Saturday, September 15, 2012


Friday was baking day at my house.  First, I (and the bread machine) made a loaf of whole wheat bread studded with Craisins (dried cranberry raisins). 

I've been experimenting with my last couple of loaves, trying to solve the problem of the top collapsing.  We're at about 5,100 feet elevation so my cookbooks gave me the idea I'd have to adjust the ingredients for high elevation baking.  The first loaf I reduced the yeast and it helped but it still wasn't right.  With this loaf I added more water in addition to the reduced yeast.  I think that pretty much made the difference.

The top is still a bit misshapen but it generally stayed high and the bread is not as dense as before.  My chief taster said she liked it a lot better.

While the bread was baking, I whipped up a batch of shortbread cookies.

They're so light in color they don't look done to me but they are.  Also, because they're so "short" (i.e., pastry with a high percentage of fat) they crumble practically at a touch.  I had difficulty with a few that I tried dipping in chocolate.

As you can see, they're not pretty enough to offer to company but they were only made for home consumption anyway.  And again, I thought they tasted good.  And my official taster (who loves shortbread cookies much more than I do) gave her stamp of approval.

A moderately successful day.

(The cookie recipe . . along with many variations . . is courtesy of Mark Bittman and last Sunday's New York Times magazine.)