Updated: Mar 28
Netflix along with me: Zumbo's Just Desserts
Baking shows are part of my stress-relief toolbox. I love watching them—there's something special about seeing simple flour, butter, sugar, eggs come together, and voila! Magic.
Zumbo's Just Desserts is such a fun show. Not only do I find it incredibly relaxing to watch people create desserts that are little works of art, but Zumbo himself is a whimsical delight. It's not quite as relaxing as The Great British Bake-Off (my other Netflix fave)—the competition is a little more heated in this one—but some of the creations are nothing short of stunning.
Bake along with me:
I did it! I baked my first loa(ves) of homemade bread! After much expert research—you know, perusing Tasty.co and scrolling through "24 Simple Bread Recipes"—I picked a recipe for "peasant bread" off the Tasty list for a few reasons: 1) I have all the ingredients here already, 2) it's a no-knead bread, and 3) the bread didn't have to proof overnight. Also, what other bread should I bake under quarantine than peasant bread? It is very fitting.
I'm happy to write that this recipe is amazing and my peasant bread is delicious. Tomorrow morning, I see whether I can make egg in a toast out of it because of its shape. The recipe recommended baking in a round Pyrex bowl, so I don't have a traditional loaf shape—but it slices nicely and I think I can pull it off.
Writing Inspiration for the Day:
Ahhh, baking scents. Bread dough needs to rise in a warm place, and when I pulled back the plastic wrap after my first rise, so many memories and thoughts flooded in along with the warm, yeasty scent. It's a distinctive aroma, a good one.
That doughy smell and the sort of oven-warmth from the preheating oven recalled childhood memories of making pizza dough out of a Chef Boyardee kit and feeling ~fancy~ because I got to spread the raw (incredibly sticky) dough out on the pan and then poke it all over with a fork so it didn't puff up too much.
But the scent of my dough also brought up a more recent fascination: waffle cone batter. I recently watched and filmed (with permission—don't be creepy) an ice cream shop worker making fresh waffle cones. The batter cooking on the waffle iron released such delicious-smelling, warm steam into the shop air, mingling with the cold sweetness of the ice cream. Waffle cone batter cooking, that's what my raw dough smelled like.
Waffle cone making in the ice cream shop: one of those moments that is easy to overlook in life. But it was amazing, really— I never realized how long they cook for, what a brief window of time there is where the waffle is pliable enough to bend without cracking, or how they're wrapped around a metal cone to get their shape. I imagine this worker (though young) has rolled countless cones based on the casual, easy speed at which he placed the hot waffle and rolled it, a seemingly-effortless, fluid moment born of so much practice.
I liked it so much I made it into a gif.
Inspiration can be anywhere. :)