Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reunion, Pound Cake, and Sourdough

This weekend is my 20 year class reunion. It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since I was a teenager in high school! Time flies, as they say. The festivities seem to be very family friendly. I probably won't go though. We are in the middle of remodeling the house so every moment we have we do something toward that end. If I do end up going it will be to the Saturday picnic at the Tot Lot in Boone. My girls are a little old for that place but they still do have some fun. :)

Today I made my first ever pound cake. The recipe was for whole wheat pound cake, which is good because that's what I make everything out of. It's actually 1/2 pond cake.

1/2 pound of butter
2 cups raw sugar
6 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Yeah, the recipe says all that. You can use regular sugar, white flour and regular salt, but I suspect it won't taste as good. :)

So, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla. Add the flour and salt together. Bake in a well greased loaf pan or bunt pan for one hour at 325 degrees. It's delicious. I think next time I will also add a little lemon flavoring too. I've always had them with lemon, but never with whole wheat until now. I'm not sure why I have just felt so intimidated with making pound cake! In fact, I am aware I make horribly ugly cakes, but this came out perfect! I was so surprised. It's probably because I try to use whole wheat in every cake recipe. They always taste great but they're hardly ever pretty. Maybe I should stick to making bread!

Speaking of bread, we made some whole wheat sourdough bread as well. I had thrown some flour and water in a jar last week and just kept doing it for several days. Once it bubbled and smelled like it wanted to be made into something else besides the little ecosystem it had become, I thought I might make some bread. BUT IT WAS TOO HOT!!!! So, I fed it more. I dont' discard any sourdough starter at all. I sometimes forget about it in the back of the fridge for months, but I never get rid of it unless it either molds (which has happened when the nights are too cold), or....well, I've used it all but I can't think of another time I just threw it out. Anyway, for three extra days I just put in a cup or flour and a cup of water. I know, sourdough purists would not do that, but hey- I'm not a baker- I'm a homemaker who also makes bread. :) So, it was a much larger mass when I finally decided it had to become bread. I separated out some starter to save and dumped the rest in the Bosch mixer. I ground some hard red wheat into flour and added a little water to the mixer, some flour and salt, kneaded, made loaves and waited for a while. Even though at times it just felt too hot today, I was blessed with all that heat because I didn't have to wait too long for it to be ready to bake! I baked it at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. I didn't mist the oven or add any moisture for a thicker crust- I just trusted that the little yeastie beasites knew what to do and the crust would be fine. The crust was fine. In fact, this is the best sourdough I have ever in my life made! I hope to repeat this success in the near future despite not measuring.