i’m frequently asked about alternatives to wheat bread. i was discussing this problem with a colleague at the fancy food show in san francisco and she recommended the following book:The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Betty Hagman
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i'll update this blog entry with the current list of books that have recipes that i've writtenREVISION: I have updated "The Cake Bible" for the first time since its publication almost 17 years ago. The update includes new chocolate information, the new types of yeast, and new sources for ingredients and equipment. Look for copies that indicate the revision on the cover. "Mom's Secret Recipe File," pub date Mother's Day 2004, contributed 3 recipes Fine Cooking Magazine issue 65, June/July 2004 "How to Make a Lattice Pie (with a wonderful new flaky, tender, and delicious pie crust and step-by-step photos on the making of the lattice so that even someone who has never made one before will see how easy it is) "What Do Women Really Want: vol.1 Chocolate," by Donna Barstow, pub date May 2004, contributed the foreword. "Food & Wine An Entire Year of Recipes 2004," page 333, contributed Christmas Sugar Cookies from "Rose's Christmas Cookies." Food & Wine "Best of the Best the best recipes from the 25 best cookbooks of the year," pages 56 through 67 (from "The Bread Bible.") "On Cooking a Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals, Fourth Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, page 1078, excerpt from "The Cake Bble.
SUNSHINE COMMENT Hi Rose, I wrote to you in December about my bottom crusts disolving. Thank-you so much, your advice has totally fixed my problem! Also, I would like to recommend the pastry recipe in "the Better Homes and Garden's New Cookbook" if one cannot use butter. It is very, very fast, and gives a great result with margerine. Thanks again, Sunshine
QUESTION FROM EMILY: I was wondering about an additive, such as granular lecithin, which you would add to cookies and scones to improve shelf life? Is there such a thing? Thanks, Emily Veale ( I have the Cake and Bread Bibles WONDERFUL!!)
ROSE REPLY: the king arthur catalogue sells granular lecithin that they claim is "shelf-stable" and the liquid lecithin is available in health food stores. it is a soy product that becomes rancid very quicly so i store any lecithin product in the refrigerater. you will have to experiment with amounts and it does indeed improve shelf-life but can also give an off flavor to the baked goods if used in excess.
MARC QUESTIONFeedback: What is the Australian Piping method and where can i find good information on the internet about it ROSE REPLY it is extremely intricate royal icing piping and often lace work on cakes that have been covered with rolled fondant. i don't know where on the internet you would find information about it but there are many wonderful books. sweet celebrations carries them.
SUNSHINE QUESTION: I was given "The Pie and Pastry Bible" for my 21st, and have enthusiastically begun pie-baking with your recipes. My mother has always used the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook circa 1950 pastry. I live in Adelaide, Australia, and many branded ingredients are not readily available (including, sadly, sour cherries and concord grapes). I am having a problem with the bottom crust of my pies, in both single (family recipe of banana cream) and double crust pies (both apple, rosy apple cranberry, and peach - all from The Pie and Pastry Bible). Even when prebaked, and brushed with eggwhite, the crust becomes soggy, and is literally disolving by the time the pie is served. I have been using a baking stone, and a gas oven. Nonetheless, I find my pies have a "collar" of crust around the edges - and as the pastry is my favorite part, any help you can provide would be much appreciated! Thanks,
ROSE REPLY: how i loved my visit to adelaide. i would feel sorry for you not having sour cherries except that you have so many other fantastic ingredients we don't have here in america. but someday you must taste them! re the soggy bottom pie crusts: have you tried baking directly on the floor of the oven for the first 20 minutes? i find that helps enormously. for the banana cream pie i would brush the baked pie shell with melted white or dark chocolate that creates an excellent seal for a cream filling. for the fruit pies, if you are concentrating the juices as i recommend and baking on the floor of the oven for the first 20 minutes and still getting a dissolving pie crust i have to question the flour you are using. flour varies significantly from country to country. when i did a demo of strudel at the melbourne tasting australia event, the bakers there recommended a specific flour they knew would work well. it might be a good idea to ask one of the local bakers what flour they would recommend for pie crust. do let me know. i strongly believe that if a bottom pie crust is soggy and thereby not worthy eating it's better to do a top crust only!
JENNIFER MACDONALD AND THE WINNING CAKE I've always thought that september should be the beginning of the year instead of january. january is the quietist month after all the holiday hubbub, but in september new york wakes up from summer hibernation and is at its most event-full! the top two baking related events for me this september were the beginning of an extensive celebration of ben franklin's 300th birthday in philly and the d.c. launch of my dear friend and colleague lisa yockelson's long awaited, exquisitely written, and magnificently published cookbook: "ChocolateChocolate." it seemed perfectly appropriate that lisa's event came on the heels of the ben franklin one as ben franklin is the muse of writers of all books. after all, where would be without his invention--the printing press! the benjamin franklin event was held in the franklin institute science museum where many of the city's top bakers prepared desserts that will be featured on their menus during the year long celebration, with themes designed to honor him. only five of them, however, actually entered the official birthday cake contest. the winner was assistant pastry chef jennifer macdonald from the fountain restaurant at the four seasons hotel philadelphia who prepared a cake modeled after benjamin franklin's desk with realistically tinted wood-grained rolled fondant as the wood and feather pen, and green blown sugar apples so perfectly executed that two of the judges (dorie greenspan and i) thought they were real apples. the third judge, roland mesnier, former white house pastry chef, wasn't fooled for an instant as he himself is master of the rare art of blown sugar.
the following week was a longer car trip to d.c. for lisa yockelson's book launch. as a fellow baker, cookbook writer, and kindred spirit, lisa and I are in lively competition over who can do the most helpful and lovely things for the other! while many cookbook authors, especially those in the same field, are possessive of their editors, lisa , in an act of extreme generosity introduced me to her beloved editor--pam chirls of wiley. lisa knew of my dream to do a beautiful four color comprehensive cake book published with the quality of her chocolate book (few publisher do this kind of book), and she also suspected that we would work wonderfully together. to surprise her, and support her new book, I joined pam chirls for a weekend of celebration, beginning friday night with a quiet late dinner in a neighborhood restaurant near georgetown where we had a gab-fest of bake and book-talk, and culminating with a grand party thrown by her friend and designer, Frank Babb Randolph, in his beautiful townhouse. saturday night's celebration dinner was at the mini bar of jose andres's café atlantico where we were presented with a seemingly endless array of mini courses each more stunning to the senses than the next. another highlight of the weekend was a saturday afternoon book signing at the french linen store yves delorme in bethesda, md. as lisa has incorporated many of their exquisite linens into the photographs of her new book. recipes from the book were prepared for the guests but hidden behind the back of the store was a special stash of brownies lisa herself had prepared for her special friends visiting from out of town. these brownies will explain better than words why she is called "diva of deep dark and fudgy." here's the recipe for bittersweet chocolate brownies.
Update 2009: Click here if you want to comment on this entry.there's a new presence in my vocabulary and it's called a blog. it's not even in the oxford dictionary or on my spell check yet but it has quickly become one of my favorite words! i'm rose levy beranbaum, author of 8 soon to be 9 cookbooks, host of the pbs show "baking magic with rose," and now host of this brand new blog "real baking with rose." when people ask me what my proudest accomplishment is, without hesitation I tell them it is my connection to the world through my work. since writing the cake bible in 1988 I have received thousands of letters and more recently e-mails with responses and questions. I probably could have written another book in the time it took to answer them all but it was worth it. sharing my recipes, ideas, and stories, I have received so many more in return. is there a better feeling than having touched another person's life in a favorable way? I've met kids who have grown up with cake bible birthday cakes, people who have launched businesses with the recipes, and even a woman in holland who taught friends from egypt how to make my bread recipe so that when they moved to a small town in italy with no bakery they would not be deprived of artisan bread. I recently heard from a woman in samoa who is making my multi-grain bread for her german husband who missed the bread of his childhood. story after moving story--this is the power, immediacy, and joy of the internet to join people from all over the world, enriching our lives and connecting us to the universe. but just as the sheer volume of correspondence was threatening to overwhelm me and it seemed unlikely that I was going to be able to continue answering each person personally, my kindred baking spirit tim bennett, product manager for gold medal flour, came up with the fantastic idea for this baking blog hosted by general mills. it grew out of our lively e-mails talking about our latest baking adventures and ideas, and new recipes and often proud digital photos. tim thought it would be great to share these baking gems with other interested people as a sort of interactive baking diary. I was enraptured by the idea. I'm especially proud that my blog is sponsored by general mills because in addition to depending on their flour for so much of my baking, many years ago I was the winner of the general mills betty crocker home-maker of the year award in my high school in new york (music and art). I didn't realize at the time that the prediction of this award now hanging in my kitchen would come true. the certificate says that I possess many of the qualities that would make me a good home-maker, and in fact that was all I ever wanted to be. but I have been fortunate, through my work, to have been able to extend some of these qualities further to the outside world. now, with this blog, I feel I truly have come a full circle. another fortunate coincidence is that my new publisher for my upcoming cake book, john wiley and sons, also publishes the betty crocker cookbooks! as the purpose of this blog is sharing and extending our baking knowledge and abilities, I invite you to share your baking experiences and to put forth questions. believe me I know what it's like when doing a recipe and something doesn't work and there's no one to go to for the answer. I assure you that if you are wondering about something you are not alone. and if I don't know the answer I'll bet that one of our soon-to-be many blog members will have some ideas on the subject. of course I will post questions only that seem to be of general interest and will still try to respond to those that are more individual in nature when time allows. so let me start the ball of dough rolling with a favorite cake recipe which defines the title of my blog: "real baking," and an explanation of why I think it is the only way to bake. (see the blog "why real baking") PLEASE NOTE: THIS THREAD HAS BECOME TOO LONG SO I'VE RESTARTED IT AS WELCOME TO MY SCRATCH BAKING BLOG 2009!