Matt’s Yeast Rolls

4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm milk (about 100 F to 110 F)
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, about 19 ounces (plus more for kneading)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 ounces (1/2 cup) butter (melted, cooled to lukewarm)
For the Topping:
1 egg
1 teaspoon water

Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the yeast with the warm milk. Let stand for a minute or two.

Add the flour, 1 large egg, 2 teaspoons of salt, sugar, and melted butter. Using a dough hook, mix on low speed until combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue to mix for 15 minutes, adding small amounts (a teaspoon or two at a time) of flour, as needed to encourage dough from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times to form a ball. Place the ball of dough in an oiled bowl. Turn to oil both sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Shape the dough into balls, about 1 1/4 ounces each. Place in large baking pan to make about five rows of four (20 rolls). Or, use a large buttered jelly roll pan or half sheet pan and make 1-ounce rolls, leaving a little space between rows to form a more rectangular roll (about 24 rolls).

Cover lightly with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 375 F.

For the egg wash topping, whisk an egg with 1 teaspoon of water and a pinch of salt until well blended. Gently brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash mixture.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and the rolls sound hollow when tapped. The internal temperature should be about 190 F on an instant-read food thermometer.

Serve the yeast rolls warm with butter.

To reheat, wrap the roll(s) in foil and heat in a preheated 325 F oven just until hot.

Classic Pizzelle

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or anise extract

Preheat the Pizzelle Press on Setting 3 while preparing the batter.

Place flour and baking powder in a small bowl and stir to combine; reserve.

Place eggs and sugar in a medium bowl and mix on medium speed for 1 minute, until thickened. On low speed, add the melted butter and vanilla in a steady stream and mix until combined, about 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 10 to 15 seconds; do not over mix.

It may be necessary to lightly brush both the top and bottom grids with a flavorless vegetable oil or melted vegetable shortening before baking. Use the spoon provided to scoop the dough, about 1-1/2 – 2 teaspoons, and drop onto one of the patterned cookie grids; repeat to make a second cookie.

Close the lid and lock. The red indicator light will come on. When the red indicator light goes out and the green indicator light comes on, the pizzelle are ready.

For a lighter colored pizzelle, bake for a shorter time; for darker pizzelle, add a few more seconds. Remove pizzelle from the press using a heatproof plastic spatula and place on a rack to cool completely. Warm pizzelle may be wrapped around the dowel provided to form cannoli shells. Completely cooled pizzelle may be dusted with powdered sugar before serving.

Variations: Marble Pizzelle: Add 2 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate to the batter. Bake as directed.

Make 36-40 pizelle.

Notes:

If you are rolling pizelle, roll them immediatelynupon removing them from the press.

Hot pizelle can be molded areound a cylinder or a ramekin to create a cup.

Pizelle can be frozen. Stack in small bundles with a paper towel between them and store in an airtight bag.

If pizelle become soft, place on a cookie sheet in a 300 degree oven for 3-5 minutes.

Pizelle batter can be made 24 hours in advance and refrigerated. Warm batter to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).

Super Fluffy Pancakes

2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 225 degrees F and place a large baking sheet inside.

Melt butter halfway in the bottom of a large bowl then whisk in sugar. This should leave the mixture lukewarm, not piping hot, but if it still is, let it cool slightly before adding the egg.

Whisk in egg and vanilla, then 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk.

Whisk in salt and baking soda until fully combined, scrape down bowl, then stir in flour until it just disappears. You’re looking for a thick mixture, more like a very soft cookie dough than a pourable batter, but if it’s very stiff, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of the remaining buttermilk and stir until combined.

Heat griddle or frying pan over medium. Once hot, add a good pat of butter (please don’t skimp; butter makes crispy edges) and dollop in small mounds of pancake batter — Use a #40 or 1.5 tablespoon scoop to make this even easier and neater. Try to resist the urge to press the mounds into flat puddles; a little nudge is okay but keep the height here.

Once bubbles form on top, lift a corner of each pancake and check for it to be lightly browned before flipping it.

Reducd the heat to medium-low for the remainder of the cooking time.
Once pancakes are golden brown on the second side, and do not worry if the tall sides look raw, this is completely expected, just transfer them to heated oven. Repeat with remaining batter. Tall, thick pancakes like this almost always hide pockets of uncooked batter; 5 minutes in the oven will fix this. You can leave them in the oven for much longer.

Per Smitten Kitchen: This recipe makes 14 quite-tiny (2 to 3-inch) pancakes. You should absolutely double it.

These are thick enough to accommodate blueberries, chocolate chips, etc.

If you only have yogurt, for a thick, plain one, use 1/2 cup and thin it with 3 tablespoons of milk.

Look for a batter thick enough that you have to push it off the spoon with your finger, or that doesn’t puddle out much when it hits the pan.

Crumpets

1 1/2 cups (355ml) milk, regular or lowfat, at slightly above room temperature (about 110ºF, 43ºC)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 3/4 cup (390g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
3/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon (195ml) tepid water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the tepid milk with the sugar and yeast. Let proof for 10 minutes, or until the yeast starts to bubble.

Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and gradually mix in the flour and salt. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. (You can also make this by hand in a large bowl, and beat the mixture vigorously.)

Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled, about 1 hour.

Mix the water and baking soda together and beat them into the dough.

Heat a wide skillet over medium heat. Pour some neutral-flavored oil into a small bowl and use a paper towel to wipe the bottom of the pan with oil, and the inside of the crumpet rings or molds.

Place the rings in the pan and fill the molds with batter so they’re halfway full. Let the crumpets cook; bubbles will appear on the top while the bottom browns. Cook them long enough so bubbles can form, checking the bottom (and perhaps adjusting the heat) to make sure the undersides of the crumpets aren’t getting too dark.

When there are bubbles on top and the bottoms are browned, about 4 to 5 minutes, use tongs to remove the rings and flip the crumpets over. (Tip: You can actually remove the rings once the crumpets appear set, so they have a few minutes to cool down before you reuse for the next batch.) Cook the crumpets on the other side until golden brown. If you’re like me, you’ll probably toast them so they don’t need to be very dark. When done, place the crumpets on a cooling rack.

Wipe the inside of the crumpet rings clean of any stuck-on bits, wipe the bottom of the pan with a bit of additional oil, and repeat the process, making more crumpets with the remaining batter.

Serving & storage: Crumpets are best served warm, or toasted, with lots of butter and your favorite jam or marmalade. They can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days, or frozen for up to two months.

Brazilian Cheese Puffs

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
10 oz. (2 cups) tapioca flour
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the milk, oil, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat as soon as you see big bubbles coming through the milk.

Add the tapioca flour and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed until it smooths out and has cooled down. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs into the dough one at a time, waiting until the first egg is fully incorporated before adding the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the cheese until it forms a very sticky dough. Scoop the dough with a small ice cream scoop, spacing them 2-inches apart (12 per baking sheet). Dip your scoop in water between scoops to prevent sticking.

Bake for 15 minutes then rotate the baking sheets from front to back. Bake for another 10 or 15 minutes until until the puffs have puffed and the bottoms turn golden-brown on the bottoms.

Basic Roti Jala

Combine:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk

Place in a water bottle with three holes cut in the top.

Scribble in circles on a hot oiled pan, starting atvtge outside and moving around the pan.

Give it a minute or so. It is done when it stays firm as you lift one side with a spatula.

Slide it out of the pan cooked side down. Fold left and right sides slightly over, then roll.

(See: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HCMrudOt5Jc)

Roti Jala

300 grams (about 2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
3 ounces coconut milk
2 cups water, divided
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons light vegetable oil
Oil for greasing

Sift flour, salt and turmeric into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix coconut milk and about a third of the water. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Pour in coconut milk mixture, eggs, another third of the water, and oil. Using a wooden spoon, gradually incorporate flour into the liquid to make a smooth, thick batter free from lumps. Do not over-mix.

Stir in remaining water. Strain batter through a fine sieve to remove any lumps. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rest for 20-30 minutes.

Heat a heavy iron griddle or non-stick pan over medium heat and brush surface lightly with oil.

Stir batter. Dip roti jala mould into it, filling it about half-full. Moving in steady concentric circles, form fine, lacy pancakes.

Once roti jala is lightly colored, remove using a spatula and place, top-side down, on a plate. (There is no need to cook both sides.) Fold into wedges or form into small neat rolls.

Chocolate Dutch Baby

4 large eggs
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
6 tablespoons (50 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (15 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, any variety, sifted if lumpy
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk (I use whole)
4 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter
Shaved dark chocolate and powdered sugar (to finish)
Fresh berries and syrup (to serve, if desired)

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Whisk eggs, sugar and salt in the bottom of a medium bowl. Add flour and cocoa, whisking until mostly smooth (some tiny lumps are okay, but whisk out what you can). Drizzle in milk, whisking the whole time.

Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet on the stove over high heat. Add butter and melt, tipping the pan around so it butters the sides too. Turn heat off and scrape batter into pan. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until pancake is billowy.

Remove from oven and grate chocolate over, to taste. Dust generously with powdered sugar. Cut in halves or quarters and eat with berries and syrup, if desired.

Matzo Balls

3/4 cup matzo meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)
3 large eggs
3 tbsp melted schmaltz (or substitute grapeseed oil)
1 tbsp minced fresh dill (optional)
3-4 quarts soup broth or salted water

In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to mix together the matzo meal, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.

In another bowl, use another fork to mix together the eggs and schmaltz.

Pour egg mixture into the dry ingredients, and add the minced dill. Mix all ingredients together with a fork till just combined. Do not overmix.

Put mixture in the refrigerator to rest for 20 minutes.

There are two ways to cook your matzo balls– in boiling water or in the soup broth. Cook them in boiling water if you are feeding a large crowd; the matzo balls will soak up some of the broth, which will make for less servings of soup. Cooking them straight in the broth lets them soak up the chicken flavor– you may end up with a little less broth, but your matzo balls will taste amazing. You can always top the soup off with a little canned or boxed chicken broth, or water and bouillon, if you need to.

Bring your 3-4 quarts of soup broth or salted water to a boil over medium heat.

While your broth or water is warming, form the chilled matzo ball mixture into 1 inch balls. Don’t overwork the mixture when you roll the balls.

When your broth or water boils, lower it to an even bubbling simmer and drop the matzo balls gently into the liquid.

Cover the pot with a lid and let the balls cook for 30-35 minutes till fluffy and soft. Keep the pot covered– no peeking till 30 minutes have gone by! If you’ve followed instructions carefully, the balls should be floating on the surface of the water like billowy clouds of deliciousness.

Serve two or three matzo balls per bowl with hot chicken soup ladled over them. If you don’t plan on serving the whole pot of soup at one sitting, make sure you remove the matzo balls from the broth and let them come to room temperature before storing them in a separate container. If left to sit in the broth, they’ll become mushy.

Self-Rising Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour
1/4 cup cold butter (cut into pats), or shortening
2/3 to 3/4 cup cold milk or buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Place the flour in a bowl. Work in the butter or shortening just until crumbs are the size of large peas.

Add 2/3 cup of the milk or buttermilk, and stir until the mixture holds together and leaves the sides of the bowl, adding more milk or buttermilk if needed.

Scoop the dough onto a well-floured surface, and fold it over on itself several times, using more flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Roll or pat the dough into a 5″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick.

Cut biscuits with a sharp, round 2″ cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts to reduce sticking. Or cut the rectangle into 12 small rectangular biscuits, which will allow you to skip the step of re-rolling and cutting scraps.

If you’ve used a round cutter, pat the scraps together, and cut additional biscuits.
Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 1″ between them for crisp biscuits. Arrange biscuits so they’re barely touching for soft-side biscuits. For higher-rising soft-side biscuits, place biscuits in an 8″ round pan.

Bake the biscuits for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown.
Remove them from the oven, and serve hot.

Cool leftovers completely, wrap airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

To refresh room-temperature biscuits, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 to 13 minutes, until heated through.

Yield: about 1 dozen 2″ biscuits.

To make a sweeter, shortcake-type biscuit, add 3 tablespoons sugar to the flour, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the milk.

For cheese biscuits, mix 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard and a pinch of cayenne pepper with the flour; work in the butter or shortening, then toss in 1 cup shredded cheese before adding the milk.

Apple Cheddar Drop Biscuits

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup shredded extra-old Cheddar cheese
1 cup grated cored peeled apple
(Optional) 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh green onion or parsley
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425° F.

In large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces. Stir in Cheddar, apple and green onions. Using a fork, stir in milk to form a ragged dough.

Drop by 1/4 cup mounds, 1 1/2 inches apart, onto parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheet. Bake in 425° F. oven until lightly browned, 13 to 15 minutes.

Seed Bread

Makes 1 loaf

1 cup (135 grams) sunflower seed kernels (not in the shell)
1/2 cup (90 grams) flax seeds
1/2 cup (65 grams) hazelnuts or almonds
1 1/2 cups (145 grams) rolled oats (if making gluten-free, make sure to get certified gluten-free oats)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
4 tablespoons psyllium seed husks (3 tablespoons if using psyllium husk powder)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (add 1/2 teaspoon if using coarse salt)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil or ghee
1 1/2 cups (350 milliliters) water

In a flexible, silicon loaf pan or a standard loaf pan lined with parchment, combine all dry ingredients, stirring well.

Whisk maple syrup, oil, and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it or lift the parchment.

Preheat oven to 350° F / 175° C. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.

Let cool completely before slicing. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!

2-Ingredient Biscuits

Makes 12 biscuits

6 ounces /170 grams (1 1/2 cups) self-rising flour
1/4 to 1/8 teaspoons salt (optional; for a saltier biscuit)
6 ounces /170 grams (3/4 cup) heavy or whipping cream

Heat the oven to 450° F, with a rack in the top third of the oven. Mix the flour and salt together (if using), then add the cream until smooth and batter-like. If it’s not coming together, you can use your hands to lightly knead and press it together in the bowl.

Scoop 1-ounce balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a couple of inches between them. A tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. Alternately, pat the dough 3/4 inch thick and cut biscuits with a cutter, if desired. (At this point the biscuits can be frozen and baked straight from the freezer.)

Brush the tops of the biscuits with cream, milk, or water. Bake the biscuits 10 minutes or so, or until they are light golden brown on top and baked all the way through. Break one open to make sure they’re done!

Serve warm or at room temperature; to store, wrap well in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature.

To keep them longer, store in the freezer.

Masa Cakes

Makes 12 to 14 cakes

1 cup masa harina
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 to 2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 ounces chopped green chile (1/2 a small can) or 1 roasted, peeled, and chopped poblano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons chopped scallions
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Whisk together dry ingredients. Put eggs, 1 cup of milk, sour cream, oil and 3 tablespoons of the corn kernels in a blender and blend on high until liquified. Combine with dry ingredients and add enough of remaining 1 cup of milk until batter is coming together but still fairly thick. Stir in grated cheese, chopped green chile, cumin, scallions and cilantro. Spoon onto heated griddle and sprinkle 1tablespoon of corn kernels on each cake before turning.

Lime Crema

1 cup sour cream
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and stir until combined. Serve with the finished corn cakes.

Crispy Rice Crackers (Khao Tang)

2 cups or more just-cooked jasmine rice
Peanut or other oil for deep-frying

Use warm to hot rice. With a rice paddle or wooden spoon, spread the rice onto a lightly oiled baking sheet to make a layer about 1/2 inch thick. Press down with your paddle to compact the rice so that it sticks together. Don’t worry about ragged edges, as you will be breaking up the rice into large crackers after it dries.

Place the baking sheet in a preheated 350°F oven and immediately lower the temperature to 250°F. Let dry for 3 to 4 hours. The “bottom will be lightly browned.
When the rice is dry, lift it off the baking sheet in pieces. Break it into smaller pieces (about 2 inches across, or as you please), then store well sealed in a plastic bag until ready to use.

To fry the crackers, heat 2 to 3 inches of peanut oil in a large well-balanced wok, deep fryer, or large heavy pot to 325° to 350°F. To test the temperature, drop a small piece of fried rice cake into the oil: It should sink to the bottom and immediately float back to the surface without burning or crisping. Adjust the heat as necessary.

Add several pieces of dried rice cracker to the hot oil and watch as the rice grains swell up. When the first sides stop swelling, turn them over and cook on the other side until well puffed and just starting to brown (about 30 seconds in all). Use a slotted spoon to remove them immediately to a paper towel–lined platter or rack to drain. Gather up any small broken pieces; these make delicious croutons. Fry the remaining pieces of rice cracker the same way, making sure that the oil is hot enough each time. Serve hot and fresh, to accompany soup or salsa. Store in a cool place for no more than a week.

NOTE: You can also use freshly cooked sticky rice to make these crackers.

Soft Pretzels

1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon barley malt syrup, rice syrup, or dark brown sugar
1 large egg, whisked with 2 tablespoons warm water
Coarse sea salt or pretzel salt

Equipment
Stand mixer (optional)
Bench scraper or sharp knife
Parchment paper or Silpat
Baking sheets
Large, wide pot, like a pasta pot
Slotted spoon

Make the pretzel dough: Combine the warm water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a medium-sized bowl, if kneading by hand). Let stand a few minutes, then stir to dissolve the yeast. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir with a stiff spatula to form a floury, shaggy dough.

Knead the dough: Knead the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment on low speed for 5 minutes. If the dough is very sticky after 1 minute, add flour a tablespoon at a time until it forms a ball. Alternatively, knead the dough against the counter for 5 to 7 minutes. The dough has finished kneading when it is soft, slightly tacky, and holds a ball-shape.

Let the dough rise: Clean out the bowl, film it with oil, and return the dough to the bowl. Cover and let rise somewhere warm until the dough is doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

? Make Ahead Tip: At this point, the pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for three months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator before using.
Refrigerated dough can be shaped into pretzels while still cold, but allow some extra time for the pretzels to puff up before dipping and baking.

Divide the dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a bench scraper to divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.

Shape the pretzels: Working with one piece of dough a time, roll the dough into a long, skinny rope against the counter using the palms of your hands. Aim for a rope about 20 inches long. If it shrinks back on you, set it aside, roll another piece of dough, and come back to it after it’s rested a few minutes. Lift the ends of the rope toward the top of your work surface and cross them. Cross them one more time to make a twist, then fold the twist back down over the bottom loop to form a pretzel shape. Set the pretzel on a parchment-lined baking sheet and continue shaping the rest of the pretzels. When all the pretzels are shaped, cover them loosely and set them aside to rise until puffy, 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a rack in the middle-bottom position.

Prepare the water bath: When the pretzels are starting to look puffy, measure 8 cups of water into a large, wide pot and set over high heat. Make sure the pot has high sides because the water will foam, nearly doubling in volume, when you add the baking soda. Bring the water to a rapid simmer, then add the baking soda and the barley malt syrup. The baking soda will make the water foam up the sides of the pot. Stir to dissolve the baking soda and syrup, then reduce the heat to medium to maintain a simmer.

Boil the pretzels: Lower 2 to 3 pretzels into the water bath — as many as will fit without crowding. Simmer for 30 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to flip the pretzels over. Simmer for another 30 seconds, then scoop the pretzels out of the water and return them to the baking sheet. While in the water bath, the pretzels will puff and take on a doughy, puckered appearance. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.

Brush with egg and sprinkle with salt: Once all the pretzels have been dipped in the water bath, brush them with the egg and water mixture and sprinkle them with salt.

Bake the pretzels: Bake the pretzels until they are deep brown and glossy, 12 to 15 minutes.

Cool and eat! Transfer the pretzels to a cooling rack and let sit until cool enough to handle. Pretzels are best when eaten fresh and hot, but will still be good for up to a day later. Store them in a paper bag at room temperature.

Recipe Notes
Lye Bath for Pretzels: If you are interested in making soft pretzels using a traditional lye bath, pick up a copy of Pretzel Making at Home by Andrea Slonecker. She provides lots of details about how to find lye, how to handle it safely, and how to prepare a lye bath for dipping the pretzels.

Doubling or Halving this Recipe: To double this recipe, double all the ingredients except for the yeast; use 1 tablespoon of yeast. To halve this recipe, halve all the ingredients.

Pretzel Rolls: Prepare the dough as directed, but roll each piece of dough into a ball-shape. After dipping the balls of dough in the water bath, slash a shallow “X” in the top of each one before baking.

Pretzel Bites: Prepare the dough as directed and roll the pieces of dough into long ropes. Cut each rope into 1 1/2-inch bites. Dip in the water bath and bake the bites as normal.

Pretzel Bread Sticks: Prepare the dough as directed, but cut the dough into 16 pieces. Roll into ropes, dip in the water bath, and then straighten them back out on the baking sheet before baking.

Perfect Garlic Bread

1 large (about 12 ounces), not-too-firm seeded baguette
8 tablespoons (115 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted or salted butter (if salted, skip the salt below), cut into chunks
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
Pinches of red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan or aged pecorino cheese (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon minced chives (optional)

Heat your oven’s broiler. Line a large baking sheet with foil to limit the mess you make. Cut baguette lengthwise and arrange pieces cut side up in pan. Put butter, garlic, pepper flakes and salt in a small saucepan and melt over medium-high heat, stirring, until garlic is sizzling in the butter (but not browning). Remove from heat and stir in oregano, if using. Spoon evenly over bread. Sprinkle bread with parmesan, if using, and broil — keeping a close watch on it and turning it as needed for even coloring — for 2 to 3 minutes. Seriously, watch it like a hawk. Nothing’s sadder than under- or over-cooked garlic bread.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and chives, if using, and cut into segments. We keep extras in foil in the fridge and rewarm them in the oven, but you know it’s always best on the first day.

Beghrir (Moroccan Pancakes)

2 teaspoons (6 grams) dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) sugar
1 cup (113 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (70 grams) semolina flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) almond flour
1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional; for color)
2 teaspoons (9 grams) baking powder
1 cup whole milk, warmed
Honey
Unsalted butter

In a bowl, combine yeast and sugar. Stir in 1/4 cup warm water and let it rest about 10 minutes, until bubbling. In another bowl, combine the three flours, salt and turmeric (if using) and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine baking powder and 3 tablespoons warm water, stirring to dissolve. Pour into a blender and add 1 1/2 cups warm water, the milk and the yeast mixture. Blend on low speed just to combine. With the blender running, gradually add the dry ingredients.

Pour batter into a bowl, cover with a towel and set aside at least 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size and very bubbly. Batter can be used immediately or refrigerated overnight.

When ready to cook, stir to deflate. Batter should be a little thicker than heavy cream; thin with warm water if necessary. Heat a heavy nonstick (or very well seasoned cast-iron) skillet over medium heat. (If you have a nonstick pan for silver dollar pancakes, use that.) Pour 1/4 cup batter into the pan (or, for silver-dollar size, a heaping tablespoon). Cook at a very gentle sizzle for about 3 minutes, until the top is covered with holes and completely set; the bottom should be golden and lacy. Repeat with remaining batter.

Meanwhile, combine equal amounts of honey and butter in a small microwaveable pitcher or bowl. Heat until hot, smooth and pourable; thin with warm water if necessary.

Serve pancakes immediately, with hot honey-butter mixture. Or slide onto a baking sheet covered with a kitchen towel and top with another towel to keep warm. Cooled pancakes can be briefly reheated in microwave.

Apple Bread

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
4 medium apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced, then cut into pieces (4 cups packed)
1 1/2 cups pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans with cooking oil spray.

Whisk together the cinnamon, allspice, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs and oil in a mixing bowl until well incorporated. Stir in the flour just until no dry spots remain, to form a stiff batter, then fold in the apples and nuts; the mixture will look more like coated apples and nuts than like cake batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the loaf pans, smoothing the tops. Bake (middle rack) for 60 to 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean. The tops will be firm and browned. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then dislodge from the pans and place on the wire rack to cool completely before serving or storing.

Yorkshire Puddings

4 large eggs (200g; 7 ounces)
150g all-purpose flour (5.25 ounces; about 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons)
175g whole milk (6 ounces; 3/4 cup) (see note above)
25g water (.85 ounces; 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons) (see note above)
2g kosher salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
100ml beef drippings, lard, shortening, or vegetable oil (about 1/2 cup)

Combine eggs, flour, milk, water, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until a smooth batter is formed. Let batter rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, for best results, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate batter overnight or for up to 3 days. Remove from refrigerator while you preheat the oven.

Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Divide drippings (or other fat) evenly between two 8-inch cast iron or oven-safe non-stick skillets, two 6-well popover tins (see note above), one 12-well standard muffin tin, or one 24-well mini muffin tin. Preheat in the oven until the fat is smoking hot, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the pans or tins to a heat-proof surface (such as an aluminum baking sheet on your stovetop), and divide the batter evenly between every well (or between the two pans if using pans). The wells should be filled between 1/2 and 3/4 of the way (if using pans, they should be filled about 1/4 of the way). Immediately return to oven. Bake until the yorkshire puddings have just about quadrupled in volume, are deep brown all over, crisp to the touch, and sound hollow when tapped. Smaller ones will take about 15 minutes, popover- or skillet-sized ones will take around 25 minutes.

Serve immediately, or cool completely, transfer to a zipper-lock freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in a hot toaster oven before serving.