Category Archives: Breads

Herb and Apple Stuffing

Herb and Apple Stuffing

I wouldn’t consider myself a stuffing man. It’s not something I usually think to have or make with a meal. And I am definitely not bold enough to try putting the stuffing in any raw bird. That’s just not something I am willing to try.

But this past Thanksgiving (yes, this recipe is looong overdue) I was willing to try a stuffing recipe. And I am glad that I did. This recipe turned out great. It was absolutely delicious and the leftover stuffing was the first of the Thanksgiving leftovers to bite the dust.

We had actually tried to make cute stuffing muffins from this recipe, packing the mixed stuffing into buttered muffin tins. The stuffing cooked fine, but it did not hold together in a muffin shape. Instead, it quickly came apart the minute we removed it from the tins. In the end, it was probably for the best. I liked Continue reading

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Blueberry Bran Muffins

Blueberry Bran Muffins

How I have been remiss!  It used to be that an Ina recipe landed on my blog almost every other month.  There was her spanakopita and her cheese straws.  There was her panko-crusted salmon with french lentils and her maple-roasted winter squash.  Every dish, it seemed, was a winner.

And with six of her cookbooks sitting on my shelf, each neatly arranged according to the spine’s color, there was no shortage of recipes at my disposal.  There were even two recent books — Make it Ahead and Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust — that, horror of horrors, I had not yet acquired.

Bran Muffins

I was desperately falling behind on my Ina testing.

Fortunately, the St. Louis County Public Library Continue reading

Homemade Pizza with 00 Flour

IMG_5645 Updated

I had never heard of 00 flour when I first bought it.  My regular grocery store had never heard of it.  Even Whole Foods seemed unfamiliar with it.

Finally, after searching The Hill, Saint Louis’s Italian neighborhood, I found a grocer who carried this Italian flour.  Having tried it, I’m glad I did; it makes an extraordinary pizza crust.

As Saveur notes, 00 flour is ideal for pizza crust because it is finely ground and because it has a lower gluten content than other flours.  In Italy, flour is graded from 1 to 0 to 00, with 1 describing a rough grind and 00 describing the finest grind.

Gluten is the natural protein that remains when starch is removed from wheat grains.  It creates the elasticity you feel when biting Continue reading

Parker House Rolls

Parker House Rolls

I don’t love the magazine Food & Wine. I signed up for a subscription by cashing in some airline miles due to expire.  At the time, I was willing to try six months of content at no cost.

The food in the magazine looks great. It’s exquisitely staged and photographed on glossy magazine paper. The colors pop while the copy rolls along. But there’s just something about the magazine that I don’t love. Between the advertisements for exotic cruises and high-priced jewelry, the magazine gives the impression that none of its subscribers actually cook the recipes – that the subscribers have people for that kind of stuff. Food & Wine’s recipes look great to try – but they also look like, at least most of the time, that the recipes are tried only after they are cooked by the wait staff.

Parker House Rolls

In my mind, the average Food & Wine subscriber is not the apron-wearing, oil-splashed, cooking type, Continue reading

Soft Pretzel Bites with Honey Mustard

ImageWhen I attend a professional sporting event, I usually buy a pretzel from the concession stand.  A hard, chewy, somewhat tasteless pretzel.  That costs about $5.00.  But really, what are you going to do?  Try ballpark sushi?  Or spend $20.00 for a hot chocolate?  Stadium food rarely presents many good options, though I’m sure there are some inherent challenges in preparing food for 70,000 people.

With that in mind, I decided to make my own stadium snack for the Superbowl.  With the big game on in the background, I got to work on these pretzel bites, mixing, kneading, rolling, slicing, and salting my own soft pretzels.  And the outcome was delicious, even if the game itself had turned anticlimactic by the third quarter.

When I first found this recipe, I found myself Continue reading

Homemade Whole Wheat English Muffins

I love baking breads.  There is a unique pleasure in stirring the yeast, watching it foam, and then kneading the tough flour in and out of your hands and across the cutting board.  There is a certain magic to leaving the room and, returning an hour later, discovering that the small ball of dough has doubled in size, the yeast breathing life into the round.

One of the additional pleasures of baking bread is in the anticipation, as the smell of baking break slowly fills the kitchen, before settling over the entire apartment, building a sense of eagerness in the room’s occupants.

For better or worse, there is Continue reading

Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

A few weeks ago, my boss came into my office with questions about a case that I was working on.  After I gave him the run-down, he got up to leave, at which point, I asked him to take a seat and to close the door.  I was leaving the job, I said, having accepted a new position.

The news did not come as a surprise, and he offered his sincere congratulations.  He also encouraged me to make the most of my time-off.  There are few instances, he noted, where you are truly off the clock.  In this line of work, weekends get truncated and vacations get interrupted.  There is always another case to read and another motion to file.  There are few moments of true respite.

That time between jobs, however, was one of those truly serene periods, where there are no unanswered emails and waiting voicemails.  There are no blinking red light while you are between jobs.

During my time-off, Continue reading