Playing a bit of catch-up here since unscheduled interruptions, other non-food-related projects, and massive amounts of holiday baking have put me far behind in terms of keeping up with posts. I had started working on a Bread Series, starting with 18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I which I published back in October. Covering 20-12: Basic Rolls was intended to play off of that concept, giving you an easy recipe to utilize the lessons presented in both that post and its follow-up, 18-2: Basic Yeast Dough II.
Quick review: the last three chapters of Simply Delicious are part of its Cooking School, intended to review basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes with which all aspiring chefs should be familiar. I’ve covered a few bits and bobs out of those last few chapters, but much of it still remains untapped.
I’ve made a lot of bread during the 3.5 years I’ve been working on this project (both for the project and outside of it), and I hear a lot of the same remarks whenever I talk about making bread: “Oh, that seems hard”, or “It’s too much work to make bread”. I used to feel the same way, and shied away from yeast recipes for a long time out of a fear of failure. In cooking (like most things in life), you have to be ready to embrace failure and learn from it–otherwise, you’ll never get past heating up Hot Pockets in the microwave.
Simply Delicious even notes in their recipe blurb that bread making is perceived as hard. It’s maybe not the easiest thing in the world, but you’ll make a lot of friends fast if you can make them fresh bread. 18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I is the first in a three-part series on bread making, where you’ll learn some tips and tricks for improving your bread baking, as well as a few basic recipes that you can use.
Pretzels are my favorite snack food, which means that 17-21: Small Golden Pretzels were right up my alley. One of my favorite episodes of the Simpsons is based around pretzels. Making pretzels usually involves boiling the dough in baking soda water.
These golden pretzels are good as an afternoon snack. Saffron gives these pretzels the golden hue.
Chapter 19 of Simply Delicious is Basic Ingredients, another big part of cooking and Cooking School. 19-10:Dried Herbs & Spices I is the first of a two-part series on a selection of spices that you’ll probably find in a well-stocked kitchen.
For this entry, I’ll link to a recipe (or two, or three) that I’ve covered in this project that calls for that spice to illustrate an idea of how to use it (and maybe increased motivation to give one of these recipes a try).
It’s the holiday season, so you’ll probably find yourself entertaining (or in the mood for party food, at least). 13-13: Spinach Turnovers are a nice vegetarian option that you can bring to a party or just make for yourself.
I made these along with 9-26: Crispy Beef Turnovers for a get-together I went to recently. The ingredients & method for both are somewhat similar, so I prepared both at the same time, which worked out pretty well. If you find yourself with extra puff pastry (and maybe a deep fryer), consider a third turnover option, 1-7: Trader Vic’s Crab Turnovers.