Why is it Always “American”?

How come every cheap knock-off of great world cuisine gets the label “American” slapped on it? Take buttercream (a critical component of ths week’s pastry recipe). There are three basic types of buttercreams. Two are made from egg foams to which sugar syrup and fresh, lovely butter are added: French which is made from a […]

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Back in Business

While I’m not nuts about this new look for the site, this skin appears to be the most stable choice, and seems to look decent on most browsers. We should be good to go for at least a while.

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Bear with me please…

I’ve been receiving some complaints that the skin I put on the site last week hasn’t been behaving on some browsers. The (ehem) world’s leading expert on my current software is working on the problem as we speak. Thanks for your patience while things look a touch rough.

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Light Posting Next Day or So

Which is to say probably none at all. I’m driving to Chicago on a little business. I know, you’re wondering: “But Joe, don’t you make all the money you need and more doing this?” A fair question, because of course there’s no money like blogging money. Let’s just say the Lexus needs new floor mats, […]

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What’s the Deal with Vienna?

So what is it exactly about Vienna that made it the center of the baking universe for so much of the last century (and the one before that)? It may be nothing more than Vienna’s longstanding café culture, which dates back 300 years to the time of the Ottoman invasions and the Battle of Vienna, […]

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By Their Cheese Shall Ye Know Them

Heavy reliance on cream cheese is also a way to spot a compromised baking operation. Lots of carrot cakes, thickly-layered bars and cupcakes piled high with star point-piped toppings are a good indicator that a bakery has gone over to cream cheese as a primary fat (or rather pseudo-fat). Cost is the main reason, since […]

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Salt Rising Bread II

Aha! I knew there had to be some kind of back woods edge to salt rising bread, that hill country delicacy I mentioned in a post last week. This highly unusual bread, as you may recall, is leavened with bacteria instead of yeast. Well it turns out the bacteria is nothing other than our old […]

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Finally. . .

Got those apple tarts made and baked off (the little one finally recovered and went to day care today). The results were good. Slicing the apples very, very thin makes for a better presentation, giving the surface a very nice scalloped effect. I used a 6-inch cutter for mine which is plenty big. Anything more […]

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Joe’s Hardware I

You won’t be surprised to discover I have strong opinions on rolling pins. I have lots. But the two I turn to the most are my simple Chinese rolling pin (which looks like this only longer), and my big heavy conventional pin. The big one has a 15-inch cylinder which I really like for rolling […]

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