The week that I stuffed my face with homemade bread…

Meatball Sandwich on Homemade Bread

Meatball Sandwich on Homemade Bread

A bit of a confession: I can be strangely intimidated by certain culinary projects. Sure, I’ve made pasta by flicking water on semolina flour and I make my own dim sum, but other fairly simple things can make me stop in my tracks — like making bread from scratch.

In fact, it’s been since culinary school (back in 2001) since I’ve made bread on my own — with the exception of last year’s surprisingly successful English muffins. In general though I leave bread making to the professionals, which means I buy a lot of bread.

And while regularly baking bread is one of those things I’ve always wanted to do, I tend to chicken out when things like yeast, knead and rise come up in recipes. It just seems like too much potential for failure.

But with my combined resolutions to try new things and to attempt recipes suggested by WordPress friends, I decided it was finally time to get off the pot. I started with a recipe for French bread, posted by my friend Liz of Food For Fun.

Happily the recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, even for someone nervous about baking bread. It does take some forethought though since the dough needs to be started the day before.

After it’s spent the evening in the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature.

Making French Bread

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Was it Worth it: Is Julia’s banana bread really the best?

Julia's Best Banana Bread

  • The Background: My love for cooking magazines is well-known so it’s no surprise that this recipe is straight from Bon Appetit (March 2013). What might actually surprise you is that my fellow-blogger Liz from Food For Fun/deLizious food communications beat me to making it! Her post/recipe review, found here, is what inspired me to make this banana bread immediately instead of letting the recipe get buried in my pile of things to make “someday.”

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Was it Worth it? Citrus Muffins with Poppyseed Streusel

Lemon Poppyseed Muffin

  • The Source: Cooking Light November 2005
  • The Menu: Sour Cream Muffins with Poppyseed Streusel *only adaptation was a lemon instead of an orange for the zest.
  • The Background: I wanted to bake something tasty to bring in to my co-workers. I was debating between a few coffee cake recipes but then I saw this one in my binder and thought it sounded delicious. It was also from Cooking Light so at least it would keep to my “trying to eat healthy” pledge. This pledge is constantly being broken by copious amounts of foie gras, pork belly and beer. I was also very intrigued by the idea of a poppyseed streusel instead of just having the seeds in the muffin.
  • How It Looked Pre-Baked:


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