Sweet Home Chicago III

Well, I pulled a mighy fine pie out of the oven last night for the Superbowl. Not quite star quality, but mighty fine nonetheless. The crust, as I’d hoped, was dense (without being too dense), rich (without being too rich), flavorful and flaky. All the qualities one would look for in a biscuit, or as […]

READ ON

This Week’s Pastry…

…is simplicity itself: Puff Pastry Apple Tarts with honey glaze. It’s a fantastic illustration of the kind of baking feats that can be achieved with just one or two carefully selected ingredients, and of course an ample stash of puff pastry in the freezer.

READ ON

A Comment! A Comment!

You’ll have to forgive my excitement, but it’s my first one. I’ve gotten so used to seeing all those little zeroes at the bottom of the posts, I never check for them. This one came from a good friend (and world-class chef) by the name of Tim Coonan, in regard to the (possible) Arab origins […]

READ ON

Sweet Home Chicago II

Having spent about an hour roaming the web looking at various attempts at Gino’s-type pizza crusts, I’ve come to a few conclusions. The most important of which is that many of these folks are vastly overcomplicating the matter. Maybe it’s the fact that Gino’s famously guards its “top secret” crust recipe. Maybe it’s the fact […]

READ ON

Sweet Home Chicago I

Friday night is pizza night and so last evening I trotted out my usual Chicago-style crust. Complimentary as the wife was, it was obvious that I’d once again fallen short of the ideal (Gino’s, Gino’s, Gino’s). And as if I wasn’t dispirited enough afterward, I got an email from one of my oldest friends, a […]

READ ON

Making Puff Pastry III

Concerning the final stage of puff pastry, the rolling and folding, I’m pretty much in agreement with the author of this week’s recipe. Yet I think it’s important to emphasize the “why” of the butter envelope and the initial roll, because this is the really critical point in the recipe. So you’ve got your giant […]

READ ON

Huffle Puff

There are more than a few stories about how puff pastry evolved. An oft-cited one involves a Renaissance pastry chef by the name of Claudius Gele whose sick father was prescribed a diet of water, flour and butter by his doctor (the doctor was later burned at the stake for not knowing what the hell […]

READ ON

Making Puff Pastry II

In sharp contrast to the first step of puff pastry making, step II is where you get to really get in touch with the inner Neanderthal. It’s the butter block stage. The recipe instructs us to put room temperature butter into a food processor with a small amount of flour and blend it. Once the […]

READ ON