Baking beautiful bread requires the skillful manipulation of three big, messy variables: technique, equipment, and ingredients. Poor technique accounts for most subpar results, but a sudden change in kitchen conditions or ingredient availability can throw even a seasoned baker for a loop. If your bread has started acting up for seemingly no reason, your water might just be the culprit.
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Being the son of a baker and, in a former life, a scientist, there are a lot of Universal Forces dictating that I should have a talent for baking. I'm not very good at baking. On top of that, I'm not into all those tears and painful pauses you see on Masterchef, either.
That's why I am stoked that Netflix has produced Nailed It, a TV show about people that aren't very good at baking. It is hilarious.
Dessert and cocktails both come after dinner, but combining them is a tricky business indeed. The best boozy desserts neatly split the difference between sugary treats and nightcaps; the worst are indistinguishable from mild physical assault. Sadly, the latter is far more common than the former - but it doesn't have to be.
If you've happened to visit Pinterest in the last five years or so, you have no doubt seen a recipe or 10 for some iteration of three-ingredient, no-knead bread. These recipes are popular for good reason. Not only are these loaves extremely impressive for the amount of work they demand, they are excellent vehicles for any odds and ends you wish to rid your fridge of, from a handful of cheese to lonely fruits and vegetables.
It's a pretty popular culinary opinion that everyone should own a cast iron pan, but I am of the opinion that everyone should also own a mini cast iron pan. Like its classic 30cm counterpart, the mini has a myriad of delicious uses from appetisers to dessert.
Alison Roman's salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread cookies are everywhere. Bon Appétit, Eater, Nylon, Smitten Kitchen and The New York Times have covered them in glowing detail; The Cookies pop up on my Instagram discover feed literally every day. The best recipes are more than the sum of their parts, but the sheer volume of breathless, googly-eyed reviews suggest that a concerning number of people have lived deprived, salted-butter-cookie-less lives until now.
Valentine's Day is a holiday that can't escape symbolism and, besides hearts, roses are the most recognisable supposed sign of love and affection associated with February 14. You can give a dozen or so, sure, but if you like your gifts to be a little more edible, consider working a little rose water into your cooking.
It has been well-documented that pressure-cooked cheesecake is the greatest trick the humble appliance has ever pulled, but such recipes are usually limited to one flavour. Here, with the clever use of little jars, we're going to make a cheesecake sampler perfect for those with fear of flavour commitment.
Non-enzymatic browning gives us many gifts. The crust on a loaf of bread, the umami-rich taste of browned onions, the nutty wonder that is browned butter - all of these things are deeper, more flavorful versions of themselves. You've probably been browning your butter for some time now, but the good people at Serious Eats have figured out how to give cream the same treatment, with delicious results.
Mise en place is a French phrase that roughly translates to "everything in its place". As a cooking technique, it's exactly what it sounds like: A method of preparing and organising ingredients to maximise a recipe's efficiency. So crucial is it to the function of a professional kitchen that, for most chefs, mise en place is a way of life - making it the original "pro tip" for home cooks.
As a person who writes a column dedicated to lazy meals, I see a lot of recipes and videos for "simple" and "easy" dishes.. Most are shot from an overhead angle and include too much grade F cheese and ranch dressing for even my liking, but I came across something in my normal course of late-night Imgur browsing.
It turns out that, while I am a very enthusiastic pie maker, I am not very good at it. I have seen a very wide gamut of pie failures over my baking career. Overcooked and cracked crusts, soggy bottoms, burnt edges, foul soup inside a crust -- I've been there. And this isn't as isolated as you'd think. These are all common failures in one's journey to a perfect pie, and we can learn from them. So join me, and let's get to problem solving.