Archive for November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Pumpkin pie?

Nope. Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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Thanksgiving Breads & Bundts

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

We had a full house this past week in our Thanksgiving Breads & Bundts class. Sweet quickbreads on the schedule: pumpkin, banana, and cranberry almond.

We had a full house

so I used the large mixer.

Banana breads, recipe below.

Banana bread baked as a bundt.

We had help with scaling.

Can you read his apron? "I'm still a hot babe, even if it comes in flashes."

Banana Bread
Yield: medium (8×5) loaf
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 medium or 2 large bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
¼ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease pan.
2. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Cream well.
3. Measure flour by lightly spooning into cup;  do not pack down. Add flour, baking soda, and salt to wet ingredients. Mix unil there is no flour visible. This should be a thick batter. Scrape into prepared pan.
4. Bake in a 350 degree oven 45-60 minutes. If it looks like it’s getting too dark but needs more bake time, turn temperature down to 325 degrees.

Home-Based Baking at its Best! Customers love homemade banana bread…

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Savory Breads Class

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Every semester I teach bread classes. In most of these classes we make sweet items such as cinnamon buns, sticky buns, and filled coffeecakes.  But in the Savory Breads class we make meal-type breads such as calzones, buns, stuffed breads (Stromboli), and pizza pull-aparts. The basic bread is a lean dough much like a pizza dough.

While the dough is proofing (rising), we prepare the veggies and fillings.

Everyone gets 2 1/2 pounds of dough to make their choice of items.

Stuffed breads start with one pound of dough.

The dough is filled and rolled up.

Small buns were filled with peppers and onions.

Some breads were sprinkled with sesame seeds.

This long roll

was carefully moved to a sheet pan and baked to perfection!

Small pepper and onion buns.

Pizza pull-apart and Stromboli.

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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Classes at the Culinary Institute, Hyde Park

Saturday, November 16th, 2013


I teach two classes each semester at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Hyde Park, NY. Today is the last class for 2013.

For information about spring semester classes:

Home Baking Skills for Profit or Pleasure (Hyde Park, NY)
May 17, 2014 (Sat., 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

The New Food Entrepreneur: Start & Run a Small Food Business (Hyde Park, NY)
June 7, 2014 (Sat., 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

Register early, these classes have been sold out!

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Preparing Holiday Cookie Trays

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Last year the Hudson Valley Baking Society made cookie trays – a fundraiser for the Northeast Regional Food Bank.

We baked an assortment of drop cookies in the BOCES culinary school kitchen and

made festive holiday cookie trays.

This year I began early and made poppy cut-out cookies.

Colored doughs are next in line!


Home-Based Baking at its Best! It’s never too early to begin holiday production when using commercial tips and techniques. Recipe and tips are in Home Baking for Profit.

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S’mores: (Easy) New Product Idea

Friday, November 8th, 2013


When thinking about adding new products, consider creating a trendy item that is familiar with customers. S’mores is a good example of a product idea with many possibilities. Use your own recipes as a starting point and combine with purchased products.

Cover bottom of pan with purchased crackers.

Add mini-marshmallows to any of your chocolate chip cookie recipes.

Spread dough over graham crackers.

Bake until done.

Wrap and sell,

or for additional presentation add a little bar of chocolate.

Home-Based Baking at its Best!

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Easy Details for Holiday Products

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Small cookies made using a piece of scrap dough.

The holidays are almost here. Now’s the time to add a bit of detail to set your products apart from your competitors’ products. And it’s easier than you think.

In the above photo I used a piece of dough that had been stored in my fridge for two months. It was too tough and dry to roll out again,  so I’d wrapped the scraps and set it aside.

Now, with Thanksgiving fast approaching, I want to decorate my pumpkin and pecan pies.

A small piece of reworked dough, tough and dry.

Rolled it out on plastic wrap for easy clean-up.

The finished design is less than half an inch.

For extra detail I used a small knife to mark veins.


Home-Based Baking at its Best! Details like this set you apart from mass produced products or those made by pop-up home bakers with short-lived businesses and little experience.

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