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 […]

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Using Arduino in Bread Making at Home

Dough rising in Arduino-controlled proofing box

“Let rise at room temperature” is a common instruction in bread recipes, with “room temperature” being about 70 F (21.1 C)*. For various reasons, however, this temperature can be hard to find in my apartment in Berkeley, California, and so my bread doughs sometimes rise far too slowly. One day, I realized that my Arduino […]

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Cracking the Coconut (Oil) for Pie Crust

The famous vodka-containing pie crust recipe from Cooks Illustrated has been my “go to” crust recipe for a few years (you can find it at Serious Eats). The free form galettes that use it have been crispy and flaky on many occasions, thanks in part to techniques and recipes I learned from books like Lindsey […]

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A Piece of the Gold Rush, Fresh from the Oven

(Corrected below, 6/5/10; Updated, 12/26/16, fixed broken links) When you bite into a piece of bread from San Francisco’s Boudin Bakery, you’re biting a piece of the Gold Rush. Founded in 1849 at the beginning of the Gold Rush, the San Francisco bakery has been baking bread since then using essentially the same sourdough starter […]

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Building a Great Galette, Piece by Piece

After a few posts on creepy-crawlies, it’s time to give my readers something more universally appreciated: pie. This situation reminds me of something in Paul Bertolli’s Chez Panisse Cooking. The restaurant (a.k.a. “downstairs”) at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse has a prix fixe menu, so your dining fate is out of your control. Bertolli writes that whenever […]

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