Well ain’t this a pickle!

I turn my back for a year or two, and look at the state the world gets itself into! Did I not repeatedly say that the precipitous drop in the frequency of home baking could only lead to civilizational decline, mass hysteria and global pandemics? Oh Lord, when will they listen. Happily the sun still rises, the electric oven still works, and WordPress…well I guess that’s another matter.

First, a big apology to everybody for the outages of the last month. Evidently a bevy of new web security standards were introduced in my absence, and not having kept up with them…well, you saw the result. Thank God for the crack IT team here at JP, who came out of retirement to get me up and running again. Ms. B, I am in your debt!

Thanks also to a few of you who tracked me down (via my online alter-egos) to sound the alarm that the baking world was starving without Joe’s Pastry Cream. A few of you even managed to find some of my relatives, fearing that I was dead. I don’t want to know how, I only want to say that, well, that was a little on the weird side. But flattering. I think you all for your concern.

Given the circumstances, and that it seems we’ll all have quite a bit of baking time on our hands these next few weeks (months?), I’m going to stage a sort of limited return. I don’t know what form that will take exactly, though my younger daughter, young Josephine Pastry, is now old enough to be interested in baking, so we may team up on some projects. Who knows?

Meantime I’m around to answer questions where I can, especially pertaining to things like ingredient substitutions,   which we’ll probably all have to contend with, at least in the short-term. So from me to you: stay cool, relax, don’t panic, and let’s get the oven on. I’ll be back with some of my usual typo-riddled posts before much longer. – Joe


121 thoughts on “Well ain’t this a pickle!”

  1. What wonderful news! I discovered your blog after its live days and have been baking from it ever since (your croissants in particular have been in steady rotation). I didn’t think I’d ever get the chance to say thanks! Let me offer my belated gratitude for all the great instruction your blog has provided, and express my excitement for what the future might bring.

    1. Hey Hervor!

      Thanks for the note! I have no idea what’s coming next, but it feels good to be doing this again. Now if I can only figure out how to work this updated version of WordPress I’ll be in great shape.



  2. I discovered your place just lastweek my search for donuts brought me here.and I’m so happy already made them twice in one week.i love how you explain everything and give recipe in weight including how long to knead very helpful for us who didn’t go to pastry school and cant tell byfeel or look.thank you sir.

    1. Glad to hear it, Mimi! I make the doughnuts a lot too. They’re sort of a signature thing around here!

      Cheers and thanks for the comment!

      – Joe

  3. Welcome back (hopefully)!

    Your recipes are absolutely my go-to, even more often than Cook’s Illustrated… So I am very excited to see what you may come up with next.

    Wishing you lots of health, happiness, and baking during this uncertain time!

    Katelyn R

    1. Thanks Katelyn! And given what you wrote let me apologize once again for the outage. It was a pain in the neck for me too. The site is the only place I have most of these written down!

      All the best to you and yours!

      – Joe

  4. Oh whew! I can stop searching the Google cached versions! On a side note, I was shocked … SHOCKED that the normally sparsely-visited baking aisle was completely wiped out – nothing left but smears of spilled flour on the shelves. As you say, there’s gonna be a whole new crop of bakers coming out of this. It’s beautiful.

    1. Hey Susan! And yes, isn’t that nuts? I was thinking the same thing at our local Kroger last week. “Who are these new baking enthusiasts and what are they planning on making?” I was particularly struck that while most of the flour was gone, you could still buy just about any pre-packaged muffin or cake mix. So there seems to be some intention here. Exactly what that intention is I hope to find out!

      Thanks for the checking in!

      – Joe

    1. Florin, hello! Your name reminds me of a young fellow I met many years ago in Bucharest, back in the Ceaușescu days, not to get all J. Peterman on you. Florentin was his name. We remained long distance pen-pals for quite a while, before I lost track of him during the revolution.

      Great to meet you, and such a kind comment! I greatly appreciate it. More soon,

      – Joe

      1. Well, I’m a Romanian too 🙂 Ceaușescu days? I was 7 years old at the ’89 revolution.
        There’s just so much information on this blog. Can you believe I once thought about downloading the whole thing, just in case it gets deleted? (I know great blogs that simply disappeared off the radar one day).

        1. I saw the last name and assumed as much, Florin! Yes, I was 19 then, so I think we know where each other stand age-wise! 😉

          But thank you, and do as you wish with the site and its content. I wrote many years ago that I’m happy to consider what’s here to be public domain. I may come to you one day for a copy! 😉



  5. Phew! I came to check your smbc recipe last month and had a bit of a panic!

    I’m very relieved to see it wasn’t permanent though and thank you so much for keeping the site around.
    I definitely have some spare time for a few baking projects now!

    Take care!

    1. Hey Clair!

      I was in a bit of a panic myself. I make my deep dish pizza most every Friday, not to mention various breads for this and that. And when I realized this was the only place where my mother’s famous banana bread recipe is written down, well I practically fell down dead. Happily things are stable now, though there are more kinks to work out. Should I disappear briefly again, don’t worry. I’ll be back.



  6. Lovely seeing a new post of yours popping up in my feedreader. It’s been a while!
    Nice to have you back for a bit Joe.

  7. JOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    After a pretty awful week in the UK, I can’t tell you how excited I am right now! I saw the site was down a couple of weeks ago, and after refreshing and checking back for several days, I sadly concluded the hosting agreement must have lapsed. I was desperately trawling the site archives Wayback Machine until purely by chance, I saw that the site was back last week. And that already felt like a gift.

    But never ever did I expect a new post! I came here just now to get a link to your baguette tutorial for friends who want to make use of a lot of time on their hands + a brand new 10kg bag of flour. And, well, because this site remains a happy place for me.

    I hope you and the Pastry clan are all keeping well and that your local authorities are doing what needs to be done! And how wonderful that your youngest is getting into baking now. I would be *thrilled* to see more posts from you … but no pressure 🙂

    1. JEN!!!!!!!! Me ol’ mate. How are you? Yes, the youngest is addicted to The Great British Baking Show and Zumbo’s Just Desserts. Anything with a non-native accent is seems. But she intends to one day compete. She flatters me by saying things like “you could do that, daddy”. But I know better!

      But thank you yes, we’re all very well and quite likely to stay that way, methinks. So long as we don’t run out of cake flour and eggs. More posting probably tomorrow. The youngest has an inspiration for projects that can be made with a bare minimum of ingredients. I like the idea, it’s quite timely, but I need some inspirations. Any thoughts?

      I’ll be back tomorrow with some suggestions on starting up the home (bunker) bakery. So keep close. I’ll be needing you!

      – J

  8. Hey, good to see you back! Just want to say thanks for your all-whole-wheat bread recipe–best I ever tried, and now the go-to around here.
    Over the next few weeks, with time on my hands, I may try my hand at some fancier stuff, and my first stop will no doubt be your recipes.

    1. Thanks Sue!

      I’ll have to revisit that one myself since I’ve forgotten it. A lot to dust off around here!

      Many thanks,

      – Joe

  9. Well today I lucked out! I just came to you site lookingfor a piroski recipe and see that the prodigal Joe has returned! Good news all around, welcome back!

    1. Thanks Ron! Looking forward to getting things fire up again. Hope the piroshki were good!

      – Joe

  10. We’re so happy to have you back Joe! Even for a limited time.

    Looking forward to having you back in my feed!

  11. I’ve been posting tons of links to your site — everybody wants to be a baker right now. Those who have flour can’t find yeast, and many can’t even find flour. I just posted everything savory/bready of yours that I could find that didn’t involve yeast (including starter). I’m very excited to see you back again!

    1. Hey HH! We’ll see what we can do as far as ideas for stocking the Corona Pantry. And thanks for spreading the word!

      – Joe

  12. What an unexpectedly delightful silver lining to an otherwise nasty pandemic 🙂

    1. Well if JP can be a bit of help, then that’s a good thing. When stuck inside, bake. No?

      Cheers and more soon,


  13. Look what just popped up on my feed!! You’ve been sorely missed Joe. Don’t leave us again or we’ll have to wait for the next global pandemic!

    1. Ha! Thanks Ariel! It might only take a stock market crash or something like that next time. Eh, maybe less disaster than that even. Like maybe our dog runs away or something. I’ll set the bar low, I promise.

      Nice to be in touch again!


  14. Hooray! I think of you gratefully every Dec 13th when we make your Lussekatter recipe. Many other favorites too. So glad you checked in!

    1. Ah yes, those are my daughters’ favorite rolls!

      Thanks for the note and more soon!

      – Joe

  15. You … but … wha … you’re back?! Or am I just having a particularly lucid dream after one too many quarantinis?

    Seriously, not a month goes by — often less — that I don’t tell my wife how much I miss your posts. So glad to have you back, even if it’s temporary and the circumstances are less than ideal.

    1. Alan me pal! So good to hear from you. We’ll see how temporary it is. Maybe not at all. But it feels good to be doing this again. I have a daughter who’s pushing me to get after it, and maybe let her in on the act a bit. Who knows what’ll happen?

      More soon,


  16. Joe! Joe ! Joe !

    OMG you are back!

    You are back!

    I literally squeeled when you popped up in my feedly this week

    Joe is back!

    Now Joe… teaching us sourdough is all well and good but us die hard Joe Pastry fans also need something like a new framboisier recipe too. You know… 13 different stages with tempered chocolate AND mini meringue mushrooms for decoration too. How else will we survive the insanity?

    Puh… Leaaaase !

    Take care bud

    Rick (Previous cultural informant regarding Pavlova and the wonderful snot block)

    1. Rick! Truly great to hear from ya, mate. I think about you every time my younger daughter watches Zumbo’s challenges. I’ll need more from you in future. For instance: sponges. They have a cultural significance down under that I don’t fully understand yet. We must discuss.

      Re; the framboisier…let’s get from A to B before we jump to R, shall we? I haven’t even figured out if I can use my old camera yet. Much to do, much to do…



  17. THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED IN 2020! Welcome back Joe. Might I ask if we could do bake-alongs? 😀

    1. Let’s not get carried away, Ameya! But thank you. Explain a little more what you mean by a bake-along! I’ve been out of the game for a little while here! 😉

      – Joe

  18. Wow! Took me a few beats when I saw you come up in my feed to realize what was happening. Amazing. Had zero baking mojo in isolation before now, but maybe for you…
    And speaking of Zumbo, now would be a great time for another season to show up on netflix right??

    1. Little Josephine would LOVE more Zumbo. I’ve only seen a couple of the shows, but enough to know that his desserts are WAY strange. But it takes all kinds to make the pastry world go ‘round, no? Anything that gets people excited about baking!

      – Joe

  19. I’m so happy you’re back! I’ve thought about you and wondered how you’re doing, hoping the petit fours (daughters) were well and missing the odd comment about Mrs Pastry. ::settles in:: this is going to be good.

    Thank you for returning. Heartfelt thank you.

    1. Laura G!!

      Great to be in touch again. We’re all doing great. The older of the petits is getting ready to drive. Oh, my head. But I’ve very happy to be here. More as I figure out how to work this updated version of WordPress!

      – Joe

  20. I can’t believe you’re back, and that I’m so lucky to have you still on my blog reader. This happy news will have me and my sister grinning for a week! We thought all this golden recipes were gone forever earlier this week.

    1. Hey Maria!

      I thought the same for a minute or two, but then I remembered that the site is backed up in a few places, so it can’t disappear entirely…or at least I don’t think so! But copy your favorite recipes and print them in the event of disaster. I’m going to so the same! Most of these I don’t have anywhere else!

      Your friend,

      – Joe

  21. Overjoyed that there’s a silver lining to this very dark cloud. So glad to have you back, even for a limited engagement!

    1. Thanks AZ! Speaking for myself, I’m glad to see you pop up again in the comment fields! 😉



  22. I’m so excited you’re back!! (even if it’s a limited time return) I didn’t discover this blog until long after it stopped updating but I’ve been poring over it since then, it’s my baking go-to – thanks for all the great information over the years!

    1. Thanks to you Lynne! I’m having fun. Now if I can only figure out how to edit and upload a photo again, I’ll be firing on all cylinders. Wish me luck!


  23. It literally brought tears to my eyes this morning when I came to the blog and saw a new post! The last time I was brought to tears from a blog post was in 2015 when I read “Thank you and Farewell”. When ever I want to try something new, I always think “How would Joe make this?” and check the blog to see if you’ve got any advice. I’m happy you’re well, happy you’re here for now and thankful for you helping me become a better baker. – Heather E.

    1. Heather, what’s a blogger to say? I’m so very touched by what you wrote, and grateful. I’ll be keeping this renewed commitment up for a while I think, though I probably won’t be as frequent as the old days. But you never know! Stay well yourself, there are lots of baking projects ahead!

      – Joe

  24. Oh, this is the best! I kept checking, panicked when it went down, wished I’d downloaded everything, felt relief when it came back up, and now: you’re back! (Well, yeah, during the Apocalypse, but hey, isn’t that a good time?) I’ve referred your blog to many through the years, saying no new entries but all the old were worthwhile. Almost all the local bakers have closed for a while (I did see Bellegarde has their flour at a local grocery chain: whew!). Thank you for posting, giving some info. Glad to hear about Josephine Baker! Best to you, Joe.

    1. Naomi my longtime buddy! Great to hear from you. Apocalypse indeed! Perish the thought. There’s WAY too much baking to do. 😉

      We shall talk soon, yes?


  25. I couldn’t believe my eyes to see the dates on the last couple posts. So excited to have you back, and excited to potentially welcome Josephine Pastry too!

    1. Hello Yuki! It’s great to be back. Having a few re-start bumps, but there’ll be more as time goes on. Great to be back!

      – Joe

  26. What! It’s you! I was an avid reader back-in-the-day, and in fact just checked out your site a couple of months ago, lamenting the fact that you were no longer posting. So nice to see you! Hope you and the fam are keeping well.

    1. Thank you, Brittany! We are well and expect to remain so. I hope you and yours are safe and happy also. More soon!

      – Joe

  27. Welcome back Joe!

    As I type, a tray of your famous danishes are in the oven, destined for my boys’ teachers to thank them for being so patient during these chaotic times.

    At least we’re not completely locked down in Australia, but people are still hoarding supplies. We have plenty of flour, but I’m struggling to find yeast. I’m pretty sure there are hundreds of people out there with vague plans to bake their own bread if needed but no idea what to do! We produce huge amounts of grain, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat, so there’s no prospect of shortages, but people are still freaking out.

    I’ve found that in these chaotic times, baking for other people is a nice way of connecting personally, even if we can’t sit down and have a chat.

    Glad you’re back!

    PS I’ve been to Zumbo’s bakery. Stuff tastes as good as it looks.

    1. Hey Youngster! So glad you’re keeping the flame of laminated dough alight! I understand completely what you mean. I’ve been handing out loaves of pain a l’ancienne to friends and neighbors. They’re stunned at first. “Wait, there was a time before panic?” Yes, and it’ll be back soon. Fresh bakery is one of those symbols: everything’s gonna be alright!

      And I hear you about the hoarding. I wish it weren’t so. We’re like you: producers of everything. So why the freak out? The good news is that after several disconcerting weeks of semi-empty shelves, things are starting to return to normal. This morning I saw some of everything except rice, beans and loo paper, of all the ridiculous things. This to shall…well, be over soon. As people start to calm down a bit.

      Glad to hear that Zumbo isn’t all flash and no pan. I confess I’ve had my doubts with all the crazy concoctions I’ve seen on the show. My daughter cannot wait for the net season to start!

      Thanks so much for the note! More soon,


  28. Oh my gosh I am so excited!! I’m doing a Masters so procrastibaking is one of my main activities and it’s such a bonus that you’re back. Happy days!!! Stay well 🙂

    1. Hey Jodie! Never heard that term before, but will use it abundantly in future. I’m married to a prof, who would insist that I tell you to stop goofing around and get back to work, but then she’s not here right now. Try the crotins. They’re easy, fun, indulgent and exotic. Right up grad student alley.

      Thanks for checking in!


  29. Wow, Joe! I check your site every few months for one thing or another, sigh wistfully, then tell myself, “Don’t be selfish. He has to take care of himself. Teenage daughters are no joke!” Luckily, I missed the web adventures or I might have had a good cry. Today, I am busting out a pineapple upside down cake and came on to check on when to replace my baking powder. Happiness!! So glad you have decided to blog, even for a little while. All your baking acolytes have missed you! Although I am not baking near as often as I used to, (it’s just me and the mr.) the hunker down order has me baking and freezing. After a long day of doing tele-therapy, a home made treat and a cuppa are the perfect antidote.

    1. Hey Melinda!

      Good to see you back again! And you’ve sure got that right: teenage daughters are no joke. Whew! I’m going to remember that.

      Sounds to me like you’ve got the perfect therapeutic routine going: get some work done, get some baking done, then sit down with a little tea and fresh what-have-you to take the edge off. I’m going to remember that too!

      Come back soon and let me know what you’re up to.


  30. Glad to see you back again. I found your site shortly before you left last time and have been trying recipes ever since. Your a hard guy to track down LOL

    1. It’s good to BE back, Krash. Thanks! And yeah, sorry. Other than JP I tend not to use social media. I guess I have no one but myself to blame for those death rumors. I haven’t had the courage to look at the JP email account yet. I shudder to think what might be waiting for me in there…



      1. JP, Your Banana Bread and Lemon Tart recipes elevated me to admiration status with my mother who was a pretty good commercial and home baker . I found your site way back when I was also on my way back from the abyss , albeit a self inflicted one and this was something to feel good about again. This was the start of me believing I can do anything again and haven’t looked back .
        I do apologize for the intrusion, I thought with all you had done here for me and others there should be an answer or more questions to what had happened. So I found out. Yes weird I know but still…Thank You. Krash

        1. Baking had the same effect on me, Krash. That is, it helped bring my back from the brink also. So I understand what you’re saying exactly. If the site has played a part in your own return to the land of the living, well then I’m extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to lend a hand. Thanks to you…it’s great to meet a fellow traveler!



  31. My jaw dropped when I saw new posts around here! I thought the site went down forever, but I came to try my luck anyways for your word on mixing methods. I’m glad to hear you are well and I hope you have had a lovely time with your family in the past few years. I have a soft spot for this website – it taught me to bake when I was just a young girl myself.

    1. Even though you made me feel old just now, Cindy, I have nothing but appreciation for it — and for you. 😉

      Thank you for such a kind comment. Stay well yourself and come back soon!


      – Joe

  32. So glad to see you back Joe, we’ve missed you and nearly had a heart attack when the site went down right before our annual Joe’s King Cake tradition!

    1. You and me both Aaron! Thank God for Ms. Brooke and her endless backups!


      Take care,


  33. Glad you are back, baking and cooking are an identification of who we are. And it is what brings us together, plus for those who have a sweet tooth, like me, it is just great.


  34. Welcome back, Joe! I was so relieved when your site came back online the other month. I didn’t realize how often I pop in for a reference recipe or technique and that I hadn’t copied them down anywhere. If you were to, say, compile it all into a cookbook sonmnewhere, I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone in wanting a signed copy. Thanks again for all you do and for the new content!

    1. Hey Brian!

      Thanks very much! You know it’s funny…the same thing that makes this site useful is the same thing that will forever keep it from appearing in print form: the instructions go on forever. No cookbook publisher would ever consider a 1,000 page book of mostly process shots and instructional copy. The kind of color photography and printing that would be required to put it all into print would make the books utterly cost prohibitive. I’ve had this discussion with a few book agents over the years. You can imaging how they go: “You see, Joe, no one wants to learn cooking or baking from a book. Books are for browsing, for coffee tables. People want big, shiny shots of yummy-looking finished products and that’s all. They hate instructions.”

      Generally speaking those agents were probably right. People who really want to learn to bake or cook are in the vast minority of book buyers or food show watchers. So it looks like the interwebs will forever be the home of Joe.

      Eh, there are worse fates. But by all means copy and maybe print out the recipes that mean the most to you so you’ll always have them. It doesn’t bother me in the least, and that way you have a little insurance against…well, the unexpected.

      Cheers and thanks, Brian!


  35. Joe!! I am so happy you’re back! In the last week of March, there was a BIG day for me. I needed to bake something that use minimal amount of ingredients so I can stretch what I have. I ended up making a mini Estherházy torta: 3 eggs instead of 6 whites n 8 yolks! Halved the required butter for the custard. I feel empowered! And I thought about you and how your opera cake tutorial got me started to learn to bake glamorous cakes back in 2007!

    An old friend is hard to forget.

    1. I’m happy too, Katzies! These renewals of old friendships have been the best part. You’re really turning into a heck of a baker. You know you’ve arrived when you can improvise on the fly like you’re doing — with a Esterházy torte no less! You have every reason to strut. Way to go!!

      – Your old friend Joe

  36. Thank you so much for coming back Joe! I had pinned one of your recipes on Pinterest, Pão de Queijo, and I was looking at it today. I found your website when you had already left, so I was very disappointed back then. And today I saw a recent post and was beyond excited to see that. Your content is fantastic, your recipes wonderful, you’re instructions are the best, and you’re writing style is phenomenal. I really am so happy you came back, even if temporarily. Maybe it’ll become more permanent, even if sporadic, I’d take that rather than nothing at all. Hope you and your family are well and staying safe.

    1. Hey Karla!

      Thanks we’re all doing just fine. Hope you and yours are all well too. Thank you for all those effusive compliments…they’re going to go straight to my head!

      I suspect the blogging will go on for a while. Once I get started it’s hard to stop, and young Joan Pastry is interested now, so…who knows what the future may bring?

      More from the pastry household soon!



  37. Wow! Thrilled to see you back! Your blog has been in my favorites for…ever!
    Can’t wait for new baking Joe’s style! Thank you!!

    1. Maria! Thanks so much. I can’t wait for it myself. I guess I’ll find out as I go!



  38. I am happy beyond words that you are back! I hope you and your family are doing well.

    I came here looking for, as I do many times, some baking technical details, in this case if Danish pastry dough differs from that of a croissant, and I found a new recipe post! So very happily surprised I was. I am glad and thankful that you are back.
    A big thanks to you for this site, it is a treasure.

    All the best to your daughter as she explores this baking world. I am a fan of GBBO too!

    Take care,

    1. Thank you so much, Shweta! I do feel as though I’m back where I belong. And we are very well, thank you. I hope your family is the same!

      It’s good to have my daughters along with me this time. They each have their own interests where baking is concerned. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with. But of course there will still be all the usual nonsense around here, that much I am sure about.

      Thank you for your wonderful comment and good luck with the Danishes!


  39. Callooh! Callay! O frabjous day! I’m so excited and happy you are back, even for a possibly limited time!

    I came today to look up the Danish recipe I’ve used to great success a few years ago, knowing that the site has been dormant, and I was so surprised to see new content.

    I had been considering trying to email you or something to offer a few bucks to keep the archive live, even if you never resumed posting. I had read the (previously) last post in 2015 saying that the hosting fees were paid up for the next five years, but here we are in 2020 and I was figuring I’d have to hurry up and download hard copies of the recipes I wanted to preserve in case the site ever went away.

    May I ask what the plans are to keep the archive up for the future? (Apologies if you have already addressed this. I had to find the earliest new post to figure out what was going on first so I haven’t read any of the new material yet.)

    I’ve always enjoyed baking and your recipes are so fantastic. Thanks for all you’ve shared and I can’t wait to explore the new material during this time at home!

    1. Wow, is that ever complimentary, Steph! Lewis Carroll and everything! I thank you!

      To answer your questions, I was planning to keep the site going like the Energizer bunny…as long as possible, at least so long as technology and web standards didn’t outpace it in some way. I still intend to do that, so barring technological calamity (of the kind that more or less happened last month) it’ll be here for quite a while. Still, copy anything you can’t live without just in case. I myself have done that, since I don’t have many of these recipes in other places!

      And by all means to explore…and write me with any questions you might have!



      1. Thanks Joe! I will probably back up a few things, but I’m glad the site will be around for a long time to come. I read some more posts and comments since yesterday and I missed the site crashing but man, I can’t imagine how bummed we would all be if everything was gone for good.

        So glad to hear you and your family are doing well and having new baking adventures.

  40. You’re back!!! I missed it for two months!!!

    At least it won’t be as much catch up as the first time I encountered your blog, when I think I read through two years of posts in maybe two months.

    Welcome back!!

    1. I’m surprised you survived that! But thank you Ella! Very happy to be here.



  41. I just checked your site on a whim and discovered I am only two months and two days late to the party! Huzzah!
    Delighted you are back for however long it lasts.
    Hope you and yours are well 🙂

    1. We are all doing very, very well Kathleen. Thank you for asking, and welcome back! Hope you and yours are well and thriving!

      – Joe

  42. And you didn’t even tell me? And here I am in the middle of Manhattan quivering behind my mask, scrounging for flour so I can make cakes for the staff of my building (God bless them), and otherwise pining for life as we once knew it, and all along here you are?

    Well I nevah.

    1. Chana my dear friend, forgive me. So glad you’re well, mask and all. I hope we can pick up where we left off? 😉

      – Joe

  43. Joe, I echo the heartfelt welcome backs. I’ve also checked your blog often since you kindly made the Torta Della Nonna I requested. Checking for answers, techniques, recipes and hoping against hope you would return. I only discovered today that you are indeed back and I am overjoyed. I’ve been baking like crazy lately and owe a lot of my confidence to all I’ve learned from reading this site regularly over the years. I even made bagels – twice – when our local shop closed and they turned out very well indeed. Can’t wait to learn more from you.


    1. I certainly remember you, Linda! It’s great to be in touch once again. Young Joan is a bagel lover as well. We’re going to make some this coming week I think. Ours are as good as anything you can get in Kentucky, that’s for sure. For my lovely wife they’re just good enough to make her pine for Manhattan. I think that’s a compliment (I think).

      Cheers and thanks for the note!


  44. look who the cat dragged in 😀

    welcome back, now I have some serious catch-up to do!

    Chris from Down Under

    1. Well, well, well…if it isn’t me ol’ mate Chris!

      Great to hear from you, brother. But yes, I spent last week rewriting all the flour posts, some of the bread posts, and more besides. I’M even getting sick of me. But dive on in! And check back soon!

      – Joe

  45. Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!!!!
    Joe! I have missed your blog so! I see I am late to the party, but I’m soooo excited you are writing again!
    I do so pray that the whole Pastry family has been well and happy!
    This is one of two big baking blessings that has come my way from all this craziness. (the other was the Doubletree chocolate chip cookie recipe and what’s up with lemon juice in the recipe?)

    I know what I will be doing all weekend… Reading Joe Pastry, that’s what!
    Welcome Back Joe! I be here every day now catching up.

    All my best to you and the whole Pastry family!

    1. I’ve missed you too Eva! 😉

      It’s great to be back and yes were are all doing very well, thanks. Spending a lot of time outdoors (at least when we’re not baking) and generally trying not to pay too much attention to the news!

      The lemon juice is probably there to ensure that all the baking soda reacts. I can’t think of any other reason for it. It certainly wouldn’t taste like much with all the rest of that stuff in there!

      My best to your family as well, Eva. Thanks so much for the welcome and the enthusiasm!



  46. I am so glad you’re back!! I turn to your site so often — I am in the middle of making your opera cake for my birthday this week! Be well and bake on!

    1. That’s a great project, Teresa. I’d love to be making one of those this week!

      I wish you a very, very happy birthday!



  47. Oh, there IS a Deity! Welcome back, Joe. Looking forward to any new pearls of pastry wisdom you choose to scatter. I, too, have used your archives during your sabbatical.

    1. Well, well, Charm! How nice to be in touch once again.

      Welcome back to the ol’ Joe blog. You can take it from my wife that I’m not proof of a Divine Creator. That distinction goes to Opera Cake. But I thank you just the same! 😉

      Looking forward to our renewed chats!

      – Joe

  48. JOE! YOU’RE BACK! This is, perhaps, the only good thing to come out of 2020 so far.

    I learned almost everything I know about baking from your blog. Over the years, I’ve continued to direct people here for knowledge. I even had a pet project a while ago where I made a web scraper with the intent of compiling everything into an ebook (alas, it ended as all pet projects do, with me slowly giving up over time).

    In fact, I just linked someone to this blog, and that’s how I discovered this! Looks like I have some catching up to do.

    1. Hey Delaney!! Great to be back in touch again! And thanks for the referrals!

      I feel your pain on the e-book. I’ve fooled around with other publishing formats for Joe Pastry content. In the end I always come back to the same conclusion: it’s a blog. That’s pretty much all it is, for good or ill! But at least it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. 😉

      Looking forward to future conversations!

      – Joe

  49. Oh. my. GRACIOUS!!! Woefully late in boarding the welcome back bus but hope the jumping up & down makes up for it. I often visit your site in a hurry and somehow missed there were NEW posts! WOO HOO!

    Now that I’ve embarrassed myself and likely you, heartfelt thanks for your detailed, reliable content over so many years. I was always a lurker (never a commenter, no idea why), but have used your blog as a cross-referencing tool countless times. I was a pastry chef in a past life & now run a cooking school, and we send students to your site ALL the time! Whenever I find my own explanations winding themselves in knots, I think “how would Joe Pastry explain that?”, and it gets me through.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Training up 3 teens of our own, and they need you! (Lovely brioche from the 14 yr old this morning) 🙂

    1. My face actually flushed at that comment, Jen. You really know how to make a guy feel good about himself. Lordy! 😉

      Thank you…and you are very welcome! I’ve always had a great time doing what I do. It feels good to have at least a hand in things again.

      Nice to hear you have a teenage brioche maker! I have a 13-year-old with an interest as well. You’ll see her fingerprints (figurative and literal) on upcoming posts. But do congratulate your special teen helper for me. Good brioche isn’t easy, but once it’s mastered it can become the basis for all kinds of delicious things!

      Thanks again and don’t be a stranger, Jen!



  50. This is a good 2020 after all!
    First discovered and followed your blog a year or two pre-hiatus, and I still remember being super bummed when you first announced it. JP is such a treasure trove. Extremely happy to discover you’re back!

    Thank you for all the stories and detailed instructions (I’d totally buy a tome of your instructions, gladly!).

    Looking forward to catching up with the five months’ worth of posts (and more!).

    Much love from Malaysia to the Pastry family!

    1. Back atcha, Lisa!

      And welcome back to you as well! And “tome” is right! Last time I looked at my page/post count, it was something like 13,000. I don’t think even Amazon would want to deliver that. But thanks for mentioning it.

      It’s great to be in touch. Welcome back yourself! 😉



  51. Hey there, I’m an experienced pastry chef and frequently use your site as a reference for at-home scale desserts and I just want to say…I’m so glad you’re back!!!

    1. Hi Karyn!

      So glad to hear from you. And also glad to be posting again…my regular interruptions excepted of course! It’s nice to know that the thing is still useful.



  52. You’re back!!!!! I’m so freakin’ excited!! I haven’t checked in for quite a while and was ecstatic to see new posts when I came to look today! Welcome back!!

    Your blog has been my absolute go to for baking. Tiny people underfoot has limited what I can do the past couple years but I’m so excited that I’ll be able to read and learn more now.

    1. Hey Melissa!

      Many thanks! I know what you mean about baking and kids. I didn’t do much that involved frying or caramel for a quite a while, but the baking world is a wide one. There’s always something to do. Glad to have you along for the ride again!


      – Joe

  53. It’s great to have you back!! Whenever I feel like spending the day in the kitchen baking I always reference your blog for ideas. I have learned a lot and am thrilled to have you return. David

    1. Thanks David! Great to have you back as well!

      Hope you’ve got big baking plans for Christmas. 😉



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