Taking a bit of a break with Ma in West Palm—Goodbye, Cleveland grays!—but wanted to keep up the culinary inspiration via Donna’s photos. Here a basic bread ratio of 5 parts flour to 3 parts water can be turned into pizza dough, flat bread, or even a braided loaf with kosher salt My Bread Baking App has more info or watch this video. Or have a look at these past bread posts: pretzels, multigrain bread, no knead bread, and challah.     What is The Book of Schmaltz? Find out on Vimeo; then win a copy of the app from Edamam’s giveaway on Pinterest.   © 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.  

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Ages ago a reader requested a biscuit post and now, in something of a dreary February brain hibernation, I thought would be the perfect time. Donna shot this biscuit while I was writing Ratio and what I love about it is not the ratio itself (3 parts flour : 1 part fat : 2 parts liquid) but rather how the rolling technique results in layered flakiness. It’s kind of a cross between a pie crust and puff pastry. A pie crust is flaky because random knots of butter separate layers of dough and puff when baked. With puff pastry, one sets out to create precise layers of dough and butter, hundreds of them, by successively folding and rolling out a single block of butter encased in dough (called turns) for a uniform puff dough. Here, we Read On »

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  Still recovering from 10 days of Key West fine food and postprandial debauchery, I’m giving my site over today to my friend Stephanie Stiavetti (@sstiavetti), who writes The Culinary Life blog, and whose first book, Melt, will be published next year by Little, Brown (a fine book to which I happily contributed the introduction). I’ll be back on Friday with a Key West–inspired cocktail to combat the winter grays. Take it away, Steph, and thanks for keeping it simple and discussing a critical cooking technique!—M.R. by Stephanie Stiavetti Bread pudding needn’t be complicated. At its core, custard is a straightforward dish consisting of cream and egg yolks. For a sweet custard you add sugar, alongside tiny, fragrant vanilla beans (usually), and that’s about as fussy as it gets. The best bread puddings are marked Read On »

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Fat on bread. Talk about felicitous but little-thought-about pairings. While writing Schmaltz, I of course tasted schmaltz on rye, with a little kosher salt, and it’s so good. Now this really is better than butter. (Donna would want to underscore yet again the power of backlighting. This was shot in late afternoon sunlight.) Back to cold Cleveland tomorrow. Now need to make lobster stock from yesterday’s crustacean extravaganza. Twenty-five lobsters à la minute is no easy task, so thanks to all the sailors who lent a hand, especially Russ, whom I sprayed repeatedly with lobster juice as we cracked fifty claws. His favorite shirt no less. Other links you may like: My post on how to make a classic rye bread. A guest post on how to make bagels from scratch. Lobster facts! Learn more Read On »

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  I’m giving my site over today to my friend Stephanie Stiavetti, who writes The Culinary Life blog, and whose first book, Melt, will be published next year by Little, Brown. Here she focuses on cinnamon at a time of the year when the smell of cinnamon announces the celebratory nature of the month and soothes stress. It’s true, the smell of cinnamon bread baking makes for a better mood around the house. A note about yeast and temperatures—many novice bakers get in a fluff about it. Fresh? Active dry? Instant dry? What’s it all mean? I’m not going to go into it because it’s boring—use dry, it doesn’t matter what kind (I recommend Red Star or SAF, same company). You don’t need to be obsessive about the temperature of the liquid. This recipe will Read On »

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