Recipe: Artisan French Bread (or diary of a bread-aholic)


Makes about 3 loaves My toes curled when I took my first bite of French bread - a baguette, still warm from the oven. Even years later - hundreds of baguettes later - I could not understand how my French friend, Julie, was able to restrict herself to one slice with dinner. Her entire family was that way - they'd had good bread their entire lives. I was unable to be so moderate. Entire baguettes could disappear into my belly in an afternoon. I gained 15 pounds living in Paris, around the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cardamom Sweet Bread (Pulla)


Makes 1 giant loaf (or as many smaller shapes as you'd like) Pulla is the ultimate Finnish bread dough. Feeling sad? Shape it into a teardrop. Feeling confused? Twist the heck out of it. Feeling like Pippi Longstocking? Braid it! Feeling creative? Shape it into men, women and children. Feeling pregnant? Just make little buns, baby! There's also plenty of choice in regard to flavorings. Pulla always tastes of glorious cardamom. After that? You can leave it plain or fill it. Sweeten life up … [Read more...]

Recipe: Eritrean Hembesha-Inspired Sweet Loaf


Makes one 8" round loaf My sister and I whipped up this Eritrean-inspired sweet bread and proceeded to stuff our faces with it all day long, until even the crumbs were gone. The cumin flavor is unusual, but goes perfectly with the sweet raisins. While most Hembesha are made thin and extremely ornately, my sister and I decided to make this thick, quick and dirty version so we could spend more time playing with Ava on a balmy 70F degree day in February.  And so we could have more surface … [Read more...]

Recipe: Injera (Flatbread from Northeast Africa)


Do you dream of cleaning out your cluttered silverware drawer? Are you totally tired of your dishes? Try a happy bite of Injera, the gorgeous Teff flatbread adored in Eritrea, Ethopia, and other East African countries. Sour and funky... Injera is almost as thin as a crepe, but spongy like a pancake ... and is traditionally used both as a platter for spicy stews and to replace silverware. Three tips for foolproof Injera making: 1. Consistency Make sure the batter is almost the consistency of … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cheese Pupusas (Pupusas de queso)


Makes 6-10 pupusa Take a big bite of El Salvador with cheesy pupusas. Many locals eat pupusa several times a week - some are filled with beans, others meat. But, no matter how you fill it, there's an art to shaping the mighty papusa. Here's Martha Stewart's demonstration: httpv:// Here are four things I wish I knew when I got started: Make your dough fairly moist. Play with the consistency. You don't want a lot of cracking on the edges. The one … [Read more...]

Recipe: Dough for Empanadas & Pies (with video)


Borrow your mother, grandmother, brother, sister, father, grandfather. All of them! This recipe is best made with a gaggle of family, all chitter chattering and covered in flour. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. You can use this soft, pliable dough for any empanada (or pie, for the matter) - sweet or savory. We like it with our beef and apple fillings. Makes 2 dozen 3 1/2 inch empanadas Ingredients: 2 cups  flour 1 Tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt 8 Tbsp  cold butter 2/3- 3/4 cup ice … [Read more...]

Recipe: Caribbean Bakes (Fried Biscuits)


Makes 8 These biscuits don't need butter and jelly. They don't need gravy. Just eat them straight up, with a smile. Crispy and golden, they get their color from a boiling oil bath. Great for plunking into soups and stews, or alongside rice and beans. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups flour 1 1/2 tsp sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 Tbsp butter 1/3 cup milk (a few drops more, if needed) 1/4 inch oil Method: Are you wearing a black shirt? You might want to switch it for a white … [Read more...]

Recipe: Laxoox


Serves 4 Have ten minutes? Mix up a batch of Laxoox for breakfast tomorrow. This yeasty, tiny-bit-tangy flatbread is a lot like Injera. The people of Djibouti enjoy Laxoox for breakfast with butter and honey. In the evenings they use it to dip and scoop and enjoy all manner of stews and sauces. Sounds great to me. Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup wheat flour 1/4 cup millet flour (aacceptable substitutes include rice flour or sorghum flour) 1 1/2 tsp yeast 1 tsp salt 1 … [Read more...]