My house is strangely devoid of baked goods and sweet treats. A pound of sugar lasts forever around here (maybe longer than its shelf life). I probably use a half-pound of butter or less per year and I rarely use cream, or even milk. I know this must be absolutely FREAKISH to many readers. At one time, I drank milk, ate cookies, buttered my toast, put sugar and milk in my coffee, and ate all kinds of cakes, pies and puddings. But, it’s been years.
Since I seem to have spent the better part of my life moderating my food choices, somewhere along the line I stopped with the baked goods, and the butter, and the cream. Ultimately, I pretty much lost my taste for desserts…that is to say, I don’t crave them or keep them at home. Sure, I indulge occasionally in restaurants or other people’s homes, but it has to be non-gooey, preferably with some chew and of really good quality to entice me. Store-bought layer cakes don’t do it. Neither do overly sweet and gooey ones. Home-made biscotti does.
There are other things I don’t like about baking:
So, to sum up my thoughts and my dilemma…baking is fattening, not necessarily good for you, messy, and tedious. And, yet, I find myself thinking about starting to bake. The other part is if I’m going to continue FOODalogue, perhaps I should take a leap and expand the horizon. Also, I’d love to challenge myself to come up with some baked goods that mix a little savory with the sweet and are not so fattening.
Questions: (1) Is there a source for ‘basic’ formula/technique to make pie crust, pizza shell, bread etc. which I could use as a springboard from which I can ‘do it my way’? [For example, what's the ratio of eggs to flour? Do you always need baking powder? You get the idea...really basic stuff.] (2) Any tips for keeping a neat/clean kitchen while baking? (3) Alternatively, do you have any recipes or links for a virgin baker? You can plug something on your blog in the comments section if you think it fits the criteria I sent forth.
Or should I just fuhgeddaboudit?