bread

Cinnamon Babka

Valentine’s Day has never been a big deal in my books, but my attitude toward it has changed quite a bit since high school. In high school, I rejected it upfront, convinced that it was a soul-sucking holiday that tried to force-feed everyone pink hearts and chocolate. I was a pretty jaded high schooler, I’m not gonna lie.

But for the past year or so, I’ve felt my feelings toward February 14th shift. Even though I’m still not big on the flowers or excess of pink and red, I do feel like Valentine’s Day is a fantastic opportunity for people to remind themselves about the people they love. We’re so busy all the time now that it’s easy to prioritize school, work, and stress, but on Valentine’s Day, people all over the world set aside a bit of time to appreciate and be with the people they love. Now ideally, everyone would be able to do this no matter what day of the year it was, but the reality of life is that it’s busy.

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Sesame and Poppy Seed Bagels

I’ve officially caught that bug. No, not the winter cold or a seasonal flu—the bug that makes you want to make everything from scratch. Chicken stock, sandwich bread, hummus… and now bagels.

When I played volleyball in high school, we’d always have dozens of bagels from Panera at our tournaments, and I could polish off two of those things in one day. Hey. I was a hungry athlete. Or that’s what I told myself, anyway. Those cinnamon crunch bagels were just too delicious to pass up.

But an oldie but goodie flavor I’ve always loved were poppy seed—and adding sesame seeds to the mix only seemed logical at this point! And all those myths about bagels being difficult to make? Gone!

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Braiding Bread: Easy Challah

It was eleven p.m. last night and I had already baked a batch of alfajores (not shortbread-y enough—due for another attempt soon), I knew I wanted to sleep in a hour or so, and my schoolwork-related productivity for the day had been painfully low. But I was itching to bake. Again.

Unfortunately, the thing about that nagging feeling in the back of your brain insisting on taking on another baking venture is that it doesn’t tend to go away. Believe me, I’ve tried to dispel it. It’s not easy.

So in my own twisted logic, I figured I’d set up some dough to rise overnight and then bake the next day. That totally rationalizes my decision, right? That totally doesn’t count as baking twice in one day, right?

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Easy No-Knead Bread: Beautiful Crust, Soft Crumb

You guys. Target is my favorite place on the planet. Yesterday, Ben and I went just to pick up some toiletries (and maybe to gaze longingly at the kitchen aisles and all of their beautiful cookware). And I’ve always prided myself in my ability to zero in on clearance stickers no matter what store I’m shopping at. But when my eyes fell upon this ruby red Calphalon Dutch oven and its matching red clearance sticker, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. It’s a 5 quart enameled pot, similar to the esteemed Le Creuset one that runs for $320 (yes, three hundred and twenty bucks), and it was on clearance for $34.99, down from $114.99. (more…)