Oat Bread Revisited

I have been baking bread for a long time, but never with a great amount of intensity (though during one period in the 90s I was baking frequently and had a personal “bread museum” that chronicled my efforts). In the early years, general cookbooks like The New Laurel’s Kitchen were my teacher, but their basic […]

Continue Reading

A War Bread in a Modern Cookbook: Oat Bread

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been baking a “war bread” for quite a while.  My long-time favorite one-day bread is the oat bread in Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. The original recipe is simple, delicious and nutritious, being a single-day bread that is enriched with rolled oats and oat bran.  By […]

Continue Reading

Recipe: vegetable-cheese pies

There are many wonderful things about savory pies: the contrast between a sharply flavored filling and a mellow crust, the crisp edges and soft middle, their portability, and their flexibility, to name a few. One of my favorite pies is an adaptation from a recipe in Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant, the Moosewood Collective’s book about […]

Continue Reading

Homemade crackers

I have baked a lot of things over the years, but never tried crackers until last weekend. In late May the Los Angeles Times Food Section had a guest piece by master baker Peter Reinhart (author of the Bread Baker’s Apprentice and other baking tomes) about baking crackers at home. It was just the inspiration […]

Continue Reading

Another No Knead Bread

When Mark Bittman wrote about Jim Leahy’s “no knead bread” in the New York Times in 2006, it caused a frenzy in the blogosphere, leading to hundreds of posts about attempts to make the bread. I tried it myself and deemed it to be bimbo-esque: beautiful but shallow. I recently started baking another kind of […]

Continue Reading

Torta verde: a savory pie from Italy

Now and then a food magazine contains a recipe that becomes a standard in a household. Even more rarely, a single issue will contain two standards. The May/June 1998 issue of Saveur is one of those rarities, containing two recipes that I have made many, many times and consider critical parts of my cooking repertoire. […]

Continue Reading

Another Flourless Cake: Torta Regina

Emily Luchetti’s “Torta Regina” is not photogenic (in my kitchen, anyway, with the lack of fancy china) but is so delicious and different that it deserves a post. It has only four main ingredients (chocolate, hazelnuts, eggs, sugar) and two flavorings (orange and lemon zest). Although it is a “flourless cake,” it is not at […]

Continue Reading

Cocoa Wafers

Author’s Note: My posting frequency at Mental Masala has been a bit lower than usual because I have been tied up writing a few guest posts for Ethicurean (a must-read blog if you care about sustainable and ethical food). One of the posts nearly swallowed me for a few weeks, as I became obsessed with […]

Continue Reading