Wild Sourdough

Meet my starter: Neko!

I love bread, but more and more it just tastes like filler. My husband and I started going to a neighborhood Farmer’s Market open year-round to incorporate more whole foods and seasonal finds into our meals at home. One of our favorite vendors is a sourdough bread baker. I started doing a bit of research into wild yeast and thought this is bread I would be more than happy to eat! After trying a few loaves, I started to wonder how I can do this myself Continue reading “Wild Sourdough”

October Takeover: Treats, Not Tricks

~posted by Kara F. 

Baked Occasions

Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

While not overly spooky, these two recipes, the milk chocolate malted brownies with chocolate ganache and chocolate cinnamon chipotle sugar cookies, were decadent and divine! I had to give it a shot. Continue reading “October Takeover: Treats, Not Tricks”

Baking Day Adventure!

Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts: 150 Recipes for Old-Fashioned Favorites and Modern Classics came in recently and I was shocked to find it had no holds so I snapped it up and promised my co-workers that goodies would soon be on the way.

I had a whole day off set aside to bake! I read through the cookbook and decided on three recipes: Chewy Chess Tart, Apple Butter Hand Pies, and Quiche. After making a list of the groceries I needed to buy I realized I didn’t have a tart pan! And neither did QFC, Safeway, and True Value…dang! Luckily, I was able to find a spring form pan, which would have to suffice. I started off making the dough for the quiche and ran into another problem…I didn’t own a rolling pin either?! After running around my house trying to find a substitute I settled on my crystal vase…sad, but true. It worked out just fine, but so far it wasn’t the easy recipes stopping me, but my lack of Continue reading “Baking Day Adventure!”

BiblioBagels: My Adventures in Bagel Chemistry (Part 2)

In yesterday’s post, I was on a quest to make Montreal bagels with the help of the library’s resources. A friend had just told me about the process of retarding the dough (placing it in the fridge overnight before boiling and baking the bagels). I was curious about this mysterious-sounding process and decided to investigate further.

I found a delightfully technical article called “A Laboratory-Scale Bagel-Making Procedure” in the journal Cereal Chemistry. Although the library didn’t carry this journal, our wonderful interlibrary loan service obtained a copy for me. Eureka! Complete with scientific analyses of bagel texture and electron micrographs of dough structure, this study showed that retarding was indeed the key.  Continue reading “BiblioBagels: My Adventures in Bagel Chemistry (Part 2)”

BiblioBagels: My Adventures in Bagel Chemistry (Part 1)

Seattle is not a bagel town. It’s nearly impossible to get a genuine bagel here. Sure, lots of places claim to sell the real thing, but they’re only a pale imitation. And don’t even get me started on bagels from a grocery store—those are just lifeless circles of bread masquerading as bagels.

What is a real bagel, you ask? Some swear by New York bagels, but after living many years in Canada, I dissent: Montreal bagels are, hands-down, the best. More dense and chewy than the traditional fare, they’re also slightly sweeter from being boiled in honey water before baking. Beautifully pictured in Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition, they have a larger hole and seeds on both sides.

Recently a Canadian-style bakery opened in Seattle, but it doesn’t claim to make authentic Montreal bagels. Other than that, nothing even remotely resembling them is available here. What’s a Montreal bagel addict to do? Make them myself, of course. Never mind that I’d never baked anything in my life: I had the library’s formidable culinary resources at my fingertips! Continue reading “BiblioBagels: My Adventures in Bagel Chemistry (Part 1)”