December 23, 2010 |
As a cook, I am prone to enthusiasms and sometimes, perhaps more often than occasionally, they can be a bit excessive. I readily admit that. But, please, trust me on this one: Frozen gougères are the best thing I've discovered this year. No, really. Doubt me? Think about this: a crisp, crusty savory cream puff, lighter than air but rich with the utterly irresistible fragrance of browned Gruyère cheese. And here's all you have to do to fix them: Remove from freezer; place on cookie sheet; bake for a half-hour.
October 7, 2009 |
You can tell when a dish has made it into the mainstream by looking it up in the dictionary. There you'll find entries for sushi, taco and pho. I still have to italicize as a foreign word bao , the term for Chinese steamed bread and filled buns, but my hunch is that I won't have to do that for long. Bao is on the rise, and that's not just because it features leavened dough. Just check Costco, supermarket chains such as Vons/Pavilions and Ralphs, and of course, any nearby 99 Ranch.
December 7, 2005 |
STAND in line at any cappuccino bar and your eyes are drawn to the pastry case, where pieces of streusel-topped "coffeecake" wink back at you temptingly. Don't waste the calories. Coffeecake -- real coffeecake -- is not just a cold, sweet hunk of generic cinnamon-topped cake gobbled down in the front seat of your car. Real coffeecake is a Sunday-morning experience. It begins (if you're a lucky houseguest) with the unforgettable aroma of bread filling the house on a winter's morning, a yeasty smell so tantalizing that it seduces you out from the cozy bedcovers and down to the kitchen.
May 6, 2010
Tips for better biscotti baking — If the dough is too sticky to work with, chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. — Wetting your hands makes it easier to form the dough logs. — After the first baking, let the logs cool on the cookie sheet for about 20 minutes. Many recipes suggest cutting them into diagonal slices, then laying the slices flat on the cookie sheet. This requires you to flip over the slices midway through the second baking.
July 28, 2012 |
Pate-a-choux is the stuff of magic in the kitchen. Pipe a soft, sticky dough onto a baking sheet and slide it into a hot oven. In mere minutes the dough puffs up - practically exploding to double, even triple, its original size - right before your eyes. Out of the oven, pate-a-choux cools to a golden-brown shell, crisp yet delicate and lighter than air. It's downright mesmerizing. Maybe you've never heard of pate-a-choux, but you've no doubt savored it at one time or another. Also known as cream puff dough, it's the magic behind crisp éclair shells and towering cream puff pastries, savory profiteroles and cheesy gougères.
January 13, 2011
Real Jewish rye bread Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes, plus rising and cooling times Servings: Makes 1 round loaf (8 to 12 servings) Our recipes, your kitchen: If you try any of the L.A. Times Test Kitchen recipes from this week's Food section, please share it with us: Click here to upload pictures of the finished dish. Note: Adapted from "The Bread Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Specialty flours and barley malt syrup are available at select well-stocked markets, health food, cooking and baking supply stores, as well as online.
June 24, 2010 |
If you're on a quest for the holy grail of noodles, then go to the newly opened Beijing Restaurant, a homey restaurant on the second floor of one of the classier strip malls in San Gabriel. In fact, everything here that involves any manipulating of dough is excellent. Turn to the largest section of the menu, labeled "pastry." It's an academic investigation into meat-plus-dough possibilities, an extended set of variations of the theme of dumpling and noodle. All of the dough is made fresh and by hand, shaped into dozens of subtle variations.
February 18, 1996 |
Last year, Janet Evanovich's wild and woolly "One for the Money" introduced a new heroine for our times, the naive but fiercely determined novice bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Stephanie, who can give Kinsey Millhone and V.I. Warshawski lessons in attitude--she is after all, from New Jersey--won the hearts of critics and readers alike with her smart mouth and hard-boiled manner, neither of which quite manage to mask her underlying vulnerability. She returns in the new Two for the Dough, just as outwardly tough and just as self-doubting.
December 22, 2012 |
One of the things that keeps me excited about what I do is that I am always learning. When I was making puff pastry not long ago, someone asked me why I made a tic-tac-toe-like slash in the process of making the dough. I had been slashing puff pastry dough, and having my chefs do it, for 30 years, or for as long as I'd been making puff pastry, and yet I had no idea why. I was thinking about this during a drive down to Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach. Then, just when I got out of the car, like magic, there was the renowned French baker Claude Koeberle.