Archive for November, 2009

Beth Bytes/Sujata’s Curried Chicken Wings

There is some hot news this week. My personal website, bethhensperger.com is launched and ready for visitors! The website is a composite of my publishing history with four publishers and a catalog of all my books from the last 25 years, while at the same time being a companion to the more active weekly blog here at Harvard Common Press’s notyourmotherscookbooks.com.

I spent time remembering and writing about what each book meant to me and quips from when I was writing it. There are two free recipes from each book (we all love free treats). There is a marketplace where I am letting you in on my favorite equipment, the real deal, not advertising…

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It’s All in the Pan

If you like to bake bread, you know all about the search for the perfect loaf pan. Since all bread pans bake just that little bit different, bakers tend to own at least two different types, choosing the right pan for the each recipe.

First is usually a pair of Pyrex glass loaf pans from the supermarket with the lip-like handles on the two opposite narrow ends. You have to remember to drop the oven temperature by 25 degrees, but you can see underneath to make sure the bottom crust is baking properly and they can be easily washed in the dishwasher.

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Sunflower-Oatmeal Bread

When I worked at the bakery in 1980, my assistant Celeste made this variation of our standard Sunflower Molasses Bread with buttermilk and honey. It was scrumptous and ended up being one of our best sandwich/toasting breads, rich flavored and moist textured. When I wrote Bread for Chronicle Books, I included the recipe. Good thing I wrote it down for Celeste never did and had forgotten she ever created it. Always write down your variations!

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Buttermilk Whole Wheat Bread

Whole wheat bread is the mainstay of the baker’s kitchen. Until you have mastered whole wheat bread you cannot say you are a bread baker. The easiest whole wheat bread is a 50-50 blend of whole wheat and white flour: it makes the dough easy to work with and gives a high rise. Use fresh flour, as fine a grind as you can find, for the grind will dictate the overall texture. Remember when kneading to leave the dough a dash sticky, as the whole grains will absorb it during the rise. This is real old fashioned home baking at its best and is perfect made in the terracotta bread pans.

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