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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

No-Knead Whole Grain Bread

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. It is what (used to) get me out of bed every morning. (Now I have a little human alarm clock that doesn't have a snooze button). Often as I fall asleep the night before, I think about what I'm going to make for breakfast the next morning, along with how I will prepare my coffee (pour-over? drip? French press?).

I mean, think about it. You got your eggs. Creamy, yolk-y, salt and pepper. You got fruit, and sometimes veggies. You got my favorite grain, oats, in the form of warm, comforting oatmeal or snappy, crunchy granola. And, you got bread, in all of its various forms. Muffins. Scones. Pancakes. Biscuits. Toast. How could anyone not love breakfast?

Maybe I should re-title this blog to be "Becky Baker." This is the third post in a row that is baked. Baking is, after all, my life aspiration. Sure, I still cook most days. But baking is what really gets me motivated.

If you've tried making yeast bread before (or have been too scared by the idea) this is the easiest bread to make. One would think that, with such an easy bread, taste would be sacrificed, or texture, or something. No, friends, this bread is full of flavor, chewy, good as it is or toasted, pairs well with sweet jam or savory cheese, and is beautiful to behold. You can make it into a sandwich. You can top it with eggs. A smear of butter? Sprinkling of sea salt? Lovely.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you need a neat little baking project? Let it be these cookies. They are my favorite. Huge chunks of dark chocolate. Buttery indulgence. Whole wheat goodness. They are from one of my favorite baking books, Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce. She organizes her chapters according to flours. Whole wheat, spelt, corn, amaranth, quinoa, barley, oat...you peruse each chapter thinking, "I'm going to make that next. No that. Wait, this one first." And many times I go back to my old favorites. These are now my go-to chocolate chip cookies.

Don't be scared to use all whole wheat flour. It adds a nice, nutty flavor. The loads of butter (2 sticks!) make the cookies chewy and counter balance the whole grains. Now, I know what you're thinking. Two sticks of butter? Healthy eating is great. But it doesn't have a place when it comes to cookies. A cookie should be a cookie. Just indulge. And find friends to share the rest of the batch with, because these are addicting.