Back to baking, because it’s no longer baking

Now that the heat’s gone, indoors and out, there’s no excuse for not firing up the oven, especially because it helps warm up the house for those of us without central heating.

Despite the fact that the weather was still quite mild around Hallowe’en, the traditional Breton chocolate pound cake was produced. But there was no baking between then and this weekend.

An experiment revealed that, yes, plain pizza dough (flour, water, yeast, and a pinch of salt) also makes very good dinner rolls. In the past, we’ve always saved half of the pizza dough in the fridge and made a second batch of pizza in the next day or so. This time, the other half of the dough was formed into balls. The bottoms of the formed rolls were dipped in corn meal so that the finished items wouldn’t stick to the cookie sheet. The tops were brushed with a beaten egg and then sprinkled with lots of poppy seeds. A container of water in the oven gave the crusts a little shine and a little bit of crispness. Yum! Half were downed fresh out of the oven with some Falfurrias and half were warmed up the next morning for breakfast.

And then there’s the guilty secret of H-E-B yellow cornbread mix. My guess is that this is probably a product of the Pioneer mills in San Antonio, just custom-ground to be coarser, which is the way I like it. We can never use up the smallest package of plain, coarse-ground cornmeal while it’s fresh, so we’re so grateful for these envelopes, which don’t contain sugar.

There are other brands (Pioneer and Martha White), and white meal as well as yellow. They usually are sold at four for a dollar and are such a good way to use up milk that’s getting to that stage where you don’t really want to drink it but it’s too good to throw away. We doctor it by using slightly less milk than the package calls for and by adding chopped jalapeno and sometimes some grated sharp cheese. People who visit from other places always take some packages back with them. Sugar must never be added. It tastes best baked in a cast-iron skillet and eaten in wedges just out of the oven.

Popovers will probably make their appearance this coming weekend for the first time this season. This is the beginning of the very best time of the year in Austin.

Comments are closed.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.