Rolling in the Dough
If you think cooking is hard, baking is a whole other animal. When you bake, you have to think like a chemist. Where you can freestyle and get creative with a marinade or sauce, ingredients like baking soda or cream of tartar must be added in specific measurements. You have to mix all of your dry ingredients first, your oven temperature needs to accurate and you have to be careful not to over mix your dough. I remember hearing from older folks about not being able to play in the house because the jumping around would shake the floor and deflate a cake.
I finally got enough courage to try my hand at pastry dough, which is especially mercurial. You have to knead and mix by feel and intuition. You just know when the dough has reached the right consistency, which is not exactly helpful the first time around. Thankfully, the New York Times had a great recipe and it was easy to follow.
I ended up making a savory breakfast tart with asparagus, ricotta and parmesan cheese, chicken sausage and fresh cracked pepper. With a heaping side a cheese eggs, this made for a rustic breakfast. I definitely recommend making the dough the night before, giving the discs a chance to chill. I am officially washed up, so I had no problems making pastry dough at 10PM on a Saturday night.