The Newbie Cook
- 16,766 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
This is the second time I made this recipe. But I don’t really count the first because it was Chris who was really making it according to my suggestions and instructions while I was cooking pasta with meatballs.
Our trainer, Christine, was going back to Batavia after our training period so our batch thought that it would be a great idea to surprise her with a potluck lunch and a small gift. Someone else was bringing the pasta so I volunteered to bring the garlic bread.
Just to warn health nuts who might be reading this: this is NOT a healthy recipe. I like using butter and cheese only in moderation but, in this case, moderation isn’t the way to go about making garlic bread. The bread is coated with butter and topped with copious amount of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. All in all, it’s very simple, straightforward and won’t require a long prep and cooking time.
A lot of people like to use French bread for this. I recommend using a Long Italian instead. (Don’t you just love the name?) French bread is too hard and stiff and should only be used if there is no other alternative. A Long Italian has a crisp crust but is soft in the center.
My friend, Kim, a first-time baker who wants to learn how to cook, joined me last Wednesday in Apartment #2’s kitchen. We chose to make caramel apple bread instead of the originally-planned pumpkin cinnamon rolls because I forgot to buy any pumpkins. Donna Currie has a lip-smacking recipe in SE’s Bread Baking and it didn’t look too complicated (er… hopefully).
We made a few minor mistakes like peeling and grating the apples before they were supposed to be mixed into the dough, which made them turn brown very fast. The biggest mistake was putting twice the amount of apples into the dough. By the time we realized that half was supposed to go into the filling it was too late. My bad! It was me who was reading the recipe. *headesks*
Me: Um, Kim… @_@ I think half of that was supposed to go into the filling.
Kim: Oh no! ^o^
Me: No wonder it’s so wet.
The wet dough refused to rise. It was just my third try at making bread so I didn’t yet understand the physics between yeast and dough yet so we wasted a lot of fruitless hours waiting for it to rise. In the end, we just added a lot of flour. We even called a friend (Jovett) and asked for more flour.
We didn’t have a fancy stand mixer so we kneaded it pioneer woman style: with our (very clean) hands. By this time, we had enough dough for 3 loaves of bread so I made extra filling. As usual, we had to use a substitute for an ingredient. In this case, we couldn’t find dulce de leche so we used commercial condensed milk instead.
To kill time while the dough was rising, we watched movies in Jovett’s apartment. We might as well since we already stole her flour and some of her apples. But we were nice and helped her cook dinner. 🙂
Kim was afraid that the bread would be a total failure. But after an hour of baking, I took the bread out of the oven, ran back to Jovett’s apartment with one loaf and two oven mitts (ignoring weird looks from the girls at the poolside) and sat down to have a late but very filling dinner with the girls.
It was certainly a nice, quiet night. And, yes, the bread turned out very well. The 6 hours of kneading, waiting, mixing, more waiting and more kneading did pay off! We even had enough to bring to Kim’s mom and my dad.