Bread: CiabattaI had heard so many stories about ciabatta dough and the difficulty that comes with making it. From friends attempting to make it to the technical challenge on GGBO based off of Paul Hollywood’s recipe, which is the one I used. It’s a very wet and difficult to handle dough and needs a very long proof. Because of how unfamiliar I was with the dough, my loaves ended up misshapen and wonky. But they tasted as they were supposed to, so I was happy.The scariest part for me was making sure that I didn’t accidentally knock out all the air pockets and cause the loaf to collapse. Thankfully I did rather well at keeping the air, but you can see that the larger air pockets are quite as varied or numerous as should be expected. However for my first time, the crumb turned out really well.
Pastry: Laminated Basil DonutsI was honestly a bit terrified of how these might turn out after my first experience working with lamination. I mean, that didn’t go poorly, especially for a first attempt, but it was so difficult and frustrating. Thankfully, I learned many tips and tricks for easier and faster lamination, and I’m more excited about trying laminated bakes in the future. Mainly, I learned to beat and roll the butter into shape by making parchment paper envelope and continuing to use that to help roll out the dough during the turns. Anyway, look at those layers!!I used this recipe and simply added some spicy Thai basil and some sweet Italian basil to the dough. It added a fun and slightly savoury flavour to a simply and slightly sweet dough. We used the scraps to make some savoury breakfast pastries. But the donuts rolled in sugar were our favourite part of the baking that day. I did have some difficulty with the frying, as I don’t have a deep fryer or an oil thermometer. Overall it went rather well, but I did accidentally over-fry several of them, which made them start to absorb some of the oil and become heavier than they already were.
Cake: Vegan Angel Food CakeThis bake didn’t do as planned *at all*. I was trying really hard to accommodate for the family I had visiting who have soy sensitivities and are vegan, so I researched recipes and settled on using this one. I made two batches of dough. The first one I made I accidentally added ingredients in the wrong order, put in too much baking powder, and made it unusable for the bake. I tried salvaging it, but the little muffin-esque things I made refused to cook fully in the centers and ended up in the trash because they were making us ill. The second batch went better, but it still didn’t work.Everything seemed to be going well until I tried to combine the dry and wet ingredients, and the whipped aquafaba completely collapsed. I was rather disheartened, but I did all I could. This attempt was still edible, but it definitely wasn’t right. It turned out more like a ring-shaped, giant, sweet American biscuit. So we topped it with some strawberries as planned and ate it anyway.
Cookies: Tahini Sesame CookiesSo I somehow read/remembered this one incorrectly and thought I was supposed to do sesame cookies this month, so I looked up some recipes and chose this one. It was a really simple and wonderful bake that we liked so much we froze some of the cookies so that they could last through the rest of the month.I loved the idea of not just a few sesame seeds in the dough, but also rolling the cookies in sesame, so I was thrilled when I found that recipe. The only change I made was that I used brown sugar. We had a few without the sesame seeds to see how the cookies held up without the added flavour, and they were really good too, but I definitely preferred the sesame coated ones.
Pudding: Pudding ChômeurThis was a simple and fast bake. I used this recipe and fell in love with it, as did Turner and my coworkers. This self-saucing pudding tasted like a mix between pancakes and waffles with maple syrup. It tastes healthier than it is though, for sure. My biggest recommendation is that if you make it, you should eat it whilst it’s warm.I loved taking the puddings out of the oven, seeing the beautiful golden top of the sponge and hearing the sauce bubbling underneath. It made me more excited to try other self-saucing puddings. I just wished I had saved more for us. Maybe I’ll make it again soon.
Have you ever tried baking any of these things? How did it go for you? Let me know in the comments!