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New Year's Cooking/Baking Resolutions 2012

My New Year's cooking resolution is to learn how to make really good baguettes such that it's easier to whip them up than to drive to the fairly distant store that is the only one in our neck of the woods that has decent ones. If anyone bakes baguettes I'd love any tips you have!

My second resolution is to cook more from the cookbooks I already own, and to cull the ones I know I will never cook from.

Meanwhile, what are your cooking/baking resolutions for 2012?

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  1. My baguette tip is to use Peter Reinhart’s recipe for Pain a l’Ancienne http://www.crumblycookie.net/2008/07/... (unless you already have one that you love). This recipe gives me amazing results and is surprisingly easy to make.

    I'm not really into resolutions, but one thing I started doing in December is to make a (dinner) recipe that I've never made before at least once a week.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ecclescake

      That's a nice link. I have a couple of Peter Reinhart's book and will take a look. Thanks.

      Wasn't there once a thread about the derivation of eccles cakes?

      1. re: roxlet

        I like the one in his "Crust and Crumb" that uses old dough, makes a gorgeous bread.

        1. re: roxlet

          I'm new here so I haven't seen it, but I'll have a look.

      2. I like the way you think, as I do something similar - each year I try to identify an area where I'd like to improve. I did yeast breads, seafoods, ice creams, etc. This year I'm tailoring it to lighter appetizers, since it seems like so many are carby and cheesy.

        I find these constructive resolutions much more inspiring to keep than the resolutions that limit you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: katecm

          That's a really good point, katecm!

        2. To learn how to properly carve a chicken.

          1. Make a rolled cake. I have neverever made a jelly roll, roulade, bûche, nuffink.
            Learn to roll out a ROUND piecrust that doesn't look like the map of Australia or Hello Kitty's face.
            There must be others, thinking.

            7 Replies
            1. re: buttertart

              Rolling a cake is not difficult. I used to make a buche for Christmas, and the trick was to sprinkle it with confectioner's sugar and to roll it while it was still warm.

              1. re: buttertart

                A rolled cake will be a piece of cake (so to speak) for you. I'm not sure they're worth the effort but they can be pretty. LOL, I'd think there would be a market for pie crusts the shape of Hello Kitty's face! I'd love to learn to roll dough out into a perfect rectangle instead of an odd oblong.

                1. re: chowser

                  Rectangle? Map of Italy or Portugal, more like.
                  Another one: make a smorkage, puff pastry, Danish dough, 2 almond fillings. Hmm, maybe an Iowa project!

                  1. re: buttertart

                    LOL, we could make a map of the US in dough! I took a class in puff pastry and the instructor rolled out the dough, in no time, to a perfect rectangle. I know she does it all the time but it was impressive. I can't get it right and all I think the whole time I roll and reroll is overdeveloping the gluten. I would love to find local CH where I could fool around w/ all the things on your list. It would be so much easier making many portions of one thing and having different hands.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      There's a wonderful-looking raspberry roulade in Malgieri's light baking book. It looks wonderful!

                      1. re: roxlet

                        I got rid of that one in a benighted moment (moving frenzy).

                    2. re: chowser

                      I concur. A rolled cake will present no challenge to buttertart. They are very forgiving and seem much more involved than they really are. I used to make what I thought was the height of elegance when I first started cooking--a gingerbread "roulade" w/lemon filling. Believe me, it was super easy.

                  2. To make 'breakfast bread' (a quickbread or muffins) once a week. The resolution's good for at least this week -- I made corn muffins. A *great* companion is jalapeno jelly.