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Topics - dhitri

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Tips and Tricks / Bad yeast
« on: January 05, 2013, 09:12:41 am »

I have had great success making pizza dough up until last week. My last two batches didn't rise properly (gave me the worst tummy ache) and now this is taking forever... Could it be the yeast? I use premium instant yeast (bought at woolies) and I kept it in the fridge. Has it gone bad? Should I toss it? What yeast do you use for bread and pizza dough?

Tips and Tricks / Homemade seitan
« on: December 16, 2012, 07:07:01 am »
Does anyone have a recipe/tutorial for making seitan (wheat meat/gluten meat) from scratch?

Thanks in advance!

Tips and Tricks / Gingerbread cookies
« on: December 07, 2012, 09:05:24 pm »
Ladies, please enlight me in the art of making gingerbread cookies. I used Bec's Gingerbread dough recipe.

My first batch burnt. I also didn't realize that the dough would rise so much during baking. I placed them too close to each other, so they ended up misshapen. I tossed them.

My second batch was ok. But I didn't ice them properly. I dipped them in royal icing and that turned out too thick. I didn't want to send my child and anyone else's into a sugar shock, so I tossed them.

My third one turned out okay and they were yummy, too! But they are plain and un-iced and I am too scared to even put a glaze over them.

My questions:
1. How do you make sure the cookies retain their shape, ie don't expand too much and crack? Should I have rolled them out thicker?

2. What is the best temperature? I have a temperamental gas oven :/

3. How do you decorate them? Do people expect them to be fancy at all? The cookies were meant to be Christmas presents for Miss A's daycare mummies.

Any tip would be appreciated!

Chit Chat / I can cook!
« on: December 03, 2012, 10:46:57 pm »
Just had to share:

I am a lousy cook. No, really, I am. I boil rock hard eggs, my pasta goes too soft and my oat porridge too gluggy. I spend hours cleaning the base of my pots and pans because I burn them (occasionally toss em out, too!).

My poor family have been living off terrible homecooked food and takeouts. When going to potluck parties, I rely on instant spice mixes and sauces in jars. Even then the taste would be mediocre -- too bland or, in most cases, too salty!

Then I got the Thermie and in one day I have turned into a real cook!!! The miracle machine was delivered on Sunday afternoon and since then I have cooked:

- Restaurant quality mushroom risotto
- Cauliflower Chickpea curry that is so yummy my husband had 3 servings of
- Pizza bread (ok, it was supposed to be just pizza but the dough was too thick and turned into pizza bread instead which was still yummy!)
- Zucchini muffins -- my fussy miss 2 just adored them and ate 3 yesterday (unheard of!)
- Carrot cake -- still need to work on icing and my oven played up a little, but there was no doubt as to taste.

My husband has strongly opposed me in my decision to get the Thermie (I paid for it myself after a few months of saving up) and is slowly coming around. He can't believe how easy and mess free the cooking is. It's funny because I know he is in awe but because of male pride, he tries not to show it :)

I can't wait to try out more dishes and surprise myself with my own abilities as a cook (or should I say 'mixtress'?).

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