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Experimenting with Recipes

recipe3.jpgYou perhaps “heard” me say recently that I had experimented with a Teff brownie recipe and it was not fully successful. I have to say that the brownies were too crisp the next morning. However, they did taste better at room temperature than they did straight out of the oven.

I then was reading favorite blogs and lo and behold, the February 16 post for “Something in Season” is a discussion of how to experiment with recipes. Worth a read for those who cook and/or bake, particularly for those who have limitations as far as ingredients for whatever reason.

The writer of the blog I’m discussing cooks gluten-free. He also tries to cook with local, seasonal fresh ingredients from his farmer’s market. I like his writing style, his attitude about food and family and life, and his blog.

recipe1.jpgI find it amusing, though… he does type out his recipes on his computer, then prints them out, then makes notes in handwriting of things he plans to change. He says his wife chuckles at how it looks.

I’m glad that Brian has nothing to say about my recipe pages. The recent success I had with Teff muffins (yum, had them again today) was the result of much experimentation.

I first made the recipe on the bag of teff flour from Bob’s Red Mill. However, it called for rice flour and eggs which I wanted to eliminate. I did a few tries with notes on the label of flour, then I typed out what I’d liked best on paper. That paper now has 10 different variations on it, because every time I made the muffins I changed something and every variation was documented down to how long I baked them.

The Teff Muffin success is one of the few recipes I feel I will never need to change again. Having said that, today I made them with a new type of starch just to see what characteristics that starch has compared to something I know well.

I have done this experimentation with my Buckwheat pancakes (trying to use fewer flours at once, trying to eliminate eggs, etc… and that page has even more variations noted than the Teff muffins. I *LOST* the sheet I used for pumpkin bread, the one that was so good even people with no limitations would request it. It’s somewhere in the piles and piles of papersrecipe2.jpg in my office, I hope. I’d taken it out of the kitchen intending to post the recipe here for you folks and we all lost it at that point.

Anyway, I’m providing you with three photos of my recipe sheets (the third is granola bars, I’m still not at 100% satisfaction with those, either) for your entertainment.

Chuckle if you want… it’s an odd science but this is how I do it. Baking is truly science… you need the right balance of ingredients, heat and time to make things work. It is too easy to have something not rise, not hold together, not brown/carmelize as it should. Cooking soup is much less precise, which makes it easier but maybe less satisfying when it works, it just was not enough of a struggle to be impressed!

No recipes today. I do highly recommend the “Something in Season” blog, just for good writing even if you have no food restrictions.

One Response to “Experimenting with Recipes”

  1. Mom Says:

    I’m sorry the pumpkin bread recipe is hiding from you. I hope it surfaces for you soon.

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