Challah

Challah

This braided loaf, golden and tender from eggs and oil, is steeped in tradition and symbolism.  To set it apart from the ordinary weekday loaf of whole wheat bread, it is made with white flour, sugar or honey for sweetness, and oil and eggs to…

Spanish Buns

Spanish Buns

Just why this heavenly, light-textured and spiced sweet cake baked in a sheet pan has this name was clarified by food historian, William Woys Weaver. He says it was called “Spanish” because its concept was derived from a cake made in Latin America. And “buns”…

Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

One of the many things I’ve discovered in my brief exploration of gluten-free baking is the amazing latitude I have in the flour and starch mixtures I use. There are so many gluten-free flours available, where does one begin? I began with a ready-made all-purpose…

Recipe and Story: Flaky Parmesan Cheese Twists

Recipe and Story: Flaky Parmesan Cheese Twists

It’s the air incorporated between the layers of dough during the repeated rolling and folding that gives these pastries their flakiness and crispness. The yeast comes into play, too, adding just a touch of lift during baking.

Passion Fruit (Lilikoi) Shortbread Bars: The Recipe

Passion Fruit (Lilikoi) Shortbread Bars: The Recipe

These are best served cold. Store the pan of baked bars in the refrigerator and cut and dust them with powdered sugar just before serving. If you want to make lemon or lime bars, substitute either for the lilikoi juice.

Cranberry Muffins from Nantucket

Cranberry Muffins from Nantucket

I was given a version of this terrific muffin recipe by Sherry Strange, a cook who attended one of my Cuisinart food processor classes.  She told me the muffins were a specialty of the Jared Coffin House, a historic inn in Nantucket, and asked me if I would adapt the recipe for the food processor.

Portuguese Sweet Bread: The Story

Portuguese Sweet Bread: The Story

The Portuguese began arriving in Kona in the 1870s from the Azores and Madeira to help develop and manage dairies, a large part of Hawaii’s ranching industry. They brought with them their talent for baking bread which eventually spread throughout the islands.  Wherever Portuguese dairymen and sugar plantation workers settled, you’d see their outdoor dome-shaped stone ovens.

Portuguese Sweet Bread: The Recipe

Portuguese Sweet Bread: The Recipe

My last post described how Portuguese Sweet Yeast Bread dough is shaped into rolls at the Kona Historical Society’s stone oven (forno) on Hawaii’s Big Island. Baker Lewis Draxlir and his wife, Carla, are masters at the task.

Hula Biscuits

Hula Biscuits

What surprised me was that I could not detect a specific coconut taste in Hula Biscuits. They are very tender and have a pleasant sweetness without any addition of sugar.

Pop, Pop, Popovers!

Pop, Pop, Popovers!

This became a ritual when our kids lived at home or came home during college break. I’d whip up the batter the night before, refrigerate it, and bake the next morning. On Christmas, we’d open stocking gifts while the popovers baked and delicious aromas wafted their way to us in the living room.