There is a divide in our house and it revolves around when bananas are actually ripe. Maybe that’s not quite right. The divide is around when bananas are good to eat.
Michelle says almost never (she carries long-lasting scars from childhood medicine that was banana-flavored). My kids both only like them when are still tinged with green and “taste more like an apple.” Um, okay.
I like them spotted but still firm. No one likes them when they are brown and resemble plantains. That is the time for banana bread.
The whole point of this year-long exercise is to improve and get better at making pies so failure is to be expected, even encouraged. A brief guide to improvement: lots of research, lots of attempts with a focus on refining and trying different things, and lots of repetition once you find a good method.
So the process has multiple failures baked in. It does not however make the sting of belly-flopping on your face feel any better.
If you don’t want to mess around or maintain a sourdough starter but still yearn for better tasting home-baked bread, you might consider using a starter or pre-ferment to quickly improve your home loaves with little additional effort beyond some advanced planning.
Is there anything worse than cutting that first slice of pie and then watching the filling slowly slide out from under its cozy crust?
Like the chewy versus crispy cookie debate, the perfect slice of pie is also up for debate. For me, I like a pie, especially a classic fruit pie, to be slice-able and for the filling to hold its shape. Just is fine but not so much that it resembles soup. I want pie. I want a firm filling.
But how do we get that perfect slice? What’s the difference between each type of pie thickener? What about pectic? How do we choose the right thickener and the right amount for each pie?
My baking goal for 2021 is to finally get over my irrational fear of homemade pie dough. I’m not sure why it is so intimidating but I would often go to great lengths to make pies that had a crumble crust, or open top, or cookie crust. Anything but the standard pie crust that needed everything cold, everything flaky, everything perfect.
It was too much grief. I’d rather make a loaf or bread or a pizza. But 2021 was the year I would beat back my fear and fill in this gaping hole in my baking resume. I’d make at least one pie from scratch each month and hope that through sheer stubbornness or repetition I’d get better by Christmas. That’s the plan anyway.
When a late night craving strikes for cookies, try these quick, healthy, and simple treats. These aren’t crispy I hesitate to call them cookies. It’s like making a pizza with a cauliflower crust. It is really pizza? It’s about setting expectations.
Still, these are good. Like a warm bowl of oatmeal in cookie-form. Just like oatmeal, the best part is this recipe is endlessly adaptable. Add in dark chocolate chips and that satisfy that chocolate sweet tooth. Try nuts. Or dried fruit. Or a little whole grains.
There are a lot of tips, tricks, and hacks out there to help you become a better, more confident baker. Always measure. Buy quality ingredients. Read the recipe first.
All of them will likely improve your baking game. But one part of the baking experience, a big part, is largely out of your control: your oven. Unless you are lucky enough to have professional-level home equipment, it’s likely that your oven has some unique… eccentricities.