GINNA PARSONS: Bread, cake recipes get clarification

A couple of recipes from recent Cook of the Week features have raised some questions from faithful readers, so I’m going to take this opportunity to set the record straight.
First, a sourdough bread recipe from Beth Hill of Ripley (Sept. 29) has no yeast listed in the ingredients. I called Mrs. Hill to double-check this last week and she said the original recipe contained no yeast.
However, she said that sometimes when she’s making bread, she’ll add a tablespoon of yeast to the warm water. So if your dough isn’t rising like you want it to, make this change. But don’t make any changes to the starter.
Second, a seven-layer strawberry cake from Catherine Ann Guin of Marietta (Oct. 13) calls for very little liquid in the ingredients. When I spoke to Catherine Ann a couple of days ago about this, she said the recipe was correct as written.
But, she said, the second time she made the cake the batter seemed a bit thick to her, so she added about 1⁄4 cup of strawberry juice to the mixture. She said you could also use water to thin the batter out. It should be the same consistency as any other cake batter. (Two readers suggested doubling the eggs.)
I hope these tips help. I’ll try to do a better job on the front end of asking these types of questions … but as you know, I’m no baker, so things like this often get past me.
On a more positive note, here’s a recipe I have personally tried myself. We made these for supper one night last week and had already planned to make the kids some grilled cheese sandwiches as an alternative because of the Brie and arugula.
I’ll have you know they both cleaned their plates. (Although son Patrick had a quesadilla AND a grilled cheese. We just call him Hollow Leg.)

Brie, Apple and
Arugula Quesadillas
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons apple cider
4 (8-inch) whole wheat soft tortillas
8 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed and cut into
14-inch-thick slices, divided
1 Fuji apple, cored and cut into
14-inch-thick slices (about 12 pound), divided
4 cups arugula, divided
34 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Combine mustard and cider in a small bowl; stir well.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread each tortilla with about 2 teaspoons mustard mixture. Place 1 tortilla, mustard side up, in pan. Arrange one-fourth of cheese slices over half of tortilla; cook 1 minute or until cheese begins to melt. Arrange one-fourth of apple slices over cheese; top with 1 cup arugula. Sprinkle with 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Fold tortilla in half; press gently with a spatula. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure three times with remaining 3 tortillas, cheese, apple slices, 3 cups arugula, and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal