Archive for September, 2012

Whole Wheat Loaves

This was a good project! I love making bread and this is the first time that I felt I did it right! Here are some things I have to note about this TWD baking project:

* Malt is a difficult ingredient to track down! I checked various places in the store where I might find malt – not sure of what state of matter I would find it in – and still came up short. In my grocery store, I could not find it in the a) baking aisle; b) health food section; c) international foods; or d) refrigerated dairy products (you never know).

* I learned that malt can be a solid or a liquid. Since I found neither, I cannot validate this information. (I got this from a google search.)

* The data base in stores is questionable. When asking if they stocked malt, my hope surged when I went to the information desk and found a staffer playing with the computer. Well, was I surprised when I found that the data base isn’t used for finding what’s in stock at all. You must have a bar code number to look a product up. This seems a bit of a hole in customer service. . .

* I learned that the staffer, a very young and very pretty girl-woman, did not know what malt was when asked. Okay.  When I mentioned malted milks, it still didn’t register. I next mentioned beer making and there was a connection. I finally told her I was using it to bake bread. She asked if I had checked the baking aisle and I indicated that I checked this section 3 times  as well as the other sections (see above). She confirmed my original conclusion – “If you couldn’t find it, we don’t have it.”  Okay.  As I was leaving, she stopped me and asked, “So, if someone else comes up to me and asks for malt, I can assure them that we don’t have it?” (hmmmm) I assured her that this was the case.

* Using the TWD Comments was very helpful as the first thing I read was that a substitute for malt – molasses. It was their first thing I read and immediately signed off and ripped that jar of molasses out of the frig and began to bake (well, I did wait for it to get to room temp. . .) What I learned here was to stop agonizing about ingredients that are ‘hard to find.’ Check out the comments – someone will have the solution!

* I learned that my very expensive mixer can knead bread quite well. Still, when I felt a little warmth on the machine, I pulled the dough out and began to knead. Ten minutes was a good long time for my arthritic fingers.

* I learned that I can make good bread! Yea for meeeeeeee!!!!!!!! I did it!!!!!  And it works as toast and a base for melted cheddar cheese!

* I learned that I liked watching Julia/Julie the movie while I thought about my baking project. Even though, there was no baking in the movie.

Whole Wheat Loaves dough ready for the fold.

Whole Wheat Loaves Cooling Down


Nectarine Upside Down Cake

My nectarine upside down cake (NUDC) was fun to make. I really felt in control and moved along quite nicely. I was well organized and timed everything well. I was happy with the process.


When I finally turned my NUDC over, the results wasn’t pretty. First, I was not so happy with the color. Looks like a blackened NUDC! I pulled it out of the oven when the toothpick came clean – so I was disappointed in how unattractive it looked. I sear it could have been a Halloween cake (which is a thought for next month).

Lake Nectarine forms in the center

Then I watched the center sink and a pool of butter and nectarine juice pooled in the center. I blotted it, but that didn’t help and I watched Lake Nectarine form. This really got me upset since I was already disappointed in the color, now I have to contend with erosion. I quickly cut a piece of the cake to form Nectarine Falls. This helped. And a slice actually looked better, with the exception of that awful color of the topping.  I did serve it.  And the cake and struesel turned out fabulous.  I loved the lemon flavor, the lightness of the cake and the crunch of the filling. So, I scraped off the top which was soggy beyond belief, and ate the cakey part. At least for a few slices! While I really don’t like upside down cakes, I was glad that I tried this one!

Looking somewhat better, slice by slice.