Monday, 23 February 2015

Stay inside and stay warm Part 2

Did I mention it has been cold? Well it has. Very cold. We need a new word for cold its that damn cold. I have decided the best way to stay warm is by staying inside - genius, I know! But what can you do indoors day in and day out to stay warm? Bake! Bake all the yummy things your pantry will allow and get that oven cranked up to heat your house!

I have attempted two apple cheddar quick bread loaves following this recipe. Both turned out pretty good, not perfect, but certainly edible enough for me to have to make that second loaf, having demolished the first one in about two days. I did tweak the recipe however, using olive oil in place of canola oil and while baking the second loaf I lowered the temperature to 375 degrees, since 400 seemed too high the first time around and left me with a loaf that was rather brown on the outside while still a bit under-cooked inside. I may still experiment with the recipe as I have found the loaves are a bit too moist and dense, not as bread-like as I had hoped.

Next up were cookies. I made two types of cookies, first was chocolate chip following this recipe. They turned out great and made a very large batch. If you are going to make these be sure to follow the baking times closely. I thought the cookies looked underdone so left them to bake for another few minutes when they really were done the first time I checked. They were a bit on the crunchy side because of my own doing. The second batch of cookies I made were sesame tahini cookies following this recipe. I figured I would give them a go because I had all the ingredients on hand and I often have a hard time getting through an entire jar of tahini before it goes bad. Again, follow the recipe and don't leave them in the oven longer than recommended - I have a bad habit of this! The only change I made to this recipe was to roll the cookie tops in cinnamon sugar with some extra sesame seeds rather than just the raw sugar the recipe called for. The cookies turned out really well and I have really enjoyed them - they are definitely different than your usual cookie and remind me a bit of shortbread.

Finally I whipped up another quick bread, this time a cheddar jalapeno loaf following this recipe. I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, but I used pickled jalapenos. The bread turned out really well. I am not sure how much the pickled jalapenos may have changed the flavor of the bread but I am happy with the outcome.

Sadly I still have issues with eating bread. I basically stopped eating bread altogether because I was always left feeling not great (serious indigestion) after consuming pretty much any bread product. I thought for a while it was the yeast in the bread that was doing it but I have come to realize it is likely the flour - maybe an issue with gluten? I am torturing myself by eating what I have baked over the past few days and if I don't want to keep feeling like crap I am going to have to try some gluten-free recipes.

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