Sep. 17, 2009 6:21 pm
Updated: Oct. 31, 2009 3:29 pm
Seattle has such great bakeries that I almost never bake my own bread. Last week, though, during a spate of cool weather, I got the bread-baking bug. I wanted a nice crusty European-style loaf with a long, slow fermentation to develop the best flavor. I chose the French Country Bread recipe. As…
Pain de Campagne (French Country Bread)
Loaf in the brotform: I dusted it well with light rye flour before putting in the dough seam-side up
Scoring the loaf with a baker's lamé, a razor blade with a slight curve in it.
Sep. 1, 2009 4:46 pm
Updated: Sep. 17, 2009 2:35 pm
I'm not ready for summer to be over, yet—but now that interesting apples are showing up at the farmers' market, I’m excited for fall baking. I was intrigued by this description of making a caramel apple sauce for a pie in this Sugar Cooking article.
I used a combination of Gravenstein apples,…
Gravenstein & golden delicious apples
Butter & cider for caramel sauce
Adding butter to the apple cider caramel
Filled pie, waiting for the top crust
Jul. 13, 2009 5:58 pm
Updated: Jul. 16, 2009 9:34 am
My husband P. and a close friend F. share a birthday. This year, it was their fortieth—and our friend, who is a caterer, was planning a blow-out bash. Since F. was making incredible food, it was up to me to make an incredible cake—and a big one, for up to 70 people. The flavor request? A…
Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Filling
Chef Budd's Peanut Butter Cup Filling: peanut butter, milk chocolate, and cocoa butter
Peanut Butter Bavarian Cream Layer in makeshift cake mold
Semisweet chocolate ganache
Jun. 9, 2009 6:33 pm
Updated: Sep. 16, 2009 8:21 pm
A friend of mine recently bought a copy of Michael Ruhlman's new book, "Ratio." The premise is that, while technique is a huge part of cooking, everybody should have a dozen ratios up their sleeves—then they're halfway to knowing recipes for hundreds of dishes. Bread dough can become biscuit…
One-Two-Three-Four Cake II: baked in two 8-inch pans
Easiest, Most Delicious Meringue Buttercream - half batch, with chocolate & cocoa added
Cake slice close-up
Piece o' cake
Mar. 25, 2009 5:12 pm
Updated: Mar. 27, 2009 6:26 pm
I had the best intentions to blog about assembling a wedding cake for a friend of mine—the one for whom I baked the test cake about a month ago (Better Buttercream). But since I only started building the layers around 11 o'clock at night, and didn't finish until 3 am, well…I was not in much of…
Boxing up cake for transport: cut one side of the box so that you can easily slide the cake in.
Boxed cake: three sides are already taped up.
Pink wedding cake! On a stand & garnished with roses at the reception site.
Almond cake with raspberry curd and raspberry cream fillings, finished with raspberry buttercream.
Mar. 16, 2009 12:48 pm
Updated: Mar. 25, 2009 1:16 pm
I love baking special breads for the holidays. I've had my eye on this Choereg recipe for years, and I finally made it on my day off. Instead of making five small braided loaves, I divided the dough in half and made two six-strand braids. It's a beautiful braid…
Mahleb, whole and ground
6 strands ready to braid; dust them with flour if they're sticky
Beginning braid: pinch the ends of the strands together
Step 1: 6 over 1, once
Feb. 24, 2009 1:28 pm
Updated: Mar. 27, 2009 6:41 pm
I love a good coconut cake. As a Northerner, I'm not a part of any coconut cake-baking tradition, so I've just made it a minor goal in life to try coconut cakes whenever I see them. Through my tasting travels, I've established a few ground rules:
I don't like…
Coconut trio: powdered coconut cream, unsweetened shredded coconut, and coconut puree.
Piping custard filling (Next time I'll use fewer egg yolks so it'll be lighter both in color and tex
Feb. 20, 2009 4:08 pm
Updated: Mar. 27, 2009 6:33 pm
I made a cake for a friend this weekend: an almond cake layered with raspberry curd and raspberry buttercream. I think fruit curds make a much nicer filling than jams, which I find to be too sticky and sweet.
My favorite cake frosting
Adding raspberry curd
Spreading raspberry curd layer
Feb. 20, 2009 3:39 pm
Updated: Feb. 20, 2009 10:07 pm
To make the individual Danish, I cut the dough into 3-inch squares. These make fairly petite pastries even after they rise (that way, you don't have to feel guilty for eating one of each flavor).
The dough should be rolled out to about a ¼-inch thickness and refrigerated until…
Shaping Danish pinwheels: fold in every other corner (4 total), pressing to seal.
Shaping diamonds: fold the borders to the opposite sides, lining up the edges of the pastry.
Individual Danish pastries: mixed berry & pastry cream, and apricot & cheese filling.
Jan. 27, 2009 2:34 pm
Updated: Feb. 2, 2009 2:37 pm
I did a 3-fold, a 4-fold, and another 3-fold with this dough. You could probably get away with three 3-folds; the "book fold" is hard when you're rolling out the dough by hand, since the dough stack gets so thick. (Working at a bakery with a commercial sheeter is a treat—it makes very quick…
The first 3-fold: fold the dough like a business letter.
Dough rolled out for 4-fold - roll it out as long as you can
Book fold (4-fold): leave a little space between the two folds for the "spine" of the book.
Layers in dough
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