Back in March, Sam Sifton wrote an aspirational story about sourdough starters (previously) for The New York Times. On behalf of those of us who aspire, Sarah Jampel responds with "How My Soudough Starter Took Over My Life.".
In AD 79, a baker put his loaf of bread into the oven. Nearly 2,000 years later it was found during excavations in Herculaneum. The British Museum asked Giorgio Locatelli to recreate the recipe as part of his culinary investigations for Pompeii Live. [more inside]
"Nowadays, we tend to eat biscuits with beverages like tea and coffee. But in the past they were an important element of the dessert course and were dipped into sweet wine." - Food History Jottings (previously) on the strange world of Regency biscuits. (Cookies to you US types.)
VanillaReview.com provides reviews of online vanilla bean sources. If you want to give homemade vanilla extract to your friends and family this Giftmas, now's the time to get started. But don't stop there -- you can also learn about vanilla frost, vanilla bean grading, vanilla growing, and even vanilla tattoos, which are used to prevent vanilla rustling. [more inside]
Celebrate author Laura Ingalls Wilder's 147th birthday with a recipe for Laura's Wedding Cake, taken from Little House Cookbook, Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories. (The Hairpin)
America's Test Kitchen Super Quick Video Tips: "Test Kitchen wisdom distilled into eminently watchable video clips" of no more than a minute or two long, including tips for meat (how to make the most perfect bacon ever - how to quickly defrost meat - how to dry-age steak at home) to coffee (how to make pour-over coffee - how to fake a latte at home) and wine (the fastest way to chill wine) to pizza (flattening dough and baking a perfect thin-crust pizza ) and general kitchen tips (is your knife sharp enough? - do you really need to buy regular olive oil? - how to quickly soften butter and soft cheese). And there's Ask the Test Kitchen quick video tips as well (what's the best way to peel eggs? - how do I store brown sugar?).
Ever wanted to eat those nachos in the gas station but been too scared? This recipe for Filling Station Nachos will help you out. Thanks to the Milwaukee Public Library's Historic Recipe File you can make that dish, Three Hole Cake or a Milwaukee Man's Crepe. A "fascinating glimpse into the local and ethnic foods that were popular in Milwaukee from as long as 50 years ago." Making Taters Polish Pride or President Washington's Rice Waffles With Honey-Maple Syrup might take you a while. And while there are no bees in Bee Cake, the Barbecued Coon is a different story. [via]
Cool little video profile of Chad Robertson, co-owner, with his wife, Elisabeth Prueitt, of San Francisco's Tartine bakery. Chad is obsessed with bread. [more inside]
Back before refrigeration, humanity turned to fermentation for much of our food preservation. With the help of some friendly bacteria and/or yeasts, home cooks can transmute tea into kombucha, and milk into yogurt, creme fraiche and buttermilk. [more inside]
science! cookies: Atom | Periodic Table | Petri Dish | Gel Electrophoresis | Lab Mice | Cephalopod | Gingerbread Scientists (via)
It's National Pie Day! Whether we're in search of the best pies in the United States or have long been troubled by our personal quests to turn out the perfect pie, we should all agree: quiche is not pie. [more inside]
David Leite, on his quest for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie, learned that letting the cookie dough rest for 36 hours before baking makes for one hell of a cookie. Chefs Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot didn't want to wait that long.
Here's your chance to bake bread like a master. Cookingbread.com. The detailed step-by-step instructions include photos to help guide you through each bread recipe, from start to finish. You will find many different kinds of recipes for bread machines, or family classics such as cheese bread and banana bread. I just made some cracked wheat this past weekend. Also includes printable recipe cards. So get baking. [more inside]
How to Make Love to the Dough Instructional video on bread and love making. Portions NSFW.
Baking tutorials are fun. Would you prefer a wood-fired bread baking course? This set has recipes to go along with the delicious looking pictures, and here is a virtual tour through a chocolate factory. Poetry your fancy? Here is a set of haikus soley dedicated to Spam™, and other cooking poems here. Want to make your own sausages? (NSFW, or dog lovers) How about Sushi? Make your own flowers out of vegetables. But don't forget to have fun.
"Salt rising bread is, when at it's best, as if a delicately reared, unsweetened plain cake had had an affair with a Pont l'Eveque cheese." There's even a mystery to go along with your (cheese-flavored) bread.
Don't know how to cook? You might find Cooking for Losers helpful, with new tips and recipes every day. Today:
Take one flour tortilla from the fridge and warm it slightly in the microwave. Spread a bit of cream cheese on it. Spread a bit of spicy sweet mustard on it. Top with a few slices of your favorite lunchmeat - pastrami, ham, turkey; this recipe does not work well with tofu products. Roll and consume. May be cut into multiple little rolly-things if more food is desired.Share your own carefully hoarded recipes and be a guest loser.