Sunday, January 02, 2011

Baking Resolutions for 2011

I'm all over the blogosphere making resolutions for 2011 today. I've always been a big believer in setting goals, but last year's resolutions were pretty vague or huge, and I didn't do them very well. This year I'm setting resolutions for gardening and cooking as well, because there are some things I want to do!

Picking five baking resolutions was difficult. I want to try the ones I failed this year again, but I've made some of them more specific so I'm more likely to accomplish them. I could use some feedback on #5, and you'll see why!

1. Find a go-to pound cake recipe
Now that I'm a southerner, it is almost blasphemy that I don't have a go-to pound cake. I've been collecting recipes this year from Facebook and blog feeds, and I'm excited to try a few of them out. I don't mind using someone else's recipe as my go-to recipe, but maybe I can tweak one and really make it my own. Most traditional pound cake recipes are passed down, so if you want to pass me yours, please do!

2. Trifle - make one.  
Yeah, this might look familiar since it was an unfulfilled goal for 2010. Poor, lonely, anxious trifle dish. Luckily, this will pair nicely with resolution #1. I also have my "Take Back the Tea Party" event coming up on election day, so that would be more than appropriate!

3. Poured fondant.
Last year I made a pretty nebulous cake resolution. This is one of the ways I've broken it down. I've never made poured fondant, and I want to find a classic recipe to have in my back pocket. I would accept using it on cupcakes or to make petits fours, but at least one of those things. Luckily I have some baby showers coming up that this would be perfect for.

4. Rolled fondant
It's baaaaaack! I have only made the marshmallow variety, and have fully intended to make the classic rolled fondant. I've even had long conversations through blog commenting about it, and know whose recipe I want to try first. I just need to DO it.

5. Savory breads 
This is the one I really need help with. I need to find a way to make it more specific, or quantifiable. I don't want to do multi-day sourdough beast bread yet, maybe in 2012. First I just want to get more comfortable with yeast baking, kneading, rising, the usual. I have Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I have Baking with Julia. I have the Bread Baker's Apprecntice. I have the recipes but don'to know where to start. Any suggestions? I made a similar resolution last year and did nothing!

There it is. Resolutions I rejected but might happen anyway (because once they attach in my brain I can't get rid of them) include the brioche tart that made Julia Child cry, raw cheesecake, and gum paste flowers.

What are your baking goals for 2011?


Jennifer @ Jennifer's Treasured Recipes said...

If your looking for a good pound cake recipe, I recommend this Sour Cream Pound Cake from Taste of Home:

It's really tender and it has a nice dairy flavor. The original recipe has chocolate chips in it, but you can skip the chips and it's still great.

Anyway, good luck with your resolutions this year!

Barbara Bakes said...

They look like fun resolutions. Definitely try Cream Cheese Pound Cake Love it!

poetressforgod said...

Artisan bread in 5 min a day is like my bible. Only thing is, i only use like 3 recipes form it. The basic recipe is AWESOME, and makes delicious bread once you get the hang of it. I do pretty much follow their very specific instructions, except the part about using the scoop and sweep flour measuring method. I would be interested in trying some of the recipes at the same time as you if you are interested. i could also pass along my nummy nummy buttermilk bread recipe. Those 2 are my bread staples. i need to find a good wheat bread staple recipe.

Baking Soda said...

Happy New Year!

In yeast baking, try Peter Reinhart first before you tackle any of the other. See the list on page 46 and pick one that's in the "direct" and the "standard" category; marbled rye bread for instance?

David T. Macknet said...

Oooh, #5!

OK, here's 2 things that I've been known to do:
* substitute 1/4 of the water in your dough for wine (red, white, doesn't matter)
* In that same dough (or in another dough without the wine), throw in some ground rosemary, some chopped onion, minced garlic, some roughly-chopped green olives, and maybe some capers.

Those 2 things will give you some awesome, faux-sourdough bread, or at least a truly yummy herbed loaf. I'd say that, if you're doing 4 loaves, you'd want 3 "twigs" of rosemary, probably 1 large onion, 1 Tbsp garlic, 2 Cups green olives, and maybe 2 Tbsp capers.

Good luck, and do post any results!

Kristi said...

New follower. Great resolutions and yummy-sounding recipes.

Kristi @
Veggie Converter

Anita said...

Happy New Year!! It's great to hear your baking resolutions. Mine are pretty vague this year... but I would like to cook something new each week :)

Jane said...

Hi Jenny,
All interesting baking goals! I can really relate to your last goal, especially. It took me a while to overcome my own fear of certain types of yeast baking. I'd like to suggest you try this simple and very delicious Italian bread with an herb and garlic crust that I did a post about a few months ago. It's a great starting point, and almost foolproof. Here's the link, in case you're interested.

Good luck!
:) Jane

MusicLibrarian248 said...

My friend and I have started experimenting with yeast breads this past year and she stumbled across a great book titled "No need to knead" by Suzanne Dunaway (unfortunately out of print but check your local library for a copy). It contains a very forgiving focaccia dough recipe that you can turn into other types of bread and top with a variety of cheeses or herbs. I recommend that book as a great place to start. Have fun with you resolutions.


Amanda Evans