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 »

Share

When I used to read bread recipes, I feared yeast for good reason: Bad bread recipes.  So many instructed me to heat the water to specific temperatures, between 110 and 115 degrees F., and bloom the yeast.  Some wanted sugar in the water.  Some told me to wait till I saw bubbles.  Or they were neurotic about when to add the yeast.  Or the amount, 1-1/4 teaspoons exactly.  Rest the dough in a warm place (because of the yeast), they said, or away from drafts. Or you have to bloom active dry but not instant.  Or don’t add the salt until the yeast has started its work. Hogwash, all of it!  Truth of the matter is you can play fast and loose with the yeast and you can use any kind you want. I often Read On »

Share

December is the month for making brioche at home. It’s the great holiday bread.  Though calling it bread doesn’t do it justice.  Good brioche is like a cross between bread and cake.  Hell, it’s really cake sneaking in as bread. Nothing better on Christmas morning. It’s a celebratory bread—rich with butter and eggs.  Toast it and eat it with butter. Toast it and eat it with foie gras. It makes extraordinary and delicate croutons.  Nothing makes better French toast.  And it’s fabulous on its own, straight out of the oven. I made it once for my daughter Addison.  When she asked for a repeat performance, I wrote the below recipe so that she could make it on her own. She first made it when she was eleven, four years ago, and she still makes it Read On »

Share