Amy Halloran

Amy Halloran likes flour. Her book, "The New Bread Basket," is about the farmers, millers, bakers, and brewers who are reviving regional grain production.
Recipe: Sourdough English Muffins
If you want to make fresh sourdough bread every day, consider the English muffin. I think this is the right food for the home baker to get cozy with sourdough since most of us are comfortable with rolling out dough, and stovetop cooking is simple. All you need is a sourdough starter, which you can make yourself of procure from an obliging friend. Stovetop breads like English muffins make it possible to whip up a fresh batch of bread every day or so.
Jan 21, 2020
What Is Flour?
A pantry staple, flour is an ingredient you might not have given much thought. But these days, there’s a surprising selection of flours in your grocery store’s baking section. There’s all-purpose of course, but also pastry flour, cake flour, and bread flour. You can also choose between bleached and unbleached, white and whole-wheat — and then there’s the wide world of alterna-grain (i.e., non-wheat) flours. But do you actually know what flour is?
May 1, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Regular and Stone-Ground Flour?
Stone milling is nothing new — it’s the way flour was made for thousands of years before electricity came onto the scene — but lately, it’s having something of a renaissance. In addition to historic stone mills still functioning around the country — some of them still run by waterpower — new mills are popping up and artisan bakeries are even installing their own mills so they can grind flour on the premises. The result?
May 1, 2019
What I Wish I Knew Before My First Sourdough: 7 Tips from 7 Experts
I am still quite a novice when it comes to baking sourdough bread, but fortunately I have lots of friends and books to consult. Community goes hand and hand with baking — from the neighborhood ovens of our past and present to the wide world of home bakers the internet has brought together. One of the best ways to learn about bread is to talk about it. So in that spirit, we went to the people who had something to say about baking their first loaf.
May 1, 2019
The Griddle Is the Key to Everyday Baking
People change and feelings flow, but griddles are forever. My parents still have the shiny aluminum griddle that began my lifelong devotion to pancakes. I’ve had my own favorite griddle for 25 years, and I use it all day long. I start with pancakes or English muffins, and often end the day with pancakes too. You could steal my plates and cutting boards and nearly everything in my kitchen, but please don’t touch my griddle.
Oct 25, 2016
How I Make Sourdough Bread Every Day
For a long time, I was intimidated by sourdough. I thought it was for professionals, a craft that needed years of study and career-deep attention. Ideally, long-fermented, naturally leavened breads would be baked in wood-fired ovens, the process harkening back to some impossible time when bread and life were perfect. I didn’t want to dedicate myself to that process. Then I went to the Eco Fair at my son’s school.
Oct 22, 2016
Seed Saving and Iowa’s Corn Train Gospel
In Iowa, you can hear the corn grow. The other night my friend Howard brought over some grass stalks to show me the sound. Corn kernels, like other grains, are the edible seeds of certain types of grass plants. He wanted to demonstrate the sound he heard growing up on an Iowa farm, so he pulled the stems of each stalk through its leaf sheath; one weedy stalk made the gentle popping sound he’d heard on hot humid nights.
Jul 24, 2016
The 10 Pancake Commandments
Here we are on Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day), a high holy day for those devoted to pancakes. I’ve got more than four decades of dedication to the griddle under my belt, so I’m sharing my 10 Pancake Commandments to help steer you to some of the best pancakes on the planet. Along the way you might find deep satisfaction. Knowing how to make a quick, hot meal like pancakes is very rewarding.
Feb 9, 2016