Here is a bagel recipe worthy of the best New York or Jersey deli from a baker in Boone, North Carolina. Bruce Ezzell commented on this blog ages ago and elicited a discussion about bagels, which led to his inspiring journey from being laid off to opening his own bakery. professional baker. I’ll let Bruce, @thebreadlist on Twitter, tell the story.—M.R. by Bruce Ezzell I’ve been baking for 20 years now. Five years professionally from 1989-1994, then what I called ‘sanity baking’ after that. Newly married, kids on the way, I had to find work that gave me a steady paycheck so I left baking for new careers. The ‘economic downturn’ changed things for me. I lost my job as the office manager of a high-end construction company in January 2009.  Boone, NC, where I live, is a Read On »

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Pancakes are an essential breakfast treat.  Learn to make the 1966 David Eyre’s pancake. So poofy, so good, via food52.com.

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Please welcome Monica Bhide, the India-born, DC-based writer/teacher/cook, author of the blog A Life In Spice, the book Modern Spice, as well as a cool new spice app, iSpice, for iphone and ipad.  Here she gives us instruction on a flavored bread (basic breads can be flavored as easily as a pasta dish—see this recipe for a corn-chipotle ciabatta for instance) as well as a lesson in some Indian seasonings, here, curry leaves which I’ve only worked with a couple times and am glad to see used here. —M.R. by Monica Bhide I would be lying to you if I told you I knew how to bake. In most Indian homes, baking is not something you grow up with.  There are a few exceptions like in the western part of India where the Portuguese settled Read On »

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A multigrain bread recipe will open the new year for a reason.  Will Turnage (aka @wubbahed), Donna and I finished and submitted to Apple last week a bread baking app for iPad.  It’s time finally to act on a fascinating email I got from a baker in North Carolina about bagel making.  And Shuna privately but with her own inimitable force and clarity begged to differ on my take on English Muffins.  And just yesterday a reader emailed, pleading for a good all-purpose gluten-free bread recipe. So it’s now officially bread baking month here, when the cold and early darkness are subdued by a hot heart and hands-on kitchen work.  (And yes, kneading should be a part of the process—it’s part of the goodness of bread, mediation through kneading. It’s also fun.)  The holidays are Read On »

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This Hoppin’ John recipe is a dish from the American south featuring black-eyed peas, often included in southern food and soul food recipes, traditionally served on New Year’s Day by those angling for good fortune all year long. I make Hoppin’ John every year for this very reason (also, it’s inexpensive, easy, nutritious and satisfying).  There are all kinds of variants (here’s the wikipedia description of Hoppin John), but they all share three features that I think must be a part of the dish or it’s not Hoppin John: black-eyed peas, smokey bacon, and some kind of heat. I always include onion and I also always include tomato, which is not traditional but I think it gives great acidity and flavor to this bean dish.  This year I threw in some Mangalista guanciale because I Read On »

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