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The flat bread society

May 28, 2009

There are few things as profoundly satisfying as baking bread.  The only downside for me is the oven, which I sometimes just don’t want to crank to 500 degrees, hot weather or not.  The solution to this is flatbread, which gives you the same happy knead and rise, but can be accomplished on the stovetop–or [...]

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Weights & measures, ratios & scales

May 4, 2009

More than other kinds of cooking, baking relies on precise measurements, which is the reason why many baking recipes (particularly European recipes) call for ingredients to be weighed rather than measured out in cups or liters.  This is especially true of flour, which can be an enormous variable depending on how you fill your cup [...]

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My favorite pastry brush

April 23, 2009

This is a picture of my favorite pastry brush from cooking school, which I bought not at the over-priced store conveniently attached to the school but at Home Depot.  (Where I get most of my cooking gear.) It’s a 2-inch brush that we used for glazing tarts, basting roasts or birds, brushing egg wash over [...]

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Amaranth cookies

April 16, 2009

Yesterday was a milestone day. Not because it was tax day (although I did drink a cup of tea in honor of the sitting president) but because Kim finished developing the last recipe in our cookbook.  It was an amaranth cookie, made with amaranth flour and ground hazelnuts, cut out in bee shapes, baked and [...]

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Rhubarb tarts on a doily, or not

April 15, 2009

When you’re testing recipes for a cookbook, you generate a lot of food.  For the last weeks and months, the assembly line of breads and cookies and pies and muffins coming out of my kitchen has been astonishing, like an unlicensed bakery that sporadically opens to manic over-production.  So this past weekend, after I pulled [...]

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Muffin recipe testing

March 25, 2009

Muffins are very, very cool things.  Sure, they don’t have the current caché (i.e. hype) of cupcakes, but you can eat them for breakfast without falling into a sugar coma.  Muffins are also how I got to know Kimberly Boyce, as I wrote a story about her whole grain muffin experiments now that she’s home [...]

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Blueberry corncakes

March 25, 2009

Finally, blueberries.  I went to college in Maine, so I was a bit suspect of blueberries after I moved to California.  But then I discovered Santa Barbara berries one spring at the Santa Monica farmers market.   They don’t have the same exact flavor, but they’re equally good.  Corncakes are sturdier than pancakes made with just [...]

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Apple galette

March 23, 2009

I grew up at a boarding school with a working apple farm, so we ate a lot of apples. Picked them off trees, pressed cider as a class project, grabbed them from wooden crates that looked rather like these on our way to and from classes.  After I wrote a story about Southern California U-pick [...]

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