Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Small Batch Baking

Small Batch Baking
I recently read about Small-Batch Baking on a blog (which one I can't remember for the life of me now) & thought what a good idea for Matt & I. So, I picked up a copy at the library to test out some of the recipes too see if it was as good an idea as it sounded. We all know how hard it can be to size a recipe down for just two people, especially baking recipes that call for eggs (seriously how do you half & egg?) so this book has done that for you. It allows you to bake up just 5 cookies
Shortbread Cookies for Two
3 brownies
Brownie with French Vanilla Ice Cream
A 4-inch cake
yellow cake with raspberry whipped cream
or 3 scones
Lavender Scones
I've also made the 6-inch focaccia bread, the mixed berry cobbler for 2 & a batch of 4 cupcakes. So far I've had very good success with all of the recipes. Some people are probably thinking why go through the work of baking for such a small amount. Well, I enjoy baking but really haven't done much of it because I don't want 36 cookies or a whole cake around the house. I like the idea that I can make a dessert or mid-afternoon treat for us & not have leftovers to tempt us into snacking for days or end up getting thrown away. I especially like the idea of small batches of breakfast treats such as muffins, popovers & scones. We tend to eat a healthy breakfast on weekdays but like a treat on the weekends, it was so nice to have 3 small scones on Sunday morning instead of 8.
I've found that some of the basic recipes in here can also be a good jumping off point to create your own small batch baked good. I used the Plain Good Cupcake recipe to test out peach cupcakes (you don't feel so bad about something not working out when its only 4). I took the recipe for Chocolate Chip Cream Scones & turned it into amazing Lavender Scones. It was so nice to have the basic ingredients worked out to the right measurements for me.
The one thing about this book that might be a little bothersome is the need for new smaller (she has exact sizes in the book) baking pans. She does bake her cakes in empty cans but calls for a couple different sizes of muffin tins, small individual tart pans, petit loaf pans, 4-inch baking rounds & small ramekins. I figured since I planned on doing a lot of baking from this book I'd invest in some of these pieces but they have been hard to find the exact sizes. I found 4.5 inch cake pans at Michael's Craft store which I use instead of the cans (it give me one two layer cake instead of two smaller ones) . The Gobel 4-by-1-Inch Quiche Pan, Set of 4 with removable bottoms was much harder to find & I ended up ordering some from Amazon. I did have petit loaf pans though mine are smaller than the ones she calls for though still seemed to work with a little adjustment of baking time.
In the end I decided this is a good baking book for me to have in my library especially when I saw its only $11.16 on Amazon.


Deborah said...

I bought this book not too long ago, and just made my first recipe from it last night! I made the cupcakes, but I'm excited to try out more. I'm not sure I'm in love with the whole can idea, but I already have many pans in smaller sizes.

Neen said...

Wow! What an amazing idea, thanks so much for blogging about it! I baked a beautiful cake last week because I had a craving for just one slice, and literally as I type am sitting with over half of it in front of me (shamefully going at it with a fork... that's what happens when the leftovers never die!).

Jen said...

This is a really great idea and it's good to hear that you've used it sucessfully. I've been looking for a good small-batch cupcake recipe recently... I'll have to see if my library has the book.

Anonymous said...

I put this book on my holiday wish list, however I wish I could get hold of the supply list before someone gives me the book, because I'd like to put those items on my wishlist too. (My family is asking for ideas.) Do you know where it is posted, or would you be willing to email me the list from the book. If not, I'll try to find it in a local store and jot notes. :) Thanks for considering this.

kat said...

Kathryn - The book actually calls for lots of different things - jumbo muffin pan, regular muffin pan, 5 3/4" x 3 1/8" loaf pan, 9" x 5" loaf pan, 4" x 1 3/8" tart pans with removable bottom, 4 1/2" x 3/4" tart pans with removable bottom & single serving ramekins.
She bake her cakes in tin cans but I actually bought small springform pans to use for this instead.
I don't have everything she asks for & I can usually make most recipes work by changing the cooking time a little.

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