Friday, August 19, 2011
The parallels of Writing and Baking
Today I'm thrilled to have Gabriella Hewitt guest blogging!
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I have a banana stand to keep my bananas bruise free and fresh. I guess they were too fresh because they were peeling off the stand. I had the brilliant idea to bake banana bread. So, after the kids finally went to bed I got started. A friend who had moved away had given me cake flour--at least I thought it was. I looked at the package and read bread flour. Flour is flour, right?
Ha ha. I start mixing the batter, only it's not batter. It's really doughy and not blending all that well. Does it need water or milk? No. I'm not my sharpest at 10 pm, so it took a moment to connect the dots. Maybe it's the flour. There I was wondering if I should toss it all out. But I hate to waste food. Well, it's bread dough. It's got enough sugar in it that the kids will probably eat it anyway. Okay, so it doesn't have yeast and won't rise, but it'll make a great focaccia. Sure it will. I flatten it out in the bottom of a glass baking pan and baked it.
Writing is kind of the same. You start out with all these ingredients and it might even seem like it's coming together. Then disaster. Nothing mixes right. The pieces don't fit. You'r positive that you can't achieve anything worth serving up to your readers. But, with patience, perserverance and ingenuity, the whole becomes clear and as you near the end, you wonder why you ever doubted yourself to begin with.
I've got to be honest, though. That so-called focaccia may be hard as a rock and completely inedible. I won't know until tomorrow. That's why I'll stick with writing rather than baking, even if some of the same principles apply.
Here is the recipe I am using. Got it from AllRecipes.com http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/focaccia-bread/detail.aspx
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella
1.In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
2.When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
3.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
You can find more recipes at my website and download Puerto Rican Recipes free booklet. Free Reads
Gabriella Hewitt is the pen name of creative writing talents Sasha Tomaszycki and Patrizia M.J. Hayashi. Together they weave tales of romantic suspense and dangerously sensual paranormals. Check out the website www.GabriellaHewitt.com to find out about upcoming releases and events on her blog.