The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Anyone have intense urges to bake/cook ALL THE TIME?

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tmarz's picture
tmarz

Anyone have intense urges to bake/cook ALL THE TIME?

I am just curious if anyone else has intense urges to cook or bake all the time... It feels like you are almost obsessed. 

I will just give you a typical day in my mind/life:

I work during the day, but have plenty of time to think which if not occupied by work related stuff (as my job is really lax) then I think about cooking and baking. My boss is a major foodie... so we chat often. I am always looking for cool food things to buy (like cookery) or new recipies to try. I have a few websites that I frequent almost everyday (which are food related). I watch America's Test Kitchen online every so often. I have quite a few cook books that I resort to often when making things. And I am always thinking about what great next meal I can make.

The LDS General Conference is coming up next weekend... which for me is a great time to make some great meals because I can let something delicious cook for a long time and have a little feast at the end of the day (Saturday and Sunday). I have finally found Alcohol free wine by Fre. So I am going to attempt beef burguingon. We also have a farmers market and I bought some great things there.... it just seems like my life is consumed with cooking and baking. I do bake something at least once a week if not more (bread or something tastey).

Any who, do y'all have any input? (constructive criticism is good too!)

Thanks!

-Tyler

mimifix's picture
mimifix

And what's the LDS General Conference?

flournwater's picture
flournwater
tmarz's picture
tmarz

It is part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days saints. It is a biannual conference that is broadcast worldwide in various languages (40 something or more). They give various sermons on subjects such like hope, finding strength, family, and many others. They are inspired words of wisdom, guidance, and strength. If you have any other questions feel free to ask. That site give it a good overview.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I share your obsession for cooking/baking and periodically find items in the cupboard that were obviously purchased for some special recipe I intended to try but the recipe idea has somehow slipped through the cracks and I have no idea what I had in mind.  So  -  I come up with another recipe idea and see what comes off of the stove or out of the oven.

My problem is, there are only two of us and much of what I prepare can't be consumed at one meal.  Thankfully, we enjoy left overs and I get a chance to work the left overs into some new creation that (much of the time but not always) turns of quite well.

picosinge's picture
picosinge

Hello Tyler,

I have a similar issue.  I make bread whenever I am under stress.  The kneading (don't have a bread machine or stand mixer - everything is done by hand) motion is very calming to me.  Fortunately my neighbors and a few co-workers all love my bread.

 

patnx2's picture
patnx2

It started with bread,all kinds. I can make rye, italian crusty and ww sandwich bread. Now the frezer is full and neighbors are happy I've switched to Pizza. P with sourdough,P with cold or roomtemp rise,ny pizza etc, Mess with oven by stones and different flours,hydration, crispy or thick crust --------- oh yes it will continue to get you at all hours. There is no hope but to suffer on. Patrick

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Yep, I am obsessed.  I don't like cooking regular meals though - just baking bread -whole grain breads.

Obsession hit a little over a year ago when I found WGB by Peter Reinhart.  That led me to sourdough baking and I have been on a quest to learn and bake all I can since then.

My kids were very enthusiastic about my bread in the beginning because store bought and frozen loaves were the norm here - albeit they were organic whole grain store bought loaves....after awhile their enthusiasm wained and they wanted only certain types of loaves so I had to branch out and find other 'takers' for my more exotic loaves.....exotic in this house means loaves baked with spices and nuts or seeds....daughter will tolerate additions to loaves; son will not.  I have neighbors who love what I bake - from my burned loaves to my frisbee loaves.....all get taken and enjoyed!

I am still trying to find a balance of when to bake what type of loaf but I think I am finding a rythm - give me a year or two and things should be running a lot more smoothly.

Oh, did I mention that my husband was very anxious about my maybe requesting an addition being built onto our small house to hold all of my baking paraphanila?  We no longer have any counter space and my old cookbook shelf - a total of 5 cook books - has expanded into 2 shelves full of bread baking books and numerous binders full of my notes on loaves I have baked and hope to bake...Our basement is full of grain buckets and back up supplies that don't fit into my cupboards in the kitchen.....The dining room table is my 'work' table buried under covered with TFL topics and a desk lamp to provide heat for my 'works in progress' -  leavens and fermenting doughs....one is hard put to find a bare spot to put a dinner plate.....

Living among the wee beasties is a delight for me but a bit of a challenge for the rest of the inhabitants in this house....I am sure they think I am well overdue for joining a 12 step program..."What, me have a problem?  No way!  Just a hobby"  :-0

Thanks for the topic :-)

Take Care,

Janet

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

"all the time"--well, not exactly, but on a daily basis, yes.  I've just started my third starter variety--durum--as I'm going to experiment with Altamura bread (thanks, Daniel Leader).  And just the other day I went to a party and brought a "Jewish" rye bread (made with a rye starter, some diced onion and ground caraway in the dough and coarse cornmeal on the crust) to the party.  Well it really was good if I say so myself.  And the caterer thought so too (she even made an hors d'oevre with quarter slices of it topped with a red pepper/onion confit and creamy goat cheese).  I liked the caterer so much that I thought I'd love to bake breads for her (she's a personal chef also--she seemed interested enough, too) and wondered--

Does anyone have experience baking bread for a caterer?  I think she'd be OK if I baked in my kitchen rather than a commercial kitchen ($20/hr rental).  Would love to hear stories!

Joyful

mimifix's picture
mimifix

Unfortunately, CA does not have a cottage law so you would need to find a commercial kitchen. However, it would be more feasible for you to find a business or community kitchen (church, school, restaurant, VFW, etc) that would charge you less than $20 per hour. Some places may even barter with you.

cubfan4ever's picture
cubfan4ever

@joyful - not sure where you are from but I did find one in Pasadena:  chefscenter (dot) org.  Not sure of their rates, I was researching the venue for a party, not to rent space.

cubfan4ever's picture
cubfan4ever

oh yeah... I obsess all the time.  I read cookbooks like novels and am constantly testing things and trying new stuff all the time.

mgbetz's picture
mgbetz

I'm unashamedly cooking/food  obsessed.  The only part I don't care for is the clean up --so use the "clean as you go" method.   Happily, I'm surrounded by foodies in the workplace. Bliss!

 

 

PClark's picture
PClark

I love to cook. I grew up with a father who cooked and loved it. My mother did not like to cook, but she baked so I got both genes, I think. So I have always considered cooking my therapy. When I would come home from a hard day (I painted houses for 22 years with my husband) I would sit down with a cup of coffee and start thinking about what to cook. It always made me feel better. Mostly it was simple cooking, there never was the budget for a lot of fancy fixings, but after the kids left I had a few more dollars so I started experimenting. Then the husband realized that he liked different foods and it's been fun since. Then I discovered web sites with pictures of the cooking and baking process and it really changed my level of cooking. something about actually seeing the foods in progress made it seem easier. So now I am fearless. HA  And I am never without butter or heavy cream. However I am just now getting my bread baking going and you all are helping so much with all you recipes and help.

whosinthekitchen's picture
whosinthekitchen

I haven't thought of mine as obsession but since the term has been used in this thread, I should consider it.

The best souvenirs from travel has always been a great recipe, use of a new (to me) ingredient, or a cooking utensil.  That might be telling.  I have a great 6 burner stove top with a griddle, and housed beneath is a small oven next to an oversize convection oven.  Just beyond the kitchen door we have a wonderful matching grill with a huge side burner, and off set from the patio we have a four foot tall stainless smoker;  we are contemplating an additional wall oven next to the grill for baking in order to keep the heat out of the house.  This is not a resturant but my residence!  My friends love to pilfer through my spice cabinet because they always find items they have never heard of or had in a dish.  The cookbook collection was severely pared down when we moved time before last.  Now I have only 2 three foot shelves loaded.  I use all of them frequently.  At the book store I was asked about a cookbook recommendation by a young lady just venturing into her interest in cooking being newly married.  I told her my favorite pages of the 1936 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook handed down from my husband's grandmother.  A recent reprinting of the book was published.  The young woman pulled it from the shelf turned to page 318 for cream pies and asked,"Do you know the page numbers of all your favorite recipes?"  We laughed and I guided her to a couple of other basic how to's in that book.  She did indeed purchase it.  That was several years ago.  There are even more cookbook options and my favorite 'google' game is to type in a couple of odd ingredients I happen to have on hand and see what recipes emerge. Friends call from various places we have lived asking questions on how to  or what goes with.  Mind you, I am not an expert nor have I gone to culinary school.  What I do in the kitchen has been developed over time.  I have no problem serving a never before tried recipe or procedure when dinner guests are coming.  Obsessed? Perhaps, but no more than a classic car enthusiast, roller coaster junkies or those who are enthralled with labels on wine bottles.

A fun outing includes a stop at one or more fresh markets.  I will go into a bakery to see what wonders they offer, shop and return home to make my own version.  Right now I have no less than 5 kinds of flour or grain in my pantry or freezer for baking breads.  On this site, I doubt that is excessive.  I have friends that do not bake or even cook much and have no flour of any kind in the pantry.  When they bake they use a box.  I am not a snob.  They are happy with the end product, but even when a call is about a meet up for friend time they often ask, "What's cooking today?"  It could be a yeasty bread, a sour dough experiment, a savory pot, simmering sauces, delectables on the grill or in the smoker.  My husband in always in the mix and conjuring aromas and flavors as well.  

Other times, we enjoy touring the parks and gardens, pedaling the bike trails.  I love to fish, he likes to prepare the catch.  It works.  We have fun.  Obsessed?  So what?!

Enjoy!

whosinthekitchen (  now you see where this moniker comes from.... it could be me, the husband, friends.... )

 

tmarz's picture
tmarz

Well thank you soo much for all of that... It has just been on my mind for a while. I am a college student about to graduate with a degree I am not sure I want to do anymore... I have talked about this before on here. I am really considering doing what makes me happy... baking... I know as a graduating college student it would mean working in the trenches for a while... at a a bakery... which might be ok with me. I know it wont pay much either... but I am a religious person (and when I get married) and Heavenly Father will provide a way for it all to work out if I am trying to do what I should be doing. 

I didn't meant to make this into a religious discussion, but it is where I find strength and guidance.

Continued input is appreciated!

Thanks y'all!

shansen10's picture
shansen10

I too think about food A LOT - as soon as one meal is finished I am thinking about what to have for the next meal.  I am vegetarian, and I love to bake sourdough bread.   I also love to grow fresh vegetables, and  and am a Master Gardener (we have a big vegetable garden at our Extension).   Like you, I also have favorite food websites I go to almost every day, and collect cookbooks and recipes.  I  also love to sew, knit and read;  therefore I am not totally obsessed with food.

I bake probably once a week, and would probably bake more often if it weren't just my husband and me.  As it is, I give a lot of bread away to friends and to food donations at church.

chykcha's picture
chykcha

I am in the same boat. Ever since I started my starters, which was 3 years ago (yay!), I bake all the time. The only thing is that my husband does not enjoy the mess I make. Our kitchen counter is granite tile and flour is difficult to clean out. Any suggestions on that?

tmarz's picture
tmarz

Maybe a board to go over it?.... or lots and lots of toothpics and brushes!

shansen10's picture
shansen10

A big board is a good suggestion, if you have a place to store it.  Otherwise, I would consider new countertops, if possible!

I didn't think there were so many "obsessed foodies and bakers" - it's good to know there are so many of us!  I have another wrinkle, and that is, although I love to eat and think constantly about baking, growing vegetables and cooking, I am thin and "obsessed" with staying that way.  So when I cook and bake, I freeze portions and give lots to friends.

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

My father used to say, "Some people eat to live while others of us LIVE TO EAT!"  Growing up it seemed we had just finished cleaning up one meal as we planned and prepared for the next.    Unfortunately, this means my height and my circumference are approaching equal.  But while other Americans may be obese due to high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and fluffy-gummy bread, at least I am fat on fresh-cooked foods, butter, and heavenly homemade bread!

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

 

 post

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

why alcohol-free wine ?  Unless I am mistaken, wine when cooked/baked will lose all of its alcohol.

Just wondering, I have a friend who is an alcoholic and I have often wondered if this is true since I love to cook with wine and she seems not to mind.

Thank you,

Anna

 

tmarz's picture
tmarz

I use alcohol free wine because I don't drink alcohol at all unless it is an extract used in baking or something because it is such a minute amount. It is because of personal religious beliefs. 

I have done some research on studies done and it depends on how you are cooking with the alcohol. If it is in a pot, like in a stew... almost 40 percent of it will stay in. If it is a cake... just about all of it will be there. If you are doing it in a skillet, like deglazing for a sauce... the majority of it will be evaporated. It depends on the depth and density of the liquid that you are putting the wine into. The larger and deeper amount of stuff you have with wine in it. The less it will evaporate. America's Test Kitchen has a good article on it... you might search around for that. 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Thank you.

Anna

 

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

According to http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/retn6/retn06.pdf (p.12),  5% of alcohol remains even aftersomething has been simmered for 2.5 hours!  So, what we all were taught, that a bit of flaming "burns off the alcohol" really doesn't.

  • stirred into simmering liquid and removed from heat, 85% of ethyl alcohol remains
  • flamed, 75% of ethyl alcohol remains
  • simmered 15 minutes, 40% of ethyl alcohol remains
  • simmered 30 minutes, 35% of ethyl alcohol remains
  • simmered 1 hour, 25% of ethyl alcohol remains
  • simmered 1.5 hours, 20% of ethyl alcohol remains
  • simmered 2 hours, 10% of ethyl alcohol remains
  • simmered 2.5 hours, 5% of ethyl alcohol remains

So, rule of thumb, if you have a friend who wishes to avoid all alcohol, don't serve them food cooked with it. 

 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

I would have never guessed that much alcohol stays in the food.

Thanks so much,

Anna

 

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

I appreciate your take on "cottage" laws in California.  I will do some research, as this sounds like an opportunity too good to pass up.

Joyful