If my text messages or website traffic are any indication, people are rediscovering, or at least trying, the joys (and some frustrations!) of baking homemade bread and pizza during the quarantine. Nothing could make me happier. I’m filling up my freezer with lots of anxiety baking. It might not help my waistline but it is helping my mental health during these strange times.
Essential for baking, sugar goes way beyond just making things sweet. In combination with other recipe ingredients it performs many other essential functions in producing great tasting cookies, cakes, and other baked goods.
In its most basic form, sugar, refined from sugar beets and sugar cane, is almost 100% sucrose, a combination of two simple sugars: fructose and glucose.
I prefer baking to cooking because the details matter. I like sweating the details and knowing that if I follow the recipe I should get a predictable result. I’ve read a lot of cookbooks, baking books, magazines and articles about baking all sorts of things. These are the 5 simple tips I’ve come to believe will make you a better baker.
If you’re a baker, you’ve likely been in this position. You’re gathering ingredients, or worse, you are halfway through a recipe, and realize you don’t have enough of the type of flour needed. What do you do? Can you swap in another kind and still expect the same results? How will the texture and finished product be affected?
Not gonna lie. This pretzel focaccia is the best kind of recipe: an impressive result but much easier to make than it appears to be.
It’s perfect for every day snacking, converting to sandwich bread, or feeding a big crowd. And you likely have all the ingredients you need sitting in the pantry right now.
I’ll admit to being skeptical about these gluten-free alternative personal pizza crusts but by the end of the night they had definitely won me over. They won’t ever replace true pizza crust and they just flat out confused the kids when I refer to them as pizzas but they did help satisfy that the pizza craving during our January cleanse when the alternative might have been to cave to the craving and eat half a pie myself.
The dough is knead-free, flour-free, and gluten-free and comes together fairly quickly and easily. We topped our mini-pies with sauce, various roasted veggies, and cheese for a delicious and filling protein-packed pizza fix without any of the guilt or cost of takeout.
That’s not to say that everything went smoothly with the first batch…
Our house has been awash in coughs, colds, and general snottiness since before Christmas. Every time we appear to have recovered, it starts up again in some new form. It’s been like the old saying about painting the Golden Gate Bridge.
All the sickness, or near sickness, has led to a general apathy toward cooking. We are mostly worn out at the end of the day and just want something quick and easy. This chicken cannellini soup (the veggies in the family subbed in tofu) is the perfect weeknight dinner. Add a salad or some bread and you have a filling, nutritious meal that doesn’t take a lot of effort to get on the table. If you hustle it can be done in 30 minutes or so. Better yet, make it ahead, let the flavors mingle and heat it up.