Playing with bread

I’ve become obsessed with the beer bread.  I’ve made the homemade version of it three times in the last week.  I’ve been playing with the recipe; I didn’t like the fact that it was so thick with the three cups of  flour.   I think it has to do with the fact that I really liked the  Tastefully Simple Bountiful Beer Bread and the batter was thick but it was batter nonetheless.  With the recipe that I have for the bread, you end up with a dough rather than a batter.  So I’ve been playing with the amount of flour to see what happens.  I used 2 1/2 cups the other day and it didn’t seem to make much difference in the dough/batter dilemma but the taste of the beer was more noticeable.   Tonight I went down to  2 cups instead of 3 and got a thick batter instead of a dough.  I was a little concerned about how it would come out b/c of taking so much flour out  and not changing the amount of any other ingredients, but I pressed on anyway.  The bread came out a little bit flatter than its predecessors, but it was still really good.  The taste of the beer is much more noticeable in this version and I like the consistency of it.  The other thing I did differently was exchanging the brushed on egg yolk for the top of the dough in the recipe for pouring 3 tablespoons of melted butter (the real stuff) on the top like they do in the Bountiful Beer Bread.  It gives a nice bit of flavor to the top of the bread as well as a nice little crunch to the crust.  I’m happy with my experiments and I think this is how I’ll make it from now on.  This is the first time I’ve played with a recipe while baking, I usually follow them to the letter.  I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone this time; I got a really great bread out of it that’s easy and inexpensive to make.  Isn’t that what the joy of cooking/baking is supposed to be about, taking a recipe and tweaking it to make it your own?  Oh yeah, I also changed the amount of time to bake the bread from 45 minutes to 55 minutes which seems to work out better as well.

Onto the knitting:

I’m having a bit of trouble with the Garden Path Shawl, still.  I’ve frogged back to that lifeline so many times for screwed up stitch counts I can’t even tell you how many.  I think a big part of it is that I continue to work even when I’m tired and that causes me to lose count or count something twice etc.  I’m all the way to row 7 now (can you “hear” the sarcasm in my voice?) and shooting for an ambitious goal of 10 rows of the chart tonight.  With the way things have been going for me lately in this project, that might actually be a lofty goal.  I’m not giving up on this, though.  I might beat me down a bit, but it will never break me…unless it’s getting really close to X-mas and I don’t think I’ll be able to get it and the other items I have to knit done in time…LOL

Night y’all.

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