October 30, 2014

Chocolate and Pear Dutch Baby Pancake


I hate admitting this, but I'm not much of a brunch person. Like this New York Times article, I am the curmudgeon who stays at home wondering why people would bother waiting in line for two hours just to pay an exorbitant amount for eggs and bacon they could make for themselves at home.

"But Michelle!" people will often argue. "There are some brunch things that are just too difficult to make at home."

To which, I'll often snort: "Like what?"

Most responses often relate to eggs Benedict, which I will admit is a bit of a pain to make (because let's be honest here, anybody who says poaching eggs is easy is probably cheating and using one of those weird specialized devices they sell at Sur La Table).

But sometimes, people will bring up breakfast sweets like pancakes as part of their defense. A friend who was severely offended by my stance on brunch once argued that it was hard to make pancakes like they did at brunch places. Hers were never as fluffy or well-shaped, and she always made a big mess when she tried to make them at home. Plus, at brunch places, they always had funner toppings and more variety anyway... so why bother at home?

Thinking about her pancake problems, I realized I had the perfect solution — this epic recipe for a chocolate and pear Dutch baby pancake:


Why is this recipe so epic? Because it's so stupidly easy, that's why. All you need is a cast iron skillet, a large bowl and nothing else. Sauté the pears in some butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, before pouring in the rest of the chocolate batter over the fruit and sticking the entire thing in the hot, hot, hot oven. The batter then bakes and puffs up to create this beautiful pancake that has a wonderfully Yorkshire pudding texture that's almost flan-like. Think of it as a giant popover with chocolate and fruit:


The best part is, with this recipe, you can experiment with different fruits and flavors — swap the pears for apples or bananas, or omit the cocoa powder for a more classic pancake flavor. Experiment with different spices and add ground vanilla bean powder, cardamom and more.

Other awesome brunch recipes? The crazy-talented Steph from I Am A Food Blog does a brunch series with posts every Sunday that I love, love, love with recipes like chili and cornbread waffles and eggs and avocado grilled cheeses soldiers. Kathryn, one of my favorite bloggers over at London Bakes, also has some great gems like chocolate and coconut buckwheat waffles and rhubarb and polenta muffins. I've also been dying to make Izy's whole grain double chocolate muffins (seen in Cynthia's beautiful, beautiful post), Molly's eggs Benedict Cumberbatch (ha, geddit, geddit?!) and one of Melissa of The Faux Martha's pretty donut recipes (but especially these baked apple cider donuts).

So why bother heading out for brunch? I'll skip the long lines and overpriced any eggs any day. All I need is my cast iron skillet and the internet, and I'm set for life.


Some baker's notes:
  • This recipe works best with firm, ripe pears like Bosc pears, which hold their shape when cooked or baked. I also like the contrasting texture that Bosc pears provide. Although they are still delicious, softer pears like Comice or Bartlett pears will get mushy when cooked and will kind of blend into the batter.

  • This isn't really a "baker's note", but if you're a visual learner, check out this illustrated version of my Dutch baby pancake recipe. The illustration is by Task and Tool, a startup that helps bloggers illustrate their recipes; check out their site to see their full collection of illustrated recipes.

October 27, 2014

Yellow Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Crème Fraîche Frosting and Flaky Sea Salt + A Giveaway!


A few weeks ago, I was invited to tour Bob’s Red Mill factory. Even though I’ve lived in Portland for a cumulative total of 10 years, it was the first time I’d ever visited their factory — which is really quite a shame on me, since the factory is only 10 minutes outside of Portland.

I’ve always been a fan of Bob’s Red Mill products; if I needed an obscure flour or some other ingredient, often times I would check their online store and find that they offered it. It was also a relief, knowing that I could count on their products to be high-quality — I’ve been burned in the past, buying cheap almond meal and having my baked goods come out a tad too oily or off-colored. But with Bob’s Red Mill products, I never had any problems.


It wasn’t until I took the actual tour, however, that I discovered how cool of a company Bob’s Red Mill actually is. For starters, Bob of Bob’s Red Mill is an actual person — you guys should have seen the look on my face when he walked in the room to introduce himself! I know that I probably sound silly for saying that, but the cynical marketer in me thought that “Bob’s Red Mill” was just a cute little marketing tactic. But nope, Bob of Bob’s Red Mill is really, actually a man named Bob Moore, who started making the company’s products with a red flour mill back in the 1970s. Since then he and his wife have turned what started out as a retirement hobby into a behemoth of a factory — not to mention a highly profitable business, rejecting lucrative offers for buyouts and IPOs and instead giving the company back to their employees by making the company 100% employee-owned. How cool is that?

As for the quality of their products, I knew I wasn’t making it up in my head. Bob’s Red Mill is one of the only few companies that does almost all their production in-house; that is, processing, washing, and inspecting the grain, as well as testing products in their own laboratories. As an example of this intricate quality control of their products, Bob’s Red Mill segregates gluten-free products from the others, and even tests them in special gluten-free only clean room facilities. Bob’s Red Mill is also one of the last few flour mills to use quartz stone millstones to make their flours; almost all other companies use high-speed rollers. Stone milling has been around for centuries, but because it is slow and expensive, most other companies moved to cheaper and more efficient means. Of course, this comes at the cost of quality — stone milling allows you keep more of the whole wheat’s nutrients due to the stones’ cooler temperatures, and some studies have shown that stone-milled flour can reach higher temperatures when baked. It’s rare to find actual stone-ground flour, but almost all of Bob’s Red Mill products are.


So, to say the least, I walked away from the tour with a newfound appreciation for Bob’s Red Mill as a company as well as their products. After the tour, I went to their nearby restaurant and store — which contains ALL their products at discounted prices, plus a bulk section including herbs and teas — and went to town. I bought all the ingredients for the recipes that I’ve had my eye on for some time now, but have just been too lazy and/or cheap to source — stuff like whole wheat graham flour and potato starch.

“Potato starch!” I hear you judging. Of all the things I could have bought at Bob’s Red Mill’s flagship store, I went with a obscure thickener? But see, Miette, one of my favorite cookbooks from the beloved San Francisco bakery, has a recipe for yellow cupcakes that I’ve had my eye on since I bought the book three years ago. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to make it because, well, where on earth does one get potato starch?

Bob’s Red Mill, that’s where.


It seems kinda corny to say this, but I feel like these cupcakes are a good representation of what Bob’s Red Mill is all about — that is, simple but good quality. When I posted these cupcakes on instagram, an incredibly nice commenter stated that:

“So many cupcakes these days are trying so hard to be inventive and complicated and crazy but these are the ones dreams are made of! Simple, intense ingredients!”

And she’s right — because yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting? Pretty simple, pretty classic. But what really elevates the cupcakes are the ingredients they’re made from.

That yellow cake? All natural, with its sunny yellow coming from ever-so-slightly warmed eggs emulsified a cream and melted butter concoction. Both are just barely cooked before going into the batter to preserve their yellow color. If that sounds a bit heavy to go into a batter, don’t fret — that potato starch is essential to this recipe, lightening what would otherwise be a dense and heavy crumb into a moist and fluffy one, but still giving the cake enough strength to hold its own against a heavy chocolate frosting.


And yes, that frosting! With no added sugar (with the exception of a spoonful of corn syrup to give it a smooth texture), it’s 72% cocoa chocolate melted down with crème fraîche (because why have sour cream when you can have crème fraîche?!), butter and nothing else. The result is an intense and not very-sweet deep chocolate flavor that’s for all you dark, dark, dark chocolate lovers out there.

So, yep, these cupcakes are really proof that all you don’t really need to get all that fancy to make an absolutely epic baked good — just simple flavors made from high-quality products and ingredients.


And with that note, I’m partnering with Bob’s Red Mill to give away four of my favorite Bob’s Red Mill products to help you elevate your baked goods to that next level! In my prize pack, I’m including:

To enter the giveaway, use my raffle widget to either:
  • Follow me (@hummingbirdhigh) on Twitter. Following me on Twitter gives you 10 entries in the raffle, increasing your chances of winning. If you already follow me on Twitter, no need to do anything! Just use the widget below to enter, and the widget will confirm that you follow me.

  • Tweet about the giveaway. Tweeting about the giveaway gives you 5 entries in the raffle; just be sure to tweet at me (@hummingbirdhigh) using the giveaway widget so I know what's up. You can keep retweeting the message every day for the duration of the giveaway to earn more entries!



The giveaway lasts for one week and ends next Monday at November 3, 2014 12:00AM PDT. I'll announce the winner shortly on this post and reach out via email after that.

To learn more about Bob’s Red Mill, be sure to check out their awesome website (which has great histories on Bob, their products, as well as nutritional information on whole grains and gluten-free eating. You can also get the latest company news on the Bob’s Red Mill Facebook page!

But enough about me gushing about my company crush. On to the cupcake recipe…


Some baker’s notes:
  • Potato starch is available online through Amazon and Bob’s Red Mill’s website, as well as specialty grocery stores. It is a little bit difficult to source, so if you can’t find it anywhere local you could theoretically substitute potato starch with corn starch. But let me warn you — I have not done this myself, so I could be leading you astray...

  • This chocolate frosting is intense. It’s not very sweet, so if you prefer something a little more traditional and akin to regular cake frosting, I would recommend using a milk chocolate that only has 30-40% cocoa.

October 23, 2014

Saffron and Cardamom Poached Pears


Most people have a romantic notion of fall, conjuring up images of wool sweaters and falling leaves, but I know the truth — here in Portland, it's mostly about wet skies, damp socks, and digging out my rain pants to wear on my bike commutes to work. I know that doesn't sound like the sexiest autumn in the world, but I love it anyway, especially if a double rainbow makes an appearance every now and then.

This week was the first week in which it genuinely felt like fall in Portland, with the relentless rain and subsequent soggy bottomed shoes. To celebrate my favorite season, I decided to whip up this simple dessert — seasonal pears poached in white wine, cardamom and saffron, served with a dollop of creme fraîche:


This recipe comes from one of my culinary heroes, Yotam Ottolenghi (author of the much beloved Plenty cookbooks and famed restauranteur behind London's renowned Ottolenghi restaurant), whose recipe poached the autumn fruit in a bottle of white wine and a handful of classic Middle Eastern spices like saffron and cardamom.

Now saffron tends to lend a very subtle, complex richness to dishes, and can take on different flavors depending on what ingredients it's combined with. So when paired with the cardamom and wine, it imparted an almost honey-like flavor, and gave the pears a golden yellow glow. And when served warm with a dollop of crème fraîche? There's really nothing better.


Some baker's notes:
  • This recipe works best with firm, ripe pears like Bosc pears, which hold their shape when cooked or baked. Although they are still delicious, softer pears like Comice or Bartlett pears will fall apart during poaching.

  • Don't want to shell out for pricey, pricey saffron? There is an alternative! On his last trip to the international supermarket, Erlend found a $2.99 package of Mexican saffron, made from dried safflower threads. The taste isn't quite the same, but it will give your pears the same rich yellow color similar to my pears. Dried safflower threads are available in specialty herb stores, Asian supermarkets and (sometimes) the international/hispanic section of any local supermarket. If using safflower instead of saffron, be sure to increase the recipe amount to 1 full tablespoon's worth because safflower isn't as strongly flavored or as vividly colored as saffron.

  • Still not convinced by the merits of saffron or safflowers? No worries! You can substitute out the saffron/safflower threads with 1 vanilla bean pod to turn it into a classic vanilla poached pears recipe. Still great flavor, though the pears probably won't be as yellow.

October 20, 2014

Chocolate Orange Cake with Salted Cream Cheese Frosting


I have a confession.

The truth is, this chocolate orange cake started out as a red velvet cake. You see, despite my love for red velvet cake, I've always been a little bit skeptical of its components. According to a Wikipedia article on its origins, the first red velvet cake recipes contained beet juice which gave the cake its reddish tones. There are other varying origin stories (like the famous Waldorf Astoria version in which the lady is charged a fortune for asking for the recipe), but the beet one makes most sense to me.


One thing I've often struggled with is how to describe red velvet to those who have never had it before. I've heard others try to describe it as "a cross between vanilla and chocolate cake", but that doesn't seem sufficient. But my own explanation of "red velvet's unique flavor comes from the way it's leavened, the reaction between the acidic vinegar and the alkaline cocoa powder and baking soda" tends to glaze over most people's eyes. Sure, it's scientific and all, but I'm not sure if the reaction actually causes the flavor. Because the best red velvet cake I ever had doesn't really fit either of those descriptions.

I came upon the best red velvet cake I've ever had by chance. It wasn't anywhere especially fancy or even renowned for dessert; instead, it was a small hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint near Columbia University in New York City. They've since gone out of business, which isn't all that surprising because their barbecue was thoroughly mediocre at best. But I didn't care much for their barbecue, nope — instead, I went for their red velvet cake. It was outsourced from a bakery in nearby Harlem (which I sadly, do not remember the name of), and it was the best red velvet cake I've ever eaten in my life. The color was a deep, dark maroon and the cake tasted predominantly of chocolate with a hint of orange. All of this was topped with an incredibly light and fluffy buttercream frosting with that same subtle, almost elusive essence of orange (which I was surprised to find I adored, especially considering that I firmly believe that red velvet should often be topped with cream cheese frosting).


Throughout the last few years, I would try different red velvet recipes, throwing in some orange zest, extract or oil here and there in an effort to recreate that same cake. No recipe could ever quite capture that same flavor. It was only in a somewhat tipsy discussion with a baker friend with whom I was discussing the baked goods that we had failed to master (for me, those damn French macarons and this cake), that she suggested I ditch the red velvet base all together and try messing with a chocolate one instead. Because the best red velvet recipe she'd tried, for instance, contained an extra cup of hot coffee to add depth to its faint cocoa flavor.

Huh.

That lit a light bulb in my brain. The best chocolate cake recipe I had, this crème fraîche chocolate cake, also contained a cup of hot coffee. What if I was going about my attempt to recreate this red velvet cake all wrong? What if, instead of using a red velvet cake recipe as a base, I used a chocolate cake recipe instead?


Well, as you probably figured out from the blog title's post and the picture above, it didn't really work. In my first attempt, I kept it simple and just added a couple tablespoons of food coloring and orange zest to the chocolate cake recipe. No surprises here — the amount of cocoa powder overpowered the food coloring, leaving me with a standard looking chocolate cake.

As for the flavor itself, the cake tasted like... well, chocolate cake, with a hint of orange. I was partially right about the vinegar and baking soda giving red velvet it's unique flavor, which this cake was missing because it used baking powder instead. But the flavor of this cake wasn't bad at all — in fact, it was tasty enough for me to forget my original intent, scarf down a slice or two and think about what could be improved for the next run. While the fresh orange zest imparted a lot of flavor, it definitely needed a touch more. I made a note to swap out the recipe's vanilla extract with an orange liqueur like Grand Marnier. And as for frosting, it needed to be tangy, but salty to really make the chocolate and citrus flavors sing; cream cheese would be the best base for that.


So behold, this cake — it's definitely not the red velvet I initially set out to make, but it's a cake that shouldn't be swept aside anyway. Chocolate and orange is one of my favorite combinations, and when topped with this salted orange zest cream cheese frosting? It's a recipe that deserves to be blogged about as it is its own star.

Until next time, red velvet. I'll be back for you. But for now, this chocolate orange cake will do just fine.


Some baker's notes:
  • Plan ahead for this one; the recipe calls for you to combine sugar and orange zest a day ahead to make orange-infused sugar. Of course, you can always just combine the sugar and orange together on the day of — using your fingers to rub fresh orange zest into sugar and letting it sit for 10 minutes will allow the oil from the orange zest to soak into the sugar. But allowing this to marinate overnight leads to a stronger aroma and flavor.

  • The cake batter will seem like it's super liquidy, but don't panic — it's just how it is. Trust the recipe!

  • I love the flavor of both salted chocolate and salted orange, but know that some people find that to be a bit weird. So let me warn you now that the frosting that accompanies this cake is sweet, but also salty. I think it goes well with the sweetness of the chocolate orange cake, but if you're not into that, reduce the salt quantity in the recipe by 1/2 teaspoon.

  • I'm not usually a stickler for sifting ingredients, but in this particular recipe, it's key that you sift the confectioner's sugar or you'll end up with a lumpy frosting. This is especially important if both your butter and cream cheese aren't at room temperature — if all of the ingredients aren't at the same temperature, you'll have a harder time getting a smooth frosting. If in a rush, you can even soften both the cream cheese and butter in the microwave at 10-second interval, until completely squishy but not melted. Be sue to check the texture between every interval!

  • Several people have asked me this on Instagram, so I'll share it here as well: the jadeite cake stand is from Food52's Provisions store and is still available for purchase. Yay!

October 14, 2014

Concord Grape, Honey and Goat Cheese Galette with Black Pepper


Five years into working the typical 40-hour, 9-to-5 job, I've come to realize that I am the worst kind of lunch taker there is. If I'm not grabbing an unhealthy-but-conveniently-close lunch with my coworkers, I can often be found having lunch at my desk, hunched over my laptop and eating greasy takeout as quickly as possible so I can stop the rather pointless multitasking. Often times, it's a 10-minute affair — I rarely ever take the full hour for lunch, even on the occasions I eat with coworkers.

Luckily, my company has a pretty easygoing work-from-home policy. I try to work from home at least once a week; doing so means I'm actually able to get more work done (my office has an open floor plan, which is prime for distractions and interruptions). But during those days, I usually fall into the same patterns as I do at work — that is, eat frantically while glued to my laptop, so I can get back to whatever I'm working on as quickly as possible.


So when I was working from home most recently, I opened my fridge to see if there was anything I could make a quick meal out of. The fridge was pretty empty at that point, containing a few bottles of condiments, a tube of goat cheese, and some Concord grapes left over from when I made this Concord grape cornbread. I wrinkled my nose, thinking that I would have to let my coworkers know that I was running somewhere quick for lunch.

But as I was about to type the message, it gave me pause — why did I need to be in a rush all the time? It was a Friday after all, and Fridays tend to be the days when my coworkers and I took longer lunches. I'd already started my day earlier since I'd literally rolled out of bed, immediately grabbed my laptop and proceeded to get sucked into work emails. Maybe just this once, it was time to take the full lunch hour without worrying about any emails, IMs, and projects.

And so I did. Goat cheese and Concord grapes by themselves aren't a substantial lunch — but on a buttery, flaky cornmeal crust with a dash of olive oil and pine nuts here and there? It was game time:


This galette, made from the contents of my fridge that day, contain a generous amount of goat cheese and grapes. The galette contains a few dashes of honey, and is topped with a sprig of rosemary and pine nuts to bring it some herby and savory flavors. I also served it with a few sprinkles of fresh cracked black pepper, kosher sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil. And the best part? Because the filling requires so little prep, this galette came together in less than 40 minutes, giving me the full 20 minutes to enjoy it during the rest of my lunch break.

But to be fair, it's not the sort of meal I would have every day for lunch — it's a little overly-elegant and insubstantial, the kind of food consumed by "ladies who lunch" with their girlfriends before an afternoon spent shopping for expensive clothes and walking their French bulldogs. I don't really have that sort of luxurious lifestyle (or aspire to have it, really), but that day, with this galette, I felt like I did.


Some baker's notes:
  • Although any kind of grape could theoretically work for this recipe, I went with Concord grapes because they are smaller and don't have much of a seed (or at least, not the kind I buy, which are seedless). If you're using any other kind of grape, be sure to use ones that are smaller (aim for grapes that are slightly bigger than blueberries) and seedless. If you insist on using grapes with seeds, use a cherry pitter to de-seed them and make your life easier! 

  • If you only have seedy grapes available to you and don't want to bother with a cherry pitter, note that this recipe works with a variety of different fruits, especially berries — try swapping the grapes with blueberries or raspberries! 

  • I wrote the recipe for the cornmeal galette dough the way I made it, which was using a food processor. I know that not everybody has a food processor though (and to be fair, I only got my food processor pretty recently), so you can also cut the ingredients together using a pastry blender, two knives, or even your hands. And if you want to see this crust in action elsewhere, check out my recipe for this stunning plum and marzipan galette.

October 9, 2014

Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Pink Frosting


When I was younger, I played lots of team sports like soccer. I like to think that doing so was formative in allowing me to be a “team player who works well with others” (something I frequently hear during my performance reviews), but really, the only thing that I can directly attribute to all those hours spent running around is my ability to kick a soccer ball with a halfway decent aim. That, and my love for soccer game snacks, the kind that would frequently appear during halftime breaks. Juice boxes, orange slices and grocery store baked goods like muffins and cookies.

One of my favorite grocery store baked goods were these weird “muffin top” cookies that often came stacked in rows on top of each other in plastic bins. They were like whoopie pies minus the sandwich component, with the frosting sitting on the domed tops instead of the flat bottom. Like a black and white cookie, but instead of the chocolate and vanilla glaze, they were frosted the bright blue or hot pink color you often see in grocery store baked goods, and adorned generously with sprinkles.

Sadly, I don’t see these muffin top cookies anymore in grocery stores — perhaps it was just a Texas big-box supermarket specialty? Eitherway, I decided to see if I could remake them at home:


Now, these aren’t exactly the cookies I remember from my childhood. For one thing, I used a chocolate sugar cookie recipe that makes these guys more cookie-like than whoopie pie-like. At first I was slightly disappointed to find that my own version left me wanting, but a few bites later, I realized that these cookies were delicious by their own merit. And topped with a pale pink sweetened condensed milk frosting (which I added a generous amount of salt to, to ensure that the cookie wasn't too sweet) and a handful or rainbow nonpareils? They were simply irresistible.

Some baker's notes:
  • This recipe uses vegetable shortening, an ingredient I actually avoid because trans fats are terrible for you, etc. Unfortunately, the first time I tried this recipe and replaced the shortening with melted butter, it just didn't have the sugar cookie texture I was looking for (although it was really pretty tasty). So it's really up to you — if you're uncomfortable with using shortening, replace the amount in the recipe with the same quantity of melted butter.

  • One of my favorite things about cookies is that you can adjust the baking time to get the temperature you want. Want a softer, traditional sugar cookie texture? Bake for 14 minutes. Want a crisp, crunchy cookie? Bake for 18 minutes. However, if you're a crispy cookie person, I'm going to warn you that these cookies don't keep very well and will eventually turn soft — overnight, the chocolate cookie will absorb some the moisture from the pink frosting and soften up the cookie. I'm personally a big fan of that texture, but I know it's not for everybody.

  • Let me warn y'all now — this pink frosting isn't all that sweet. In fact, it's a little bit salty and tastes a lot like the hydrogenated frosting you get in between Oreo sandwich cookies. I made the frosting salty on purpose so that it would complement the deep chocolate flavor. If you're not into the combination of chocolate and salt, or would prefer something a little more like regular frosting, decrease the amount of salt in the recipe by half to 1/4 teaspoon frosting.

October 6, 2014

Concord Grape Cornbread with Rosemary Whipped Cream


I've never baked with grapes before. To me, they always seem like the kind of fruit you snack on and didn't have much place in desserts and baked goods. I mean, think about it — how often do you see a grape cake? Grape muffins or grape loaves? Almost never, right? And I'm not exactly sure why. With their sweet, slightly astringent flavor and their consistency matching that of a blueberry (which often makes appearances in muffins and loaves), grapes seem like they'd be the perfect candidate for fruit to use when baking.

A few quick Google searches yielded lots of ideas for grape baked goods. There was this beautiful Concord grape and walnut frangipane tart and this absolutely stunning Concord grape pie. But the recipe that appealed most to me was this simple cornbread recipe with a handful of Concord grapes thrown in:


Really, "cornbread" is a bit of a misnomer — this is more like a corncake. Think: a buttery, honey cornbread with a slight crunchy crisp from the cornmeal, but this time with bursts of fruit flavor from the Concord grapes. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, unlike other fruits that grow more tart during the baking process, these grapes grew sweeter and came to have an almost jam-like taste and texture.  I recommend the cornbread for brunch, served warm with a dollop of rosemary-infused whipped cream.


Some baker's notes:
  • Although any kind of grape could theoretically work for this recipe, I went with Concord grapes because they are smaller and don't have much of a seed. If you're using any other kind of grape, be sure to use ones that are smaller (aim for grapes that are slightly bigger than blueberries) and seedless. If you insist on using grapes with seeds, use a cherry pitter to de-seed them and make your life easier!

  • Be sure not to skip the part where you toss the grapes in a tablespoon or two of flour before adding them to the batter. I've talked about this in my recipe for blueberry brownies, but the flour coat absorbs some of the liquid released by the fruit as it bakes and keeps the fruit in place until the crumb has set. A good rule of thumb is to use more flour for riper, juicier fruits and less for less juicy fruits. Be careful not to abuse this rule too much, or you'll end up with dense baked goods whose proportions are all off due to extra flour.