing my baking cabinets in preparation for a special project.

I have this corner cabinet in my kitchen where I store my flour, sugar, grains, pasta, etc. It is kind of a pain because of the weird angles inside the cabinets, but I try to make it work. Earlier this week, I used my birthday gift card from M to buy new canisters for my baking goods (thanks, M!). I already have these cool ones that Mother and Father of Ken gave me for Christmas a few years ago, but the openings are too small for a 1 cup measure to fit inside. So, I decided to repurpose those canisters for other things (coffee, vanilla sugar, cake flour, and whole wheat pastry flour) and move everything else into the new canisters that have larger openings. After I washed all of the canisters and started moving things around earlier this week, I ended up shoving them all back in the cabinet to get them off of the counter. It looked like this, which drives me crazy:
Everything came out of the cabinet, I scrubbed the shelves, got rid of some things, and reorganized (I love to reorganize!):

I have to work more on the top shelf, but never fear, gentle readers--I have a plan.

The next cabinet that needed help was the spice and smaller baking goods cabinet:

Again, everything came out, everything was scrubbed, some things were thrown away, and I ended up with this:

I have a long list of spices that I need to replace (some of those things came with me from Dallas four years ago), so I'll save some money and then hit Penzey's--I can't wait!

Now on to my special project. We did an instructed Eucharist at church today and part of the commentary was about how in the early church, people would bring small loaves of bread with them to use for communion. So, I thought that it would be nice for us to have some homemade communion bread for today's service. I used a recipe from the Virginia Theological Seminary. This recipe has six ingredients, beginning with whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt:

All of the dry ingredients went into the bowl of my mixer:

Here are the wet ingredients: honey, water, and oil. I really like this view of everything in the measuring cup.

I stirred the wet ingredients together and then poured them into the dry ingredients, mixing them with the dough hook:

I let the dough hook knead the bread for about five minutes and then I cut the ball of dough into twelve equal pieces:

Then I had to roll each piece out into a circle six inches in diameter (I used a small plate to cut the circle):

Once the larger circle was finished, I had to use a juice glass to make a smaller circular indentation in the center of the bread and then I used a sharp knife to score the edges:

I baked all of them on Silpat to make sure they wouldn't stick and baked them until the edges were just slightly browned:

I ended up with eleven loaves because one got a little too brown. This was more than enough for today, so we froze the rest to use another time.

In other baking news, I made
peach muffins today to use up the extremely ripe peaches that I bought on Friday. This is an Emeril recipe and, while I generally avoid his recipes because of his off-putting personality, this one looked really good, so I decided to give it a try. I only made half of the recipe and ended up with a dozen nice-sized muffins. If I make this again, I will use more peaches (I used one cup, but I think that 1 and 1/2 cups would be better), but the muffins were tender and flavorful and the pecan topping was light and crunchy.

So, yay for successful and delicious baking--try these peach muffins if you get a chance. I don't think you'll be disappointed.


Leah said...

I want those peach muffins right now. Buy more peaches and bring them to me. (And you can't have too much peach in peach-flavored baked goods. Case in point - the last cupcakes I made.)

Leah said...

I made these peach muffins and the topping on yours looks way better than the topping on mine. Mine wasn't crumbly enough. Bear in mind that this is not stopping my coworkers from eating them, nor did it stop me from eating the leftover topping. But yeah, I got in a fight with it.