Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Growing my Baking Legs

To say that the past week was incredible is an understatement. Never would I have thought that I would ever attempt, much less succeed, at baking anything. In my entire life, the only cake I've ever had or made was from a box....and back home, that's called "from scratch". lol

I had no idea now easy or how tasty "scratch" really was. Is this a lost art? Why aren't more people baking from scratch? It's healthier. No added chemicals or fillers. It's less expensive. No paying for packaging or labor. It TASTES better. A LOT better.

By far, the best of the best from the past few days was the homemade white cake. It had the taste of a cake that I remember eating when I was a little girl. About once a month we would go to visit an a great-uncle & aunt. Every time we'd go, she would have a white sheet cake made and in the refrigerator. (and flat Coke, but that's another story.) Sometimes there was no frosting on it...and it didn't matter. I remember that cake after all these years, and the taste I knew, I'd never forget. It was such a pure flavor. Almost as if you could literally taste every single ingredient. Fast forward to yesterday....

NEWS FLASH....when you only use a few ingredients and make it yourself, you CAN taste every ingredient. I always wondered how she did it. Maybe love was her secret ingredient. I included that too!

Of course, the kids thought it needed chocolate frosting, so I obliged. I let them frost a few cupcakes. It wasn't till after they took a bite without it that they realized it wasn't needed at all. It tastes better naked!

There was so much batter that we were able to make a truck-load of cupcakes and one sheet cake.....because that's the way I thought my first "from scratch" white cake should be....the way I remembered it. We also had a small tupperware of batter left over with was guarded like Fort Knox for when R got home. Everyone loves cake batter.

It was well worth the wait. I had no idea real cake tasted this way. Is this the way our grandma's used to bake? If so, no wonder people still "visited" on Sundays...they were going not only for the company, but for the cake!!!

Unfortunately, I can't share the recipe. Someone, who will remain nameless, was helping clean the kitchen afterwards and crumbled it up and threw it out with the egg shells.

I sure hope this wasn't a one-hit-wonder! :( I'm on the prowl to find that recipe again!

Enjoy gaining 5lbs just from looking at this, I know I did.

To add to this baking success, I also cranked out another loaf of white bread,

a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread (made with both regular and golden raisins), and something else that slips my mind right now. Here is the Cinnamon Raisin Bread...it was the golden raisins and extra cinnamon that made this over the top!

I used a recipe that I found online and adapted to our preferences.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 cups Bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 cup raisins (1/2 regular, 1/2 golden)

Add ingredients in this order in machine, excluding raisins.

Add raisins at the "add" bell.

Bake on Sweet Bread setting.

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