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Publisher's Weekly Review of The Baking Bible

Jul 29, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious


PW_Star.jpg The Baking Bible

Beranbaum, a veteran cookbook author and baker, divides this worthy tome into four sections: Cakes; Pies, Tarts, and Other Pastries; Cookies and Candy; Breads and Yeast Pastries. All recipes include weights and volume for ingredients, and the author's "Golden Rules" give readers essential baking information, such as why one should always use fresh baking powder and high-quality unsalted butter. "Highlights for Success" boxes are filled with inventive and helpful tips including freezing berries on branches. Classic recipes--think pumpkin pecan pie--are aplenty, but first-time recipes and unusual selections such as the author's Pink Pearl Lady Cake, Cadillac Café's milk chocolate bread pudding, and an Amish BlueRhu pie make this title a must-have gem.


The offiicial pub date is November 4 but it can be pre ordered now on Amazon: The Baking Bible

The major advantage of preordering is not only being among the first to receive the book but also the deep discount ($28.80 instead of the cover price of $40).

Woody Plays DJ on WNTI Public Radio

Jul 26, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Woody's Place

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Woody is making himself very much at home in his new location. From working with me, to working at local farmers' markets, he has even made his debut as a DJ. I wonder what comes next!

From Woody:

When I left Minnesota in October, I also left a great public radio music station: "The Current." Fortunately, I came across WNTI public radio broadcasting from Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ one morning on my beautiful daily commute through the Delaware Water Gap to Rose's place. Like "The Current," WNTI "Where Great Music Lives" plays an eclectic blend of current alternative music, classic rock, oldies, local artists, jazz, Frank Sinatra, and just about everything else.
When WNTI had its semi-annual pledge drive, I made a pledge amount, which included being a guest DJ for two hours with the DJ of your choice. I also became a volunteer for their Street Team to assist at station-sponsored events.

Rose and I baked up an assortment of goodies for me to bring to the studio for Melanie and other station staff. So, with a box filled with molasses cookies from our new book, fudgy pudgy brownies, two yellow cakes as we were testing a cake enhancer, a bialy with onions and poppy seeds, my playlist, CDs, and vinyl records, I was welcomed by Melanie and her daughter Vicky at the studio. (They were going to Coney Island in New York City after the show.) Melanie Thiel's show (6 to 9) is called "Mornings with Melanie Dawnbird." Her sparkling and enthusiastic personality makes her show so much fun to listen to each day, she has a wide following. Sitting on a stool opposite her and the control board, I announced my playlist as she spun my selections.

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While the songs were playing, she tasted everything I brought and was able to discern the differences between the two yellow cakes with the same observations that Rose and I had concluded. My tunes followed my music preferences over the years, from "The Beatles" and other classic rock selections to women artists like Tori Amos, Enya, and Emmy Lou Harris, to alternative and current bands like Radiohead and My Morning Jacket. Rose and Elliott tuned in to hear my guest DJ debut, even though they were unfamiliar with nearly everything I selected. Rose is a huge opera fan and Elliott likes jazz. However, Rose does like Enya, as her new age music has many songs with operatic tones. And Melanie is a huge Enya fan as well. The two hours went surprisingly fast as we played tunes, conversed about them, and had a visitor towards the end.

The owner of Firehouse Bagels, north of Newton, NJ, came in with a bag of his wonderful bagels. He told me that prior to his bagel business, he had another business where he made some of his cakes from "The Cake Bible."

I will be seeing Melanie again as guest DJing was so much fun, plus I had only played a third of my original playlist. WNTI can be listened to as they stream their broadcast. Here is their website link.

Farmers' Market Book Signing in Stroudsburg PA Tomorrow!

Jul 25, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

Woody and I will be at the Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania Farmers' Market on July 26 from 8 to noon. It is located at the town's square, one block north of Main Street, on North 7th Street. Bring your books for signing and we will have complimentary brownie samples, chocolate speckled angel food cake, and books from Rose's stock for sale as well.

Hope to see you there!

New Facebook Photo

Jul 25, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

check out the new book photos!

Farmers' Market Book Signing

Jul 19, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

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Country living is wonderful, especially spring through fall as it includes farmers' markets offering locally grown organic produce, dairy products, and meats. My dear friend Maria Menegus is chairperson for the Belvidere Farmers' Market as well as selling her family's great organic produce and eggs at the market. We did a book signing last summer and this past June we were invited to do a second one.

Woody and I made a batch of our Fudgy Pudgy Brownies from Rose's Heavenly Cakes for market goers to taste. Woody and Elliott set up our table and display. We greatly enjoyed talking to many of the shoppers. One came all the way from Kansas accompanied by a local friend. I was pleased thinking about Rose's Heavenly soon to be in a kitchen in Kansas.

Woody and I will be at the Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania Farmers' Market on July 26 from 8 to noon. It is located at the town's square, one block north of Main Street, on North 7th Street. Bring your books for signing and we will have more brownie samples and books from Rose's stock for sale as well.

Fudgy Pudgy Brownies.jpg

Testing a New Baking Ingredient

Jul 19, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious


When I read on the internet that there was a new product called a cake enhancer, that was purported to produce cakes that would be softer, moister, more fluffy and stay fresh longer, I couldn't resist trying it, especially when it consisted of familiar ingredients such as rice starch and fatty acids derived from vegetable fats, which act as emulsifiers, allowing fats and liquids to combine more easily and also serve as stabilizers and texture enhancers.

I made two identical cakes, with all ingredients weighed, and at the same temperature, mixed for the same amount of time at the same speeds, and baked in the same size pans. I added the recommended 1 tablespoon of cake enhancer per cup of cake flour to one of the cakes. This batter was promisingly smoother and spread more easily but the baked cake was disappointing. It rose significantly more than the control cake but cracked a lot on the surface. It was sweeter, less flavorful, fluffier, and more dissolving, but rather than being moister, had a slightly dry aftertaste, though becoming pasty on chewing.

Our 39th Anniversary Dinner

Jul 12, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

We decided to try a restaurant in NJ highly recommended by my cousins who live nearby in Flemington. The Harvest Moon in Ringoes was indeed a great recommendation. Our favorite courses were the avocado and lump crab appetizer and the perfectly creamy and flavorful lavender ice cream. And as a special treat, as we were leaving, the full moon just emerged from the clouds--perfect synergy!

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A Flour by Any Other Name...!

Jul 12, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

Just under the wire--12 days before The Baking Bible was ready to ship to the printer--Woody bought a new bag of "Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour" and to our shock, the name of the flour on the bag had changed to "Gold Medal Bread Flour."

I raced over to the computer to see how many instances the flour was mentioned in the book with the old name and there were 17. Then I put in a call to my editor, Stephanie, telling her what had happened and asking if it were possible to make this one last change. She called Jamie, the production editor who said it was possible. Whew!

When I first started working as a spokesperson for Gold Medal, several years ago, the name of the flour had been changed to "Harvest King Flour." Apparently many people were confused, thinking it was no longer the same bread flour. Some years later, after I was no longer the spokesperson, the name of the flour went back to "Better for Bread Flour." I'm so glad I can now make the change to refer it to in print as its latest name: Gold Medal Bread Flour, as it won't matter what the name may be changed to in the future, it will always be just that.

I use this flour for most of my breads as it has a slightly lower protein content than other bread flours and has the ideal extensibility, giving it the best rise and texture.

I recommend that if using other brands of bread flour, most of which have a higher protein content, to use half bread flour and half unbleached all-purpose flour.

For a soft white bread I prefer unbleached all-purpose flour which has a lower protein content.

And to achieve a high gluten flour, using Gold Medal bread flour, I add 3.7% vital wheat gluten or about 2 tablespoons per cup of flour.

My Best Bagels with Step by Step Photos Part 1

Jul 5, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious


This is the first in a series of 5 by monthly postings on my favorite breads complete with step by step photos. The photos will come at the end of the recipe and as there are so many, I will be dividing them into two postings, one immediately following the other, to make downloading faster and easier.


Levy's Bagels

If you've never had a homemade bagel you are in for a great surprise. Most commercial bagels lack the delicious complexity of flavor and the pleasant degree of chewiness. The chewiness is a result of using high gluten flour but as this is not readily available in supermarkets I decided to make my own by using Gold Medal Better for Bread flour and adding gluten. It worked perfectly.

The dough is quick to make and then can stored overnight before shaping, making it an ideal weekend project. Authentic bagels need to be boiled before baking. The shaping, boiling, and baking are somewhat time consuming, therefore it behooves you to make a batch of an adequate size and power. This is only possible with a heavy duty mixer and the Ankarsrum is ideal.

Bagels are very much a part of my heritage. My first bread memory and my first teething ring are one and the same. My mother, who was a dentist, considered the bagel an ideal natural teething ring because of its firm yet forgiving texture. But it was my father who brought us freshly-baked bagels on a string every Friday afternoon after he made his weekly delivery of bagel peels. In the 1940's after the war and the early 1950's, when times were hard, my father Robert Levy, a skilled cabinet maker, turned to bagel peel production and laid claim to the exclusive bagel peel business in the greater New York area which included the five boroughs and all of New Jersey. This did not make us rich, but we had all the bagels we could eat.

A peel is a flat wooden pallet with a long pole as handle, designed for transferring bread to and from the oven in commercial bread bakeries. Peels used for bagels are only slightly wider than the bagel itself. In traditional bagel production, the bagels, after being boiled in salted water, are placed on a wooden board and set in the oven, often as deep as 20 feet. When the tops of the bagels are firm, a piece of string is run under the bagels to release them and they are inverted onto the hot oven shelf. The peel is used to move them about so that they bake evenly and to remove them from the oven. Making my bagel recipe in a home oven, however, does not require a bagel peel, however, I regret that my father did not save one of his for me to put up in my kitchen as decoration.

Recipe Follows

Continue reading "My Best Bagels with Step by Step Photos Part 1" »

My Best Bagels with Step by Step Photos Part 2

Jul 5, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious






























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