I am a chocoholic and not afraid to admit it. I'll take a dark, rich, oozy dessert over a fruit-based one any day. So while this "chocolate cobbler" is really no cobbler at all, it doesn't mean I'm not going to eat it. And like it. I don't judge!
If you've ever made bread from scratch, found a technique and a recipe you like, and then practiced it a lot, you probably can make a pretty great loaf of bread. But people who make bread at home often complain that it just doesn't quite approximate the bread they have from a French bakery, which is somehow lighter inside and crispier outside. You've worked so hard, you want a deep brown crust that shatters when you hit it, right? The missing piece is a level of heat and steam that is almost impossible to generate in a conventional home oven.
A bread cloche recreates the same conditions that you find in a traditional bread oven so you can actually bake a delicious, crusty loaf that is light and airy inside. I took one for a spin this week and I can tell you it works.
Q: My supervisor recently gave me a smallish container (maybe a cup total) of maple sugar he bought on vacation, saying that I'm the baker in the office so he thought I would know what to do with it. I've never seen maple sugar before, but I'd like to feature it in a dish, preferably a baked good, so I can bring it to the office to share. Any ideas?
Did you know that we're in high cookie season? No, it's not Christmas; those powdered and jeweled cookies won't come around for a few months yet. As much love as cookies get during the winter holidays, I feel that that's only one moment of glory. Full cookie season is right now, in the fall, as folks go back to school and work, lunchbox in hand. A cookie, you see, is my idea of a lunchbox mash note.
Today I have the sweetest of all lunchbox love notes for you — maybe my all-time favorite cookie recipe — a buttery, chewy oatmeal cookie topped with a dollop of chocolate fudge. It's almost as good as a kiss.
The subtitle of this book needs to be noted, for it offers a clue into why this book is special: Make the Best Artisan Breads and Pastries Better Without a Mixer. That's right, you can leave your fancy stand mixer in its appliance garage or stop fretting that you don't own one! Andy and Jackie King, owners of A&J King Artisan Bakers in Salem, MA, believe that home bakers have the delightful and unique opportunity to use their hands, which are the best tool a baker has, so all of the recipes here are developed without a mixer. As a fan of the unplugged kitchen, I really appreciate this approach.
Here in the US we generally think of pie as something sweet, but in the UK there's a rich tradition of hearty, savory pies like meat pies, pasties, turnovers, and samosas. Whether savory or sweet, humble or noble, pie is serious comfort food, and British author Angela Boggiano covers the spectrum in the newly revised edition of her cookbook Pie.
Fig season can be finnicky. Here in Seattle, figs often have a quick appearance in late June, disappear rapidly, and then come back for a real showing right about now, in mid- to late-August through early October. And around this time I'm bombarded with things I want to do with them, from savory chutneys to sweet galettes and salads. I generally buy more than I know what to do with out of pure excitement. Which begs the question: do you prefer sweet or savory recipes when it comes to fresh figs?
One of the most wonderful things about a pie, I think, is how it can be a showcase for gloriously ripe fruits and vegetables. Jennifer Katzinger seems to agree, and her new cookbook Gluten-Free & Vegan Pie is a lovely collection of seasonally-focused recipes. Not to mention 16 different gluten-free and vegan crust recipes!
Whether you're craving a traditional apple pie, a decadent and creamy pie, something fruity, or something savory like a pot pie, there's a pie for everyone in the vegan cookbook Pies and Tarts with Heart.
To me, August is all about tomatoes and stone fruit. While I don't usually can very often, I make an exception for peach jam and love incorporating delicate apricots, sweet nectarines, and juicy peaches into morning breakfasts and evening desserts. And what better way to showcase a nice batch of peaches than a no-bake summer fruit tart?