Let the truth be told that while I am not an award-winning cook, I have always loved baking. I am one of those insane people who refused to purchase a bread maker just because I absolutely loved the process of preparing bread by hand. Yet, while (almost) all of my baked goods taste quite delicious, they are all too often, ahem, not so pretty. I have blamed it on my bakeware, exclaiming ‘if only I had the proper pans.’ But now, I must admit that perhaps the baker, not the tools, was the source of the problem.
I received some muffin mixes to trial out from a new food allergy-friendly baking mix company, Meraby’s. I first had some of the mix sent to a food allergy mom I know, and she promptly whipped up two batches of perfect looking muffins. Her photos put me to shame, not a ripped apart pastry in site. I usually lose half of the batch image-wise to stickage. Sure, they are edible (and get eaten), but they constantly adhere to the bottom of the pan, never retaining that perfect muffin look. If you look closely at some of my muffin photos, you could easily play a rousing game of “spot the broken muffins.”
To vary my review from hers a bit, I decided to make quick bread. Yet as the loaf emerged from the oven, I suddenly became quite nervous. This was it, I only had one shot for the photo. Not a dozen muffins from which at least one or two would remain beautifully in tact and photo-worthy. Barb had already shown how perfect this mix could look, I couldn’t mess it up at this point! Truthfully, I had to recognize at that moment my own mental shortcoming, patience. Just leave the bread Alisa, step away from the pan. Within the next 15 minute I returned the kitchen twice, tempting fate ever so slightly as I lunged toward the pan, but I held off. A half hour passed, and I rushed in to discover that the pan was almost fully cooled. I gently smoothed a knife around the edges to loosen the sides, and slowly turned the loaf, gently tapping the bottom of the pan, and…
I know to some of you this may seem like the world’s lamest post, but I swear to you, when I saw that entirely smooth loaf of quick bread, a sight that I had never laid eyes upon, a rush of pride so great swept over me that I had to call my husband in and grab my camera. I kid you not, I took nine different shots of the bottom of this blueberry bread (just a half dozen when I repeated this beautiful process with the cranberry orange bread). So humor me just for a moment, as at times, it is the littlest things in life that give me the utmost joy!
Just in case you were wondering what the top looked like….
Oh, and yes, it did taste reeeealllly, reeeeallly, good. Egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan to boot! Well, if you are curious, the full review is here.