A well stocked spice rack never ceases to open up a world of opportunity when cooking. My fiancée is particularly good at mixing together the many complex Indian spices, and we often cook out of Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking, which we inherited from her parents. I’ve made naan before but otherwise had not ventured out into the delicious world of Indian flatbreads. There are so many options, but I went with one stuffed with herbs and potatoes, hard to go wrong!
When we made beef vindaloo a few weeks ago I saw it as an opportunity to finally try something new. Parathas are stuffed flatbreads, typically made with whole wheat flour. These took a bit longer to make than I was expecting, mostly because you have to repeat every step 10 (or 12 depending on how many you make) times and cook. That being said, the end product was warm, flaky, and had an incredible aromatic smell that definitely made it worth the work! Continue reading
Last weekend I journeyed west on I-94 to Chicago to go to the Michigan-Northwestern football game. I was pretty excited to see two close friends who live there and had planned the trip several months ago. Unbeknownst to me, but known to seemingly everyone else on this planet, almost a dozen other friends had planned for several months to make the weekend an incredible surprise bachelor party for me, complete with tailgating, a insane Michigan football win, deep dish, and whirlyball. I was overwhelmed in the best possible way when I walked into breakfast and saw them all, although I must admit my brain kind of short circuited. What I was seeing made no sense to me.
Speaking of surprises…surprise! I actually got my act together to post about a holiday themed bread before the actual holiday! Last year I famously posted about the apple rose tarts I made for Valentine’s Day…on February 18th. This year I was determined to make a bread that would go great on the Thanksgiving table and post about it before everyone was ready to carve turkey. It also gave me an opportunity to show off some of the great serving dishes/baskets I got as birthday gifts. Continue reading
Last Thursday was a very exciting day for me, as Bakers & Best passed 10,000 all time page views! While about 70% of those have been from within the US, the other 30% come from 94 other countries! The UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany round out the top 5. I’ve had visitors from Brunei, Qatar, Cambodia, Suriname, Angola…the list goes on. Wherever you’re coming from, glad to have you! Now to the bread…
Though most of my posts the past month have been pumpkin focused (see: beer bread, bagels, and pasta), don’t take that to mean I haven’t been busy making a variety of delicious breads. It just so happens that most of them had been things I’ve posted about before. We also finally depleted our bread reserves in the freezer which consisted of some whole wheat loaves, bacon-shallot sourdough, and sesame oat bread.
I’ve been tinkering with several multigrain sandwich loaves the past few weeks and Peter Reinhart’s struan bread kept coming up in my searches. This harvest bread lacks a traditional recipe which allows for a nice level of flexibility on the part of the baker when choosing grains; no need to feel constricted to what I’ve done below, use what you like or what you have! Continue reading
So I know winter does not technically start until December 21st, but as the trees rapidly shed their leaves and the football games tick by, I am left feeling like fall is all but over. This, needless to say, means I had to use this week as an opportunity to squeeze in one more pumpkin recipe.
So far I’ve explored the world of pumpkin beer bread and pumpkin bagels, not to mention the delicious pumpkin cheddar ale soup that my fiancée made. After she went on a tour of a local pasta company and came back with some samples, I was inspired to try my hand at flavored pasta. Continue reading
Baguettes are, in theory, very simple. There is no reason for them to have anything more than flour, water, yeast, and salt. Yet online you can find an infinite number of recipes and techniques to make them. For a few years I’ve been making Peter Reinhart’s pain a l’ancienne baguettes with great success. However that bread, as delicious as it is, lacks that nice thin rounded baguette shape I envy.
So, with the last of the French style flour I received last year from my fiancée’s parents, I endeavored to try a new baguette recipe. Limited by the width of my oven, baking stone, and work surface, I couldn’t roll these as long as I’d prefer, but I’m quite happy with the end result. Continue reading
This week the pumpkin recipe train keeps rolling along! A few weeks ago we got one of those Trader Joe’s inserts in the mail advertising all things pumpkin that they were currently selling. Well, it worked, and two weeks ago we made a very successful trip to Trader Joe’s and came back with pumpkin ale and frozen pumpkin macarons.
Given the rate at which we drink beer there would probably be 2 or 3 bottles left in the fridge next October, so I went looking for quick bread recipes that we could make with it. This one does not disappoint. You get the nice wheat taste of the beer but it doesn’t overpower the other pumpkin flavoring of the bread. Continue reading
Remember last year when I said Brendan Gibbons thinks about pumpkin oatmeal cookies when kicking field goals? Well word on the street is that Jeremy Gallon eats pumpkin bagels before a game; he had a Big 10 record 369 receiving yards in Saturday’s 63-47 victory over Indiana. Now in my mind the real MVP was the kid in the front row of the student section dressed as one of these. I am yet to find a gif of it online, but they would have been crazy to not give them some TV time.
I am in the midst of a full on pumpkin cooking craze. I wanted to make these last fall but never got around to it and made sure this year to make the time for them. This was the fourth or fifth time overall I’ve made bagels (in the course of about 3 years) and I feel like I’ve finally gotten the technique down. Continue reading