There’s so much to say about this cake, that I don’t think I can. It leads a double life. On the surface, plain; and beneath, anything but. It has a taste that can’t easily be defined - sweet, but savory, herbaceous, fragrant, and warm. Nostalgic, in a way too. It reminds me of my grandmother. It seems like an odd choice of words to describe it, but try it and you’ll know what I mean.
Cornbread is very simple and quick to make. But, like so many “simple” things, it takes a lot of practice to master. When you examine what makes a good cornbread, you realize right away that it’s a very personal preference from one cook to the next. For me, the best cornbread has to tick a few boxes. First, it has to be cooked in a cast-iron skillet, started on the stove and finished in the oven. The crispy, deep brown, caramelized crust achieved when you cook cornbread this way is unbeatable. Then, when you bite into the soft crumb inside, you want to taste a tangy sourness that only buttermilk can give. The corn and buttermilk are the two ingredients that make or break a skillet of cornbread. Even if you’re still searching for your ideal skillet of cornbread, if you start with great full-fat buttermilk and high-quality cornmeal, the result will be memorable. But “high quality” doesn’t have to mean “the most expensive.” High quality means a flavorful variety of corn, organically grown, dried in the field, harvested, and ground, all with care. That means when it gets to you, all you have to do is cook it with the same care to enjoy something truly special.
Our pecan sticky buns are justifiably famous, since they beat Bobby Flay in a throwdown. We once calculated that we bake off about 220,000 sticky buns a year (that’s over 600 daily) just to keep up with the demand. When something is that popular, is there any reason to tweak it or improve it? Well, in New England we can’t help but get pretty excited about apple season every fall. I myself eat at least an apple a day (I have one in my bag now) and when the idea to switch out the pecans for apples came up, I couldn’t wait to try it. I love how the tart cider and the fresh, spiced apples bring our sticky bun to a whole new level. These are insanely good and I actually love them better than the original.
The inspiration for this recipes was Pan Bagnat, the traditional Nice “sandwich,” in which the top of a round loaf would be sliced off and some of the crumb hollowed out, mixed with tuna, olives, anchovies, etc. then spooned back in and the “lid” put on top. Later variations are often made with ham and cheese, and sometimes peppers layered up neatly inside the bread “shell,” but I thought it would be fun to stuff the ingredients between the slices of a whole loaf, and bake it. We often make this for lunch. and everyone loves it warm, but it is also a great picnic showstopper. You can carry it with you, still in its foil, then just open it up, drizzle with oil and let everyone help themselves. Although I have suggested using prosciutto and mozzarella, which melts very well, I always associate pain surprise with Provence, as I like to make it when I am there on holiday with the family, but using local cured ham and cheese instead.
This Korean breakfast sandwich, often sold on the street in the morning around bus stations and universities, is filled with a vegetable and ham omelet and topped with ketchup and brown sugar.
Something magical happened the day I decided to dump a container of fresh ricotta into my standard biscuit recipe. I thought I would get lumps and layers of cheese in the biscuits, but I got something better than that. The ricotta melts into the biscuit in most places and creates a fluffy crumb that I had been trying to achieve for years but never knew the secret to. These are dangerously addictive. Proceed with caution.
STUFFED BREAD | EKMEK DOLMASI
Region: Aydın and Manisa, Aegean Region
We wanted a good, solid sandwich bread recipe that could be done in two hours, start to finish, including baking time. We found that sandwich bread improved markedly when kneaded with a standing mixer or food processor, which helped us resist the temptation to add extra flour. We also were surprised to find that we preferred rapid-rise yeast over active dry yeast for our sandwich bread recipe. Not only did it greatly reduce rising times, but it also made for better-tasting bread.
Icelandic Rye Bread
Rúgbrauð / Hverabrauð / Brumari (Iceland)
Camping Bread / Twist Bread