The baking thread AKA the other mortal enemy of video games

As requested by @BoldOblique, here comes baking. It’s taking precious time away from all those interminable Yakuza games. So you better post pictures of your baking to help smooth things out with your day planner. And just to immediately subject drift, I’ll share a video of me folding the most complicated dessert I ever made, Tire Sainte-Catherine.

Sans titre2

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It honestly looks like you’re just trolling your dog. ;)

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Oh my gosh ok I’m ready.

Been trying to learn baguettes using a goofy baguette video I found in YouTube.

Here’s some pics of mine.

Not all pretty.

But a major thing I learned on my first batch was that the floor of quality for baguettes seems to be fairly high so even crappy baguettes are pretty good! This was my first time purchasing and using yeast so I’m ready to get into properr baking! One day!

Bonus, my mother’s extremely good and simple banana bread recipe:

JUDY’S BANANA BREAD

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 brown bananas
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • nuts if you must
  1. Mix everything together, leave bananas a bit lumpy
  2. Bake at 350° for an hour

NOTES
Fake buttermilk by mixing a teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in the milk and let it sit for a moment.
Fake self-rising flour by also adding 1.25 teaspoons baking soda.
Serve as dessert the next day but toasting a slice and topping it with vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of honey, and a pinch of salt :-)

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thank u judy

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I will take some pictures next time I make some but I have been loving making scones lately! Homemade ones are so good, load 'em up with butter, eggs, and cream, they’re so moist and delicious. So far I’ve made a simple lemon batch and a chocolate/walnut batch.

I don’t own a stand mixer so I always feel like I end up having to work harder doing everything by hand lol. I did get a pastry blender recently though which is a fun tool

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oh heck yeah. i love to bake! i used to have a consistent bake-one-thing-a-week schedule; i fell off over the past few months but i still try to get something in the oven every now and then.

i once made italian rainbow cookies for my italian roommate’s birthday, they turned out really good:

i didn’t grow up celebrating purim but in 2021 i decided to make hamantaschen for the holiday. instead of the traditional fillings i used pear butter and meyer lemon marmalade, both of which i’d also made. whenever i make this recipe now i’m immediately thrown back to that first batch:

but i probably make brownies the most. the recipe i use is adapted from my grandma’s recipe, which i grew up making with my mom (meaning, i grew up eating this brownie batter). i made some changes for improved texture and flavor, but they still remind me of my childhood.

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I don’t have any pictures to share, but my baking attempts motivated by resentment of having to buy expensive stuff. Don’t like paying for things with a big markup. So I managed to figure out some half way decent macarons

this is how I do it. Don’t have any great tips on avoiding the bubble issue though, it just seems to happen sometimes and others it’s fine.

macaron recipe

For shells:

  • 225 grams organic powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar
  • 25 grams caster sugar
  • 125 grams almond flour
  • 100 grams egg whites
  • one vanilla bean (mexican)
  • small pinch cream of tartar

For toasted sugar (ingredient in buttercream):

  • 4 cups granulated white sugar

For buttercream filling:

  • 283 grams unsalted butter
  • 155 grams toasted sugar
  • 85 grams egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (diamond crystal kosher brand)
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar

To make toasted sugar Make at least 1 day before making macarons:

1 - heat oven to 300 F

2 - pour 4 cups granulated white sugar into ceramic or pyrex baking dish or pie plate.

3 - let toast in oven for 1 hr, then stir well

4 - let roast 3-4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes, until sugar is sand-colored

5 - remove from oven and let cool completely. sugar will be extremely hot coming out of oven. Store in airtight container until ready to make macarons

To make macaron shells (recipe makes ~50 shells = 25 macarons):

1 - draw 1 inch diameter circles on underside of parchment paper sheets. Leave about 1 inch space between circles. Turn over and line 2 baking sheets with parchment so that circles are visible but ink/graphite is not on surface.

2 - place 225 g powdered or confectioner’s sugar + 125 g almond flour in bowl of food processor. Pulse for 45 seconds. Transfer mixed sugar/almond flour to large bowl and set aside.

3 - Split vanilla bean and scrape out seeds. Set seeds aside.

4 - place 100 g egg whites (be careful not to include any yolk or the shells won’t rise) in mixing bowl.

5 - place 25 g caster sugar in a cup and keep nearby

6 - mix on low speed until eggs begin to foam. Add pinch of cream of tartar. Turn up to high speed and mix while slowly and steadily pouring caster sugar into bowl. Mix on high speed until whites are a stiff and glossy meringue. Stop mixing once peaks are stiff. Add vanilla beans and mix on low until incorporated.

7 - scrape egg meringue into bowl with almond flour/sugar mix. Using spatula, gently fold together, no more than 50-60 total folds. You will know batter is ready when you can drop a clump of batter into the bowl, and it will re-incorporate within 60 seconds.

8 - Fit pastry bag with plain tip. Transfer batter into bag. Gently pipe batter into 1 inch circles on baking sheets. Pipe from directly above. Bang baking sheets a few times on counter top (this will help remove bubbles from batter).

9 - preheat oven to exactly 300 F. Check with oven thermometer to be sure of temp, must be precise

10 - let batter circles sit for 45 min. Bang baking sheets on counter a couple more times

11 - place baking sheets in middle rack of oven and let bake for 17 minutes. Check to see if done by trying to lift a shell from parchment. If it releases easily from parchment, they are done. If not, allow to bake 1-3 more minutes, checking every 30 seconds until done

12 - remove from oven and let cool completely on baking sheets.

To make buttercream filling:

1 - slice 283 g unsalted butter into 1/4 inch wide slices and let sit at room temp

2 - fit pastry bag with 1/4 inch round tip

3 - fill wide stockpot with 2 inches water. Make a ring out of aluminum foil on which to rest mixing bowl. You want the bottom of the bowl to touch the water but not to touch the bottom of the stockpot.

4 - Heat water until steaming.

5 - Put 85 g egg yolk egg yolk, 155 g toasted sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp kosher salt, and 1/8 tsp cream of tartar in mixing bowl.

6 - adjust heat until water is simmering but still steaming.

7 - rest mixing bowl on foil ring, and using spatula, mix contents constantly, scraping from sides until mixture becomes syrupy and reads 185 F on instant read thermometer. This should take 10-12 minutes, so if it is taking longer than that turn up heat

8 - remove mixing bowl from stove and mix at high speed until stiff and glossy, about 10 minutes.

9 - keep mixer running, then add butter 1-2 slices at a time, allowing each slice to mix in before adding the next. The buttercream will get wetter and softer as you add butter, but keep mixing until it is thick, smooth, and creamy. To test if ready, hold a spoonful upside down. The buttercream should stick to the spoon but will fall off with a shake.

To complete macarons:

1 - Pair shells by size

2 - put buttercream into pastry bag with 1/4 inch round tip.

3 - pipe buttercream onto one side of shell pairs. Gently put together shells. Put completed macarons in air tight container, then wrap with plastic wrap (buttercream can absorb fridge odors). Refrigerate for 48 hours

4 - allow macarons to reach room temperature before serving.

Other things I make somewhat regularly = alfajores with that goat-milk carmel, really good highly recommended. Make a good old makowiec a few times a year. Have a madeleine pan and those are quick and easy vs $11 at whole foods lol

One thing I’ve never gotten right are canele; those legit copper molds are too pricey and the cheap ones dont seem to work right at least for me

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This is the kind of epic post I like to see.

My wife (and son) sure do like baking. I’m more of a cooker than a baker, which is to say that I don’t read recipes but just kind of wing it in the kitchen. This sort of thing works really well when you’re cooking but not so much when you’re baking! Or maybe when you have enough baking experience, it’s similar, but I think of baking as being similar to chemistry.

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That banana bread recipe looks pretty ok. My banana bread recipe of choice is Deb’s.

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These all look so good. I’d be much obliged if you felt like sharing your family’s brownie recipe. My partner is a big brownie fan. :-)

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My wife went through a whole frigging recipe book with like 80 bread recipes during the pandemic.

There’s so much important detail about proper bread making. Like are you using the flour with slightly smaller grain, that’s 600% harder to find? Are you using the commercial yeast, that a bakery will sell you for dimes, but will spoil if you look at it funny?

Ultimately, the lesson we learned in my household is it’s somewhat easy to make tasty bread. The pros are pros at one vital thing for them: consistency.

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okay I went through my photos and grabbed some baked stuff

basque cheesecake(one of the most simple and high reward things you can make):

Mexican wedding cookies:

queso flan:

bagels:

pão de queijo:

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absolutely!

Summary

ingredients

  1. 2 sticks/1 cup butter
  2. 1 cup cocoa powder (preferably dutch processed, but regular works fine too)
  3. 1.5 cups white sugar
  4. 1 cup brown sugar
  5. 1.5tsp vanilla
  6. 3 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk
  7. 2 cups/240g flour
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. .5tsp espresso powder (optional, but recommended)
  10. any other flavor add-ins - sometimes i add cinnamon or pecans into the batter, or i sprinkle sea salt on top

method

  1. prep step: preheat oven to 325f and prep a 9x13 pan - i line it with parchment paper for easy use. combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and cinnamon if using) here - i just put them together in a bowl and use a whisk or a fork to mix them together.
  2. brown the butter on the stovetop using a light-colored saucepan. set aside to cool slightly (this is usually where i combine by dry ingredients tbh), then combine with the cocoa powder and espresso powder (if using). the goal is to combine the butter with the other two ingredients while it’s still quite warm so that the cocoa and espresso can bloom a bit. the original recipe called for melting the butter in a double boiler with the cocoa powder, but i like brown butter and that has to be done by itself.
  3. beat eggs, sugars, and vanilla together until the sugar is (mostly) dissolved and the mixture is thick and ribbony; it should lighten in color throughout this process. i recommend using a mixer here, but i’ve done it by hand many times and it’s turned out fine!
  4. fold the butter mixture into the egg mixture until fully combined - the color and texture should be consistent, and it’ll look somewhere between melted ice cream and cake batter. this usually takes a couple of minutes of folding and scraping the sides and bottom, but be patient! i find this step very calming.
  5. add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet mixture slowly, folding it in as you go. i aim for three additions of about 2/3 cup each. this step is done when there are no more dry spots left. if you’re using pecans, fold them in here as well.
  6. plop the batter into the prepared pan and spread it to the corners. it will be very thick.
  7. bake for 30 minutes total. halfway through, take the pan out and whack it on the countertop (apocryphal step but it’s fun to do). if using sea salt, sprinkle it on here. then rotate the pan and return it to the oven for the rest of the bake time. it’s done when a toothpick/tester comes out clean or with a couple crumbs on it.

reading this recipe back now, it’s a little fussy for brownies - i made it way more complicated than the original, lol. i think it improves the final bake but a lot of the finer details (e.g. browning butter) are things that my mom never did when she made these and i was always happy with them anyway!

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Nah, fussy recipes is what baking’s all about. I’m going to print this out and put it on the fridge for easy access. My bf is going to be thrilled. I will share pictures when he gets around to making it haha.

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I LOVE BAKING
I’ve posted some of my baked goods in here before. Haven’t had much time to bake lately but here are some coyotas (sonoran pastries) which I made unconventional by adding orange and a hint of lavender.

Added orange peel to the piloncillo and used a mixture of orange juice and lavender tea as water for the dough. When i first made them I thought they tasted soapy but then by today after lots of people telling me they were extremely good and not soapy at all I was able to accept that lol

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He finally made it! It was delicious!! Thank you again :-)

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they look great!! i’m glad you liked them :D

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i made a cardamom and almond cake for a friend’s taurus season party. i really like this recipe, the crunchy top/soft cake/pops of cardamom combination is unique and delicious. i topped it with some whipped cream flavored with rosewater to really drive home the floral vibes… i also tossed some vanilla into the batter. in the past when i’ve made this cake i’ve browned the butter but i think it actually detracts from it. brown butter is a very warm and full flavor and i realized it kind of overburdens the cake, i think it’s best when it’s a little more delicate.

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My wife and I have gotten pretty into baking the last few years, she hacked together a fantastic sourdough method and we fermented our own starter that works wonderfully. Last year I figured out at home donuts (easy, but tough to do consistently due to the calories) and this year my baking/cooking goal is perfect apartment pizza, dough and toppings done from scratch as much as possible. The pizza journey has just started, have yet to make the cheese myself but have found an excellent dough recipe and am excited to hack my oven a bit to get some higher temps.

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For as much as I enjoy cooking, I’ve never got in to baking. In fact, today is the first time I’ve made a bread at home that isn’t a pizza dough!

The recipe I followed claims that this is a super easy bread to make, and it was not wrong. I don’t have a stand mixer, which is one of the main reasons I haven’t experimented with breads; this is just a quick mix in the bowl with a spoon, rest and rise, bake.

The recipe says that bread flour works best, but I used wholemeal flour and everything still worked. I needed to use a touch more water, I suspect the wholemeal flour soaks it up a bit more than plain or bread flour.

For a first attempt, I’ll take it!

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