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Old 11-28-2005, 12:44 AM   #11
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I use cake mixes for one reason and one reason only; and that is that I have a horrible time getting scratch cake recipes to rise properly. Now this is strange from someone who makes all kinds of pancakes and quickbreads with abandon. I know enough about the chemistry that I can litteraly throw soemthing together, pastry-wise, and know it's going to come out just the way I want it, except for cakes that is.

I do modify the mixes to make them taste better and improve the texture. I also can modify them for special purposes, such as puring in lemon pudding, or gelatine into the baked cake, giving them more body so that I can cut them into thin layers to make multi-layer cakes, make them lighter or heavier as desired, or make them more or less moist. But for the life of me, my scratch cakes always come out heavy. I enjoy good cake, and wish I could make them from scratch, so I could replace the sugar with something like Splenda.

I don't know whether the problem is with the amount of leavening agent, or the mixing technique. Scratch cakes have to be the best, because you can make them however you want. A mix gives you someone else's idea of a good cake.

The only scratch cake recipe that works for me is a chocolate/mayonaise cake.

I agree with the idea that scratch has to be better, but have not yet mastered cakes.

Now my breads on the other hand...

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah
you know there are people who never bake from scratch,use mixes all the time,maybe if you ask them,they'd say they once tried baking some thing from scratch,and it tasted so horrible,they've never tried to do that again.

no offence to any one,just kidding....

Yes.... I bet there probably ARE such people - but I've never met one yet!



I think my trouble is that I am very susceptible to the 'chemical' type taste that manufactured goods often have.
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:47 AM   #13
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I'm more of a "from scratch" type person than a "boxed mixed" type person. However, PeppA, my other half, and her Mom, are born-and-bread "boxed mix" types. I have literally hundreds of dessert recipes, most untried, for cakes, cookies, puddings, etc. I've only made a few cakes, and they've all been "from scratch". I really surprised my MIL a couple years ago, and made a cake "from scratch". PeppA had told her I made it (Sour Cream Apple Cake, one of Emeril's), and my MIL asked her "What mix did he use?" PeppA answered, really surprised, that I had made it from scratch! My MIL almost had a heart attack right there!

I've got two cake recipes I want to try right now, and one of them calls for a boxed mix, which I happen to have, but, I need a few other ingredients to make it. Maybe tomorrow.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:56 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=Goodweed of the North
I agree with the idea that scratch has to be better, but have not yet mastered cakes.

Now my breads on the other hand...

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North[/QUOTE]

Goodweed, I've never had a problem with cakes...but breadmaking is a whole other thing. I made a loaf of sourdough bread once that even the beagle dog wouldn't eat. My ex used to tease me about my 5 lb. loaves of bread.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:03 AM   #15
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I do both, from scratch & from a mix. When I make a cake from a box, I replace the water called for with milk. IMO, it makes the cake more moist.
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
Goodweed, I've never had a problem with cakes...but breadmaking is a whole other thing. I made a loaf of sourdough bread once that even the beagle dog wouldn't eat. My ex used to tease me about my 5 lb. loaves of bread.
i have the same problem with breads,cake is my favorite dessert and i make cakes very often,from scratch,and they always come out great,appearance wise and taste wise,always have good reviews,but i've tried making a few breads,and none of them was good.So now i dont even try...just bake cakes,cookies and brownies,pizzas...
Goodweed! do u always follow the recipe properly,i was wondering why ur cakes dont rise...
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:25 PM   #17
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Sarah; Yes, I do try to follow the recipes exactly. So I really don't know what I'm doing wrong. I really can't tell you how to make perfect bread except by following a TNT recipe. I can tell by the feel of the dough when I've got the proper amount of oil and water. And I know that the amount of yeast affects both the texture and flavor of the bread. If you use less yeast, the bread comes out with a more bland flavor and takes much longer to raise. The end result, depending on cooking method, is a light, spongy texture, similar to french bread if you bake it with heat above 400 degrees, very crusty. If on the other hand, you bake it at 350, with a bowl of water in the oven, the crust and texture make the bread very similar to store-bought bread.

If you use more yeast, you get a stronger yeast flavor, with a coarse texture, you know, that home-made bread flavor. The dough should have a minimum of two tbs. oil for every cup of flour in the recipe. I put in three as I like my bread very moist. As for the water, I start with a cup of water, 2 tbs. honey, and 2 tbs. yeast. 3 cups of flour make one loaf of bread. I add water as I'm kneading the dough until it is sticky enough to make working in a bit cumbersome. I then add just enough more flour to keep the dough elastic, and still sticky, but not so that it sticks to your hands so easily.

When you get the knack for creating just the right texture in the dough, then you can begin to experiment with flavorings, how much sweetener and what kind of sweetener you use (corn syrup, honey, sugar, maple syrup, etc.) I took a batch of dough and devided it in half. I rolled one half into a flat sheet of dough, about a quarter inch thick and spread softened butter thickly over it. I then sprinkled brown sugar onto the butter and followed with chopped walnuts and cinamon. I then jelly-rolled it together and cut it into 1 inch rounds. I placed the rounds onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and allowed the rolls to double in size. I spooned caramel apple dip over the top and baked 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. These were the best sticky buns I ever made. My family agreed. But it all started with a standard dough recipe, sweetened with an extra 1/8 cup of sugar.

You can make bread. It just takes a couple of tries to get the feel for the dough. And once you get the dough right, the rest is easy.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:49 PM   #18
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o my gosh it sounds so copmplicated ,but loosk like u r an expert Goodweed,how about sending me a nice warm freshly baked loaf?
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