Friday, December 3, 2010

Self Rising Flour and Big change to a recipe

For all of you out there getting ready to make my Snickerdoodle recipe that can be found here, I want you to stop immediately. Put down the mixer, put down the measuring spoon, put down the cinnamon sugar. Today I made a batch of the cookies (my friend Karlin is making me mushroom soup, I make her Snickerdoodles...we have a symbiotic relationship based on food) and was dismayed when mid cooking (and mid nap for Baby Girl) I discovered that I was out of AP flour. I had just used almost all of my AP flour in replacement of Bread flour which I was out of to make foccaccia (more on that later) for the same person. Lucky for me I was in possession of five other flours... The first was Tapioca flour, used more for thickening it was automatically out. The second was Pasta flour, with too grainy of a texture, it too was gone. The next three were Whole Wheat (possible, but would definitely alter the taste and probably would alter the texture), Cake flour (definite possibilities there, but would it be too light and airy), and Self-Rising flour (could work, but would it leaven the cookie dough too much). As I muddled over my conundrum, munching on a corner of the aforementioned foccaccia, I saw two stars next to the flour on the recipe. What is this I thought? I looked at the bottom of the recipe and to my delight there was a replacement for the AP Flour! I could use Self-Rising and merely omit the salt, baking powder, and cream of tartar. An approved replacement and less things to measure...Yippee!!! I mixed up my ingredients, baked my cookies, and marveled at their puffy shape as they came out of the oven 8-10 minutes later. I tried one hoping that it would taste as good as the standard gems I made even if they were a little rounder. I only have this to say...when Betty Crocker says you "could" change the recipe, what she meant was that you "should" change the recipe. I marveled at how light, fluffy, and perfectly sweet this cookie had become. The cinnamon sugar barely coated the outside of the cookie and it was like eating a puffy cloud of soft sweetness. I will make a note (along with the note that this makes about 45 cookies) in my cookbook for this to be a permanent change.

What will I do with all of this extra self rising flour you may ask? That one is easy. As Self-Rising flour has a somewhat legitimate expiration date (unlike the fake date of AP flour, salt, and other staples that could last indefinitely), you do need to use your flour within a year or so. Now the Snickerdoodles are easy and delicious, but something equally delicious and even easier to make is your very own beer bread. I got this recipe from an old college roomie who I did not get along time she made this recipe and replaced the sugar with salt...that was gross, but this is not! Pre-heat your oven to 375. Mix 3 cups Self-Rising flour, 1/2 cup sugar, a sprinkle of salt, and your favorite bottle of beer (I recommend Shiner Boch, but Shiner is my recommendation for almost everything...Guinness is good too). Butter a loaf pan and put the very sticky batter in the pan. Bake for 55 minutes, buttering the top of the loaf for the last 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Have fun with your Self-Rising flour!!!

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