Ever wonder what makes the crust from your favorite wood-fired oven pizza joint so insanely delicious? Or how to make extra-chewy bagels at home? Or how to make no-knead bread that doesn't tear apart when you cut a slice? The answer is gluten, lots of it. And our best bet for getting this gluten in our home kitchens is to pick up a bag of bread flour the next time we're at the store.
If you're one of the many folks experimenting with whole-grain flours, I'm sure you've encountered this question: because so many whole grains can go rancid relatively quickly, should you freeze your flour?
Even if you don't know what masa harina is, you've almost certainly eaten it. This is the flour used to make corn tortillas and the filling for tamales. Pupusas, arepas, and sopes are all made with it, along with plenty of other favorite dishes. Masa harina is as central to the Mexican and South American pantry as chiles and dried beans. Do you ever cook with it?
I had my first pão de queijo at a Brazilian restaurant in Atlanta over five years ago, and I still dream about it. It was crispy outside but amazingly soft and chewy inside, and its cheese flavor was so ephemeral and haunting that I had to eat several more just to fix it in my mind. Well, I'm in trouble now because I just discovered that these little cheese puffs? With their addictive cheesiness? They are super easy to make at home.
The more I hear about peanut flour, the more intrigued I become. I first came across this product while researching African peanut soups, and then a friend mentioned that she uses peanut flour in her baking all the time. And apparently it's low in fat, high in protein, and gluten-free? Hello! What is this magical ingredient and where can I find some?
We've all faced ingredient conundrums and last-minute shortages in the kitchen. Oh no! Out of eggs! No crème fraîche! Need a buttermilk substitute! Thankfully, there are a few tried-and-true substitutions you can turn to in a pinch. These can also be helpful if you're trying to modify a recipe out of dietary necessity (shifting it to be dairy or gluten-free, for example). This guide will help get you started.
I don't bake very much in the summer, and I'm guessing the same might be true with you. (When it's hot out, the last thing you want to gear up is your oven!) But the two things I do find myself baking are pies and loaves of bread, the latter of which is a staple all year-round. But when reaching for those trusty ingredients, what type of flour do you turn to?
It's full on summer pie season! The early summer berries are overlapping with the stone fruits, and suddenly everyone is making pie - and, if you're like many pie bakers, struggling with their pie dough. Here's a tip buried in our archives that's worth revisiting: use rice flour to roll out your dough!
Q: I've come across numerous recipes over the years for different types of bread. Some have asked for bread flour and I've always substituted all-purpose. What's the difference between the two? Is using AP flour in place of bread flour causing my bread to be heavy and dense?