I don’t bake. It’s not that I don’t like it; in fact on several occasions I’ve been spotted eating my entire body weight in baked goods. The tapes have been destroyed but the facts remain.
In the past I have avoided bakery because of the scope of its commitment. Most recipes require draconian adherence to proportions, lengthy time allotments, and exacting observance of temperature and humidity. Bah.
But as I rapidly close in on my 30th year in life I’m starting to believe that “a man ain’t no kinda man what can’t make a yeast roll.” Humorous colloquial dialect aside, I mean what the hell? How can I not bake a roll? Both my grandmothers baked rolls; my mom and my aunt bake rolls; I spent a year in culinary school and cooked in two restaurants. I see no room for excuses.
I’ve been fiddling with my biscuit recipe for a few years and am gathering a semblance of competence, but biscuits aren’t really bread. I mean they are, but they’re a quick bread with no use for yeast and development of gluten and relaxing of proteins and the like. So there is still work to be done.
I was planning on baking some traditional yeasty goodies from Shirley Corriher’s badass book Cookwise (Thanks awesome wife for awesome Christmas present!) Then the new February Gourmet showed up in my mailbox and damned if it wasn’t an ode to savory baked morsels. One recipe in particular caught my eye- the rare, elusive, brightly plumaged, buttermilk fantail.
Alright. So they’re just called buttermilk fantails. Go ahead and squelch my fun, haters. Regardless, they looked amazing. My first love affair was with a pan of monkey bread so any baked goods that pull apart in layers are high on my list. And buttermilk, lots of buttermilk.
I won’t go into all of the recipe minutiae because Gourmet already did that for me, but I will put in a plug saying these little guys are fairly easy to prepare, super delicious and entirely addictive (our dinner party of four may or may not have eaten the entire dozen, or may have. Whoops.)
Overall, it was a pleasant and mostly painless experience, so be on the look out for more baking projects from the Pants household in the near future. I checked with my doctor and he confirmed that I’m running a dangerous deficit on buttery carbs. Anything to stay healthy, that’s my motto.