Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Double the Recipe

I don't do much cooking these days. On occasion, I'll make dinner, especially if the plans involve using the grill. Under some circumstances, though, there are things that fall to me to deal with, and tonight's work met those criteria. Namely, it was work that needed to be done while we could expect Moira to stay asleep but not Davis, and it generally fell into the category of baking. While Shannon does a great job in the kitchen for most everything, I do have more patience for following recipes to the letter, which can help in the more adventurous baking endeavors. Tonight's task was not one of those.

The task at hand: prepare a salt dough that will encase tomorrow's beef while it is baking. No one will be eating the dough, so precision isn't critical, but I generally assume a recipe says what it says for a reason.

The first issue is that we wanted to double the recipe.  That's fine, except that the basic recipe uses about ten cups of ingredients. We might have a bowl large enough to manage, but it seemed like a better idea to just make two batches in more reasonably sized bowls.

Five cups of flour. This was probably the most straightforward. With the liquid measuring cup, it was also very quick. Since this won't actually be tasted, I didn't worry that the markings only went to four cups rather than five.

Three cups of salt. Wow, that's a lot of salt. What we had left over in the old box was just enough when added to the new box bought for the occasion.

Three tablespoons of pepper. This is where things went off the rails. First off, I needed to double that. So, three-eights of a cup of pepper. Of course it calls for fresh ground pepper. Maybe there have been times in my life when I've had that many peppercorns on hand, but tonight wasn't one of them. We also only have a regular hand pepper grinder. With an electric pepper mill, this wouldn't be that big a deal. By hand, it's quite the endurance event. I managed about half of what was called for, rather coarsely ground.

Half a cup of fresh herbs. Not too bad, although after having just finished with the pepper, it was a challenge to get the herbs to land in the bowl and not all over the counter.

Set aside. Combine 1.5 cups of water with 5 egg whites, then add to dry ingredients. This is where the real problem with trying to do this in a single bowl comes in. Not only does it need to be big enough to hold everything in the first place, but you also need room to mix and knead.

That gets to sit overnight at room temperature. Good, because there isn't room in the refrigerator for it anyway. There is room for the ten leftover egg yolks, though. Maybe people who are big fans of egg white omelets have other ideas on what to do with large numbers of egg yolks. I think, in my case, other will be lemon pie next weekend. Not lemon meringue, since that'd need more egg whites, and it's been long enough since I've baked a pie, I'm happy to skip making the meringue.

1 comment:

  1. The lemon pie sounds delicious. I haven't had it in ages. And I'm not big on meringue anyway. I'd have you save me a slice but it will be a while before I'm up your way again.