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Baking is my frenemy

Full disclosure: I love to bake but am not particularly good at it. Baking requires close attention, precision, science and patience. None of these skills are my strong suit. I’ve tried making homemade bread twice with disastrous results on both occasions. There’s just so many steps that can be botched at any given moment. For all of the time/stress/effort that I put in, all I get in return is a super messy kitchen, a burnt up hand mixer and a night spent on the heating pad.😐 

To be fair, I’ve had some good times with baking too. Cookies are definitely in my wheelhouse. I’ve also had success with brownies and cakes but usually rely on those handy dandy boxed mixes for a positive outcome. Muffin bread is fairly straightforward. I do ok with banana nut bread at Christmas time but it’s never a consistent, easy bake. It’s more a cross your fingers guessing game, especially when making multiple loaves. I would love to personally ask Alton Brown why the middle always sinks.🤷‍♀️📊🤯

I’m a big fan of The Great British Baking Show and often watch it for tips and inspiration. I have so much admiration for the amateur bakers. I could never dream of accomplishing the feats that those contestants pull off. It’s slightly intimidating because there is a lot of chemistry involved and my brain just does not compute.📱🙅‍♀️ I’m more of a liberal arts kinda gal. My aim here is to simply bake a loaf of bread that looks and tastes good.🥖👍😋

Baking bread seems like the ultimate homemaker task to me.🏠👩‍🍳 However, I don’t enjoy all of the kneading, proofing or rising. I don’t get along well with yeast. It never foams up for me like it’s supposed to. That’s usually just the beginning of my troubles. Then the dough is too sticky so I add more flour and angrily knead it more and more. The last bread loaf I baked weighed about 10 pounds after it was all said and done. It would have sank to the bottom of the nearby lake for sure.⚓️ It literally could have fed the fishes.🐠😂🐟

Oh well, today is a new day!☀️ I will set myself up for success by trying a simple recipe that has great reviews online. It’s a cheesy cheddar quick bread by the Crafty Cooking Mama. I’m going to adapt it to my tastes by omitting the garlic and adding rosemary and a little chopped sun dried tomato. All should be done within an hour. Wish me luck!🤞🙏

It looks right to me. Just have to let it cool for a bit. On a positive note, my house smells great! Like sausage balls.😋 That’s a good sign, right?🔮

Ok, I’m back. Now is time for the true test. Can I bake?!?!?😱 I’m cutting a slice….now I’m taking a bite….and the answer is….yes! 🙌🍞🎉 This bread is delicate and spongy. It almost tastes like a red lobster cheddar biscuit. Only, I 86ed the garlic because I wanted to showcase the herb and tomato flavors. The bites with tomato are delicious and I can taste just a hint of rosemary in each one. The cheddar has a good presence without overwhelming the other ingredients. 

Final thoughts: Third time is the charm.🍀 I give this bread an A+. Both texture and taste turned out lovely. This recipe from Crafty Cooking Mama can be found on Pinterest. It’s a good base recipe to add or subtract ingredients to your fancy. The author only advises to watch the wet ingredients so as not to alter the bake. I included my personal spin below. 

I will definitely make this again and continue experimenting with flavor profiles. For instance, bacon and jalapeño might be fun! You could try different cheeses, herbs and spices. The sky is the limit! I feel both relieved and redeemed. I’ve finally found a space to bake in with quick breads. No huge mess or stress. Bread success feels darn good!🥳🥳🥳

Easy cheesy bread 

You will need: 2 cups of flour, 4 tsp of baking powder, 1 T of sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup of milk, 1 large egg, 2 T melted butter, 3 small sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, 2 T of rosemary 

To prepare: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bread loaf pan. Chop tomato and rosemary. Set aside. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk wet ingredients together separately. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Add the cheese, tomatoes and rosemary. Gently stir together so as not to overwork. Scoop prepared mixture into pan and bake for 45 minutes or so, until the top is light brown in color. Cool on wire rack and enjoy.✌️💜🍴

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Mood Ring Kitchen

I’m a self teaching home cook and aspiring foodie entrepreneur. I enjoy coming up with creative ways to prepare flavorful food such as snacks, desserts and everything in between. Cooking is a way for me to challenge myself and satisfy curiosities about different ingredients.

The hope is to produce something thoughtful, memorable or every once in a while maybe even wonderful. I enjoy following my “gut” and exploring new recipes that can be comforting, exciting and nourishing. Above all else, I enjoy exploring the emotions surrounding food and writing about those experiences. 😝👩‍🍳👩‍💻

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