Category Archives: Breads and rolls

Anise Fougasse

annise fougasse

During the weekend following Thanksgiving I received no less than ten emails from readers and friends containing questions about how to bake bread. It’s not much of a stretch to see why, since lazing around the house (obviously, how I spent the long weekend) is very conducive to bread baking, and bread dough provides lots of time for lazing, so the yeast has time to bring the proper rise.

pulling the bread apart

I was happy to see that many of the emails were from first-time bread bakers, but quickly discovered that with bread, it’s hard to answer general baking questions, such as, “Dear Lauren, How does one go about making bread?” in a succinct email. I’d start out discussing gluten development, find myself going off on a tangent about the science involved , only to realize that (four paragraphs later), I still hadn’t touched upon the subject of yeasts and leaveners. I’m pretty sure that I ended up causing confusion instead of clarity.

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Brioche à Tête

brioche a tete

Back in the summer, I made a promise that I’d be blogging about bread recipes and techniques on the heels of my summer spent learning to bake artisan bread (click here, and here, and here, and here), and here I am in October, apologizing for just getting down to it now.

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Viennoiserie: Croissant and Pan au Chocolat



Viennoiserie played a major roll in my decision to go to culinary school. If you’ve ever had a really good croissant, and if you love baking as much as I do, you’ve probably spent a few sleepless nights wondering how that baker who made that perfect croissant achieves such gorgeous, buttery, flaky perfection.

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The Breads of Germany and Central Europe



I love looking at this photo because it demonstrates that I’m getting closer to becoming a professional baker. On Friday there were eight different types of dough to be mixed and taken through production for our practical exam on the breads of Germany and Central Europe. It was a tight schedule, made even more difficult by my team’s additional duty of baking the morning baguettes for lunch in the restaurant, but we pushed hard all day long and got the job done. These are the fruits of our day’s work; examples that we selected for critique by our chef instructor.

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The breads of France and Italy



It was on a train, bound for a weekend getaway to Fire Island, where I began struggling to define my relationship with bread.

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Our daily baguettes


This afternoon, I exited the French Culinary Institute building using the student door located on Broome Street, and proceeded to make a right into the throngs of gridlock choking the sidewalks on Broadway. I’m guessing that any day now I will begin to instinctually hang a left, seeking the relative serenity of Layfayette, but for these first days I’ve relished breaking my usually-brisk stride, because it makes me feel more rooted in my new surroundings and reminds me that this is real.

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Zucchini Bread Recipe

 

I am dead tired today, and It’s all I can do to keep my eyelids from drooping down over my eyes and obscuring the view of my laptop screen. You see, I haven’t been sleeping very well, and I have a lot of reasons for feeling like I’m one word away from collapse.

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Sandwich Bread Recipe

 

With all these big life-changing decisions going on, I’ve been struggling to keep it together this week and I’m going through a mood that’s caused me to briefly lose my enthusiasm for cooking.

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Crusty Cornstalk Rolls Recipe

 

I no longer make official resolutions at new years, because I’ve found that no sooner than I’ve proclaimed loudly to the world that I resolve to be more virtuous or less gluttonous, I’m right back at the vice within the week. However, I did make one quiet, non-resolution resolution to just myself this year. I (un)resolved to make more (and buy less) bread.

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Crisp Rosemary Flatbread Recipe

 

My mom (i.e. the biggest fan of the blog that only a mother could love) feels that people would be more interested in reading my drivel if I discuss recipes that can help them save money in these lean economic times. And while I am not ready to go about re-positioning my blog, there are many times that my recipes just happen to save me money. Here’s a good example, in word problem form:

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