Pizza is the ultimate convenience food. There is the restaurant pizza, ready in minutes, delivered to your table, warm and sliced. There is the delivery pizza, delivered to your doorstep with the push of a few buttons. In the freezer section, there are countless versions of the frozen variety, ready to be brought home and baked or microwaved in a manner of minutes. There are even pre-made pizza doughs and pizza crusts, leaving the harried home chef with some room for creativity and imagination.
To be sure, we’ve tried each and every one Continue reading
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
Over the last few days, I’ve watched my bananas go from a bright yellow, worthy of wearing the leader’s jersey in the Tour de France, to a soft brown, like a tattered and mud-splashed elementary school bus.
Banana bread and banana muffins are always easy options for an overripe bunch. But banana bread is – let’s be honest – closer to cake than either bread or a trip to the bottom of the food pyramid. For that reason, I took my overripe bananas and turned them into real banana bread – not the quick kind. Indeed, if you know me, you know that I often enjoy taking the long and meandering route, passing through several culinary steps and preparation detours over what might have otherwise been a one-step, ten-minute trip, down the intercity highway (see curried couscous).
While this banana bread requires kneading and resting, rather than mixing and pouring, it is Continue reading
There’s a certain moment in the bread-baking process where you remember exactly why you spent all that time kneading, crafting, and waiting.
It’s not the moment you take the bread out of the oven, or the moment you finally bite into a slice. It’s several minutes before that time. It’s the moment when you perk up, and notice that your entire apartment smells of freshly baking bread. It’s that moment, above any other, that reminds me why I enjoy the bread-baking process.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt Continue reading
It’s funny what we find intimidating.
For the longest time, the idea of making bread scared me. It just seemed so complicated. You had to make sure the yeast reacted. You had to make sure the water was at the precise temperature. You had to coax the dough into rising. You had to knead the bread – whatever that meant.
But then, I decided to just go for it. I opened up my cupboard, Continue reading