Easy (ish) Home Baking and Ingredient Substitutions

But no one told you to never leave your house but rather what to do when you leave your house.

We are not supposed to leave our houses in California except for essential activities. If things can be sourced through means that minimize exposure, less risk is involved and benefits all.

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Thanks. I thought everyone was encouraged to go outside. I guess that’s just Nevada and WA State. Not sure about OR.

With limited exceptions identified below, all Nevadans are ordered to stay in their residences. … Individuals may leave their residences to … obtain services or goods necessary from other Essential Licensed Businesses … This Directive does not prohibit individuals from engaging in outdoor activity, including without limitation, activities such as hiking, walking, or running, so long as the activity complies with all requirements of Emergency Directive 007, participants maintain at least 6 feet distancing from other individuals, and individuals do not congregate in groups beyond their household members.


Right. That’s what I said. I’m on the governor’s mailing list so get an email just about every day giving an incredible amount of info.

The order allows you to do essential shopping. It does not encourage you to go to the store.

I’m following the local health officer’s orders and the CDC’s guidance for high-risk individuals. Unless there’s something essential I can’t get delivered, going to the store is both illegal and an unnecessary risk.

The intent of this Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people shelter in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible to slow the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the impact on delivery of critical healthcare services to those in need. All provisions of this Order must be interpreted to effectuate this intent.

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Continuing to play around with that NY Times recipe. I’ve reduced it to maybe five minutes of actual work and a total of less than 2-1/2 hours including baking.

heavy-duty mixer with a dough hook
instant-read thermometer:

170 g whole-wheat flour
330 g all-purpose flour
10 g salt
6 g instant yeast
325 g water

Mix dry ingredients in mixer bowl. Add water and beat with dough hook (#2 speed on a KitchenAid) until the dough forms a ball and cleans the bowl, then continue beating for two minutes more. If the dough climbs the hook, stop the mixer, scrape it off with a spatula, and continue. (To avoid this, next time reduce water by 5 grams.)

Release the dough hook, remove the bowl from the mixer, and remove the hook from the dough. Using a spatula, shape the dough into a smooth ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. Took less than 90 minutes in my kitchen last night.

Set oven to 465°. With the spatula, take the dough from the bowl to a sheet pan Shape as you like, then cover with a towel for 20 minutes.

Bake on the sheet pan until the internal temperature reaches 210°, around 20-30 minutes depending on the shape. The loaf shown above took 25. Cool on a rack.

– correction, 210° (not 120°)

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Adding 30-40 g gluten (or sometimes named hipster cyanide on twitter) often helps with whole wheat breads

This is turning out great as is.

Also, gluten’s generally sold out, Bob’s Red Mill expects more in June.

Second try at King Arthur’s Blitz Bread recipe.

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ChefSteps and Serious Eats both posted articles recently about adding in vital wheat gluten to AP flour to simulate bread flour if you can’t find it.

I’m not a baker but they sort of approached it from different angles/ways of illustrating it so both articles are pretty great. A lot of ChefSteps content is behind a paywall but they’ve let it slide for this article for now.

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I got some real bread flour this week.

My second attempt at Carla Hall’s cornbread came out much better. It was remarkably light and cake-like for 100% corn meal. Probably helped that I used Geechee Boy.

3/4 cup corn
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup corn oil
2 cups finely ground cornmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons lard or bacon fat for the skillet

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  • In a food processor, pulse together corn and cream until coarsely blended.
  • Blend in the eggs, sour cream, and oil.
  • Heat the lard in a 10-1/2-inch cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. The pan should be hot enough that the batter sizzles a lot when you pour it in.
  • Add the dry ingredients and pulse until smooth, scraping the bowl with a spatula at least once.
  • Pour the batter into the skillet.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

This is a hybrid of two versions of Hall’s recipe. I figured since I was going to have to wash the food processor anyway there was no reason to dirty any bowls.


Sort of the triple berry cake from Smitten Kitchen. Halved the recipe, didn’t do the glaze (because vanilla ice cream), and didn’t have blackberries so it was double berry. So so good.


Finally managed to score a loaf so that the crust didn’t split at some other random point. Next maybe I can make one that’s symmetrically oval instead of bigger at one end.

I read that more dough is less likely to climb the hook, so I tried a double batch, and it worked better. This was 1 kg. flour (a third whole-wheat), 690 grams water, 20 grams salt, 12 grams instant yeast.

After the first rise I dumped the dough onto a lightly floured board, split off half and put it into the loaf pan, folded the other once. Then I let them rise for an hour and some, you can see the one in the loaf pan has risen almost to the top. Baked at 465° for 30 minutes.

Decent crumb. I think I’ve got this recipe down.



I think I’m done tweaking this recipe. I found the mixer works better with a double batch. This is our daily bread, I make a new batch whenever we run out.

340 g whole-wheat flour
660 g all-purpose flour
20 g salt
12 g instant yeast
390 g lukewarm water

Put dry ingredients in mixer bowl and stir with dough hook.

Add water and set KitchenAid mixer to speed 2. After the dough forms a rough ball, stop the mixer and scrape the bowl.

When dough forms a smooth ball, all flour has been picked up, and it starts cleaning the bowl, continue for another two minutes.

Remove dough hook, use a spatula to scrape dough into a ball, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in volume (typically 60-90 minutes).

Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Optionally, fold dough three times. Split dough into two parts, shape, and put into two 9" x 5" loaf pans. Or shape into one or more loaves and put on a baking sheet.

Cover with a towel and let rise for 45 minutes. Set the oven to 465 and wait another 15 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes or until internal temperature is 210 degrees.

This is a great recipe: