HomeBaking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Traditions from Around the World

HomeBaking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Traditions from Around the World

Naomi Duguid, Jeffrey Alford

Language: English

Pages: 390

ISBN: 2:00326642

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Home baking may be a humble art, but its roots are deeply planted. On an island in Sweden a grandmother teaches her granddaughter how to make slagbrot, a velvety rye bread, just as she was taught to make it by her grandmother many years before. In Portugal, village women meet once each week to bake at a community oven; while the large stone oven heats up, children come running for sweet, sugary flatbreads made specially for them. In Toronto, Naomi makes her grandmother's recipe for treacle tart and Jeffrey makes the truck-stop cinnamon buns he and his father loved.

From savory pies to sweet buns, from crusty loaves to birthday cake, from old-world apple pie to peanut cookies to custard tarts, these recipes capture the age-old rhythm of turning simple ingredients into something wonderful to eat. HomeBaking rekindles the simple pleasure of working with your hands to feed your family. And it ratchets down the competitive demands we place on ourselves as home cooks. Because in striving for professional results we lose touch with the pleasures of the process, with the homey and imperfect, with the satisfaction of knowing that you can, as a matter of course, prepare something lovely and delicious, and always have a full cookie jar or some homemade cake on hand to offer.

Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid collected the recipes in HomeBaking at their source, from farmhouse kitchens in northern France to bazaars in Fez. They traveled tens of thousands of miles, to six continents, in search of everyday gems such as Taipei Coconut Buns, Welsh Cakes, Moroccan Biscotti, and Tibetan Overnight Skillet Breads. They tasted, interpreted, photographed and captured not just the recipes, but the people who made them as well. Then they took these spot-on flavors of far away and put them side by side with cherished recipes from friends and family closer to home. The result is a collection of treasures: cherry strudel from Hungary, stollen from Germany, bread pudding from Vietnam, anise crackers from Barcelona. More than two hundred recipes that resonate with the joys and flavors of everyday baking at home and around the world.

Inexperienced home bakers can confidently pass through the kitchen doors armed with Naomi and Jeffrey's calming and easy-to-follow recipes. A relaxed, easy-handed approach to baking is, they insist, as much a part of home baking traditions as are the recipes themselves. In fact it's often the last-minute recipes—semonlina crackers, a free-form fruit galette, or a banana-coconut loaf—that offer the most unexpected delights. Although many of the sweets and savories included here are the products of age-old oral traditions, the recipes themselves have been carefully developed and tested, designed for the home baker in a home kitchen.

Like the authors' previous books, HomeBaking offers a glorious combination of travel and great tastes, with recipes rich in anecdote, insightful photographs, and an inviting text that explores the diverse baking traditions of the people who share our world. This is a book to have in the kitchen and then again by your bed at night, to revisit over and over.

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crackers. 2 cups coarse semolina (not fine semolina flour; see Glossary), plus extra for dusting � teaspoon salt About � cup warm water 1 tablespoon olive oil Fine sea salt for topping Place the semolina and salt in a food processor and process for 10 seconds to mix thoroughly. With the processor on, begin adding water through the feed tube in a steady stream. When you’ve added about half the water, add the oil. Add the remaining water, processing until the dough comes together into a ball,

enriched with sugar, butter, and sometimes an egg. These additions weakened the gluten in the dough, making it softer and more tender. The “egg-raised” cakes were either dense-crumbed, clean-slicing rich cakes such as pound cake, or airier, drier sponge cakes. Most of the cakes we’ve included in this section are easy everyday cakes, easy to remember or to improvise, such as Four-Minute Cake Valerie (page 343), New Year’s Pear Cake (page 342), and Semolina 1-2-3 Cake (page 358). They’re raised

sliced pear or apple; serves 8 This cake is adapted from a recipe for a cake from Burgundy in Mireille Johnston’s evocative cookbook The Cuisine of the Rose. It probably has its origins in the country habit of using the end of a yeasted bread dough to make a cake. In this case, the dough is enriched with a little butter, then topped with fruit and sugar before its second rise. Easy as pie . . . easier than pie! Serve it warm, like a baked dessert, or let it cool and serve it cut into slices like

twice, or it will get tough, so any scraps left after the second rolling out should be discarded, or baked as is.) Brush the tops with egg wash, if you want a slight sheen on your cookies, and then sprinkle on a little sugar, if you like. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies puff slightly; they won’t brown. Transfer to a rack to cool. Shape and bake the rest of the dough. Once the cookies have cooled completely, store in a cookie tin. They keep well for several weeks, though usually

favorite pieces of cookware. For baking most rolls and sweet buns, you’ll need only a baking sheet. Some we bake instead in a standard 9-by-5-inch bread pan or a 13-by-9-inch baking pan or a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. As with larger breads, we find it useful to keep a baking stone in the oven to help maintain an even heat and to help keep the temperature up when the door is opened. For baking flatbreads in the oven, you need many of the same tools used for hearth breads (see page 114). A baking

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