bread.

This winter has been all about turning the oven on for extra warmth. It was 3 degrees here without the wind chill this morning when I left for work. I’m thinking baking a loaf of bread when I get home tonight is in order.

What are your favorite bread books? I know its easy to get recipes online now, but I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of recipes available. It feels endless. In that way, I just love recipe books. You can flip through pages and snuggle up with them, marking pages and dreaming of all the things you’ll make.

I love Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads and Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.

baking.

We’ve had four major winter storms here in just under 3 weeks. It’s been hell trying to dig out, and this coming from a seasoned New Englander who does in fact enjoy snow. Dare I say Mother Nature can have this one–I give, I can’t take much more.

On top of all this great white stuff comes bitter cold. The kind of cold that begs for you to throw on the oven for added warmth. And so, last week, when we had yet another two consecutive days off from school, I baked. This honey oat loaf. And reaped its rewards the entire weekend.

It’s definitely one of my favorite loaves of bread to bake. It comes out perfect every time, is full of flavor, and usually I have all the required ingredients on hand. Win.

baguettes.

I’m getting pretty boss at making crunchy french baguettes. This recipe is from Food52 and it really does matter creating the steam oven with a combination of cast iron skillet heating at length in the oven, ice cubes, and a hot pizza stone.

These were so crispy on the outside, chewy inside. The 3 tbsp of kosher salt really came through in this bread, and I loved that about it. I hate when bread lacks salt; its a crucial element.

honey oat.

Delicious homemade bread for morning toast. There’s nothing better, especially in winter. Please send your favorite bread recipes my way. I’m feeling the urge to bake with lots of gluten.

cinnamon swirl.

The smell of butter and cinnamon and sugar baking into a melted delicious yeast bread is my total jam. There’s nothing better, especially when a Nor’Easter outside whips winds and threatens the power on several occasions (good thing for gas ovens!). This is a simple cinnamon swirl country loaf. No raisins. No frills. Just deliciousness.

What’s your favorite sweet loaf to make?

baked.

Just made some cinnamon scented rustic loaf, as part of my artisanal toast project. I made this bread just as I would my cinnamon swirl bread, just left out the swirl of butter, cinnamon and sugar, and lightly scented the loaf with 1 tbsp of cinnamon in the dough.

It was gorgeous, indeed.

honey oat rustic loaf.

Baked this bread last night. The recipe was so easy, I had everything on hand in my cubbards or fridge, and the results were perfect. One of the best loaves I’ve ever made; crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.

I’m using this loaf to try my own hand at the artisanal toast trend of now. I own this trend because toast is my thing; and now, everyone is doing it.