Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bread follow-up

Life is too short to make things you can buy at the store.  Like whole wheat bread.  Uncle!  My latest batch of rolls did rise somewhat, but they're just so dense and dry that I wonder why I bother.  And I realized that the Wegmans wheat pizza dough contains "unbleached wheat flour" which I now realize is code for white flour, so I guess the answer to making better whole wheat bread is to not make it whole wheat.  Fail.  Half and half with whole wheat pastry flour?  I'm just not motivated to try that right now.

Now I want to learn something more like the artisanal wheat/seed/multigrain bread in our grocery store bakery.  Most of the time I'm too cheap to buy it.  And I avoid going to Wal-Mart, but if I'm there I will buy their lovely and affordable wheat loaf. By the way, it's a lot easier for me to type artisanal than to say it.  Ar TIS ' nul?  Artist anal?

Other things I want to recreate at home...  Corn risotto a la Village Square, also their Bordelaise sauce, chicken burritos a la Chipotle, Outback's blueberry martini, PF Chang's chicken lettuce wraps, Ruth's Chris creme brulee.... 

Thanks to my friend Jill I am now hooked on Winter Energy Cookies, smething between a cookie and granola bar.  I have tried "healthy cookie" recipes and have given up trying to reconcile that oxymoron.  Bring on the molasses and cranberries!  My parents gave me a KitchenAid hand mixer for Christmas and it is a champ with thick batter like this.  My arm is now the weak link.  Probably because I've been shirking the gym on account of my cold.  I miss the mixer lift in our old house.  It made my stand mixer so convenient, but now I don't have a spare cabinet.

Also on my mind this week, other than the usual Olivia and jewelry orders and laundry:  Getting my lampwork station set up in the garage which involves a hole in the exterior wall for a vent hood, my parents' upcoming birthdays, dreaming about a Subaru Outback, still-unfinished Christmas gifts (gah!), my dear friend Reid, my brother, my Titus 2 girls. 

Hope all of you are snug and happy!  Punxutawney Phil says spring is just around the corner.


Anonymous said...

Just in case you ever try whole wheat bread again...don't use whole wheat pastry flour. It doesn't have enough gluten in it to work with the yeast. It only works well in recipes that do not require yeast. How about the next time I make whole wheat bread, I'll just send a loaf over to you? Then you can have the bread without the frustration of having to figure out why it didn't rise. And also, I make my wheat pizza dough with half white flour because it's just too heavy.

Anonymous said...

I believe that PF Changs has the recipe for their lettuce wraps on their website.