King Arthur Flour

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Baking as therapy

Leaveners like baking power or baking soda do all the heavy lifting and give these cinnamon rolls a unique, biscuit-like texture. The best part is the built-in reward for taking time to be mindful: a whole bunch of freshly baked Famous Department Store Chocolate Chip Cookies. Her go-to form of baking therapy when her brain needs a quiet moment and her heart needs chocolate? Bake the brownies until they’re just as fudgy as you like, taking in the smell of chocolate for the 30 minutes or so that the brownies are in the oven.

Grow a kitchen garden

My early success has led to raised garden beds all over my backyard filled with not just tomatoes, but winter and summer squash, asparagus, beets, radishes, lettuce, cucumbers, and a multitude of herbs. While they're not usually thought of as a baking ingredient, beets are delicious sliced and roasted, then added to any recipe calling for root vegetables, like this Roasted Root Vegetable Pie. Roasted beets are also a delectable pizza topping: witness this variation on our 2020 Recipe of the Year, Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza, featuring roasted beets, feta cheese, sliced Meyer lemons, and arugula. While most people have made pumpkin quick bread, pumpkin also makes gorgeous, bright-gold dinner rolls or a sandwich loaf — like this Pumpkin Yeast Bread.

How to bake bread without yeast

Anyone can make their own sourdough starter if you have enough patience (it takes about 7 to 10 days until you can bake naturally-leavened bread without commercial yeast) and enough flour (daily feedings add up quickly). The final loaf is leavened primarily by wild yeast (with a tiny bit of help from baking soda), and it has a flavor reminiscent of cheese (though there's no cheese in the bread). The basic idea is that you can save your flour and skip the daily feedings (once the yeast water is fully mature) and simply add yeast water to your recipe and get baking. Making your own yeast water starter is certainly the path less traveled when it comes to baking with wild yeast.

The best cheese for pizza

Mozzarella, America’s favorite pizza cheese, is all about the ooey-gooey textural experience; but how does it stack up, flavor-wise? I’ve chosen to test “young” (minimally aged) cheeses with a low melting point since I assume most of you wouldn’t care for pizza topped with lumps of semi-melted cheese. A bit of research yields the following list of cheeses with good meltability: cheddar, fontina, Gouda, Jack, mozzarella (both fresh milk and standard), Muenster, provolone, and Swiss raclette (or just regular Swiss cheese). My preference is fresh mozzarella for its mellow richness and supreme stretchability paired with sharp cheddar for its assertive flavor, and perhaps a bit of provolone thrown in for that signature pizzeria taste.

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