Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Steam Punk'd

Remember my enthusiastic post about steam baking bread? Remember how excited I was to find a colander of the right shape? Remember what good luck I've been having on culinary projects lately? I'm afraid the steam-baking thing fits right into the developing trend.

First off, it turns out that I don't have the perfect colander. I have a gigantic wire colander that will only fit into one of my pots - the nonstick pasta pot (which actually Aaron's, and a gift from his parents, so I shouldn't mess it up). I'd actually thought about buying the larger-sized colander at Target, so I'm very glad I started small.

I should probably mention that I pretty much always have a tape measure with me, in my knitting-supplies bag.

But since I had a pot that fit, I decided to go on. I dumped a blueberry muffin mix, an egg, and some oil into a plastic bag, and squeezed all the goop together.

And here is where I learned:
a) It's really hard to carefully arrange everything over a steaming pot of water.
b) I don't have the perfect colander. I have a colander that slopes too much on the sides and has too small a bottom, so the bag kept drooping toward the water and the side of the pot. I don't know if this is a problem, but I didn't relish the thought of finding out. Remember, this project isn't supposed to leave any dirty dishes.

So I came up with a fix - moving the batter to three sandwich-sized bags. Amazingly, this more or less worked, and I accomplished it without making a mess.

Then it's just a matter of putting the lid on, and steaming until it's done (about 20 minutes, following the package's baking time). But - oops! - a lid for draining pasta doesn't hold in much steam. So I got to go rummaging through the Pots I Haven't Used Since I Moved part of the cupboard to find a really big skillet lid. No problem.

And here's the finished result. Three blobs of blueberry muffin. Only a little batter on the pot. Nothing melted. Nothing on fire.

Nothing completely cooked. There were still pockets of batter in the bags - I suspect it was where they were piled on each other, but I'm not sure.

What was cooked was tasty enough, if not pretty. I'm still on the search for the perfect colander/strainer. Then I'll look for the perfect pot.

Then I'll look for the perfect mix. I saw a beer-bread batter at Target. I hope I find the right colander soon.


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