I cheated on this bread. Just wanted to get that out there.

The next bread on my list was the Pain de Campagne which is similar to French bread but has a teeny bit of whole wheat (or rye) flour in it. It requires a pre-ferment and needs hearth baking to get the best results.

I was having a bad day week month when I made this bread and I really just wanted to make some bread to take my mind off everything. I started this one and a sourdough thinking at least one would be done that day (because I always fail to read ahead) but no luck, they both were 2 day’ers.

So I turned this one into a 1 day bread. I let the pre-ferment sit as long as I could but you could definitely tell a difference in flavor from this one and one that has been allowed to sit overnight in the fridge. I was also pretty horribly at shaping and slashing these.

You can laugh at that one. I know I did.

I think I want to try this one again when I’m not so impatient because it’s supposed to be a really good bread.

If you’re interested in making the bread as the book instructs you too, go check out the The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. It’s on page 195. Make sure you visit the BBA blogroll to see how the other bakers are doing.

One year ago: Italian Mac & Cheese


When I first joined Tuesdays with Dorie (<all my TWD posts) my intention was to bake every recipe in Dorie’s book, even though the book calls for too much dried fruit for my tastes. I managed to get about halfway through before giving up on the group which means I need to get my booty in gear.

Yesterday I just wanted something I could throw together quickly but would also make my 3 year old happy. He suggested a birthday cake because he’s pretty convinced that his birthday is coming around again soon but we settled on Dorie’s blondies.

I liked this recipe because it called for small amounts of chocolate chips, nuts, butterscotch chips, and coconut. I managed to get rid of all those mostly empty bags of baking supplies that have been taking up too much space.

The blondies were also very tasty. The chocolate chips and the butterscotch chips aren’t a combination that I thought would work but we really enjoyed it. And you can never go wrong with coconut! These were definitely a winner!

Loaded Blondies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 325. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan and put on a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until well incorporated. Add the eggs 1 by 1, beating for 1 minutes after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chips, nuts, and coconut. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to even the top as best as you can.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies come out clean. The blondies should pull away from the sides of the pan a little and the top should be a nice honey brown. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes before turning the blondies out onto another rack. Invert onto a rack and cool the blondies to room temperature right side up.
  5. Cut into 32 bars, each roughly 2 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches.

One year ago: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork


Okay, I’m done. I found the bread. The one I’ll make once a week for my entire life. I can now retire the BBA book and move on with my life. Well maybe I won’t quit the challenge but I’m pretty sure there won’t be a bread to top this one.

Not going to lie, I wasn’t excited about this. More often than not, baguettes get turned into croutons since we prefer sandwich-type bread or rolls. I finally decided that if I ever wanted to get to the fun breads at the end of the book I just needed to get started on the boring baguettes.

This bread is made with ice water and then you put it in the fridge to retard overnight. Weird, right? I had my doubts and was so shocked the next morning when my dough had almost doubled in size. I pulled it out to take the chill off and it just kept on rising.

There was a ton of dough! A ton of super sticky dough! This was enough dough to make 6 baguettes but since we aren’t huge fans, I decided to only make 3 baguettes and use the other 3 portions as pizza dough.

(It was rainy yesterday. Sorry for the poor pictures!)

The dough was very easy to shape since it’s supposed to look rustic. I just gently pulled until it was the length of my baking sheet and ignored the funky shapes. Once they were shaped they didn’t need another rise which I thought was strange. I swear I read the instructions 20 times just to make sure I wasn’t overlooking a rise somewhere.

This bread called for the hearth baking method which I’m starting to enjoy. Not the spraying of the oven walls but I think I’m starting to appreciate what hearth baking does for the bread.

As I mentioned, this is easily the best bread I’ve ever made. I thought it was almost identical to baguettes Panera has but my husband said it was even better. Yeah, that good. Just look at this:

I’ve never seen a prettier crumb.

I wasn’t, however, a huge fan of the dough as pizza crust. It was tough to roll out – I had to let it rest after every roll it seemed. Plus, it took a very long time to brown and crisp and I finally gave up after all my veggies started burning. I’ve got 2 more portions in the freezer so I’ll pre-bake the crust next time. Hopefully that will solve the problem.

If you don’t own the Bread Baker’s Apprentice book, you should check it out. If you do own it, turn to page 191 and get started on this bread. Be sure to check out the BBA blogroll to see how the other baker’s are doing!

This post submitted to Yeastspotting.


Before I tell you about my new favorite chickpea recipe, would you puh-lease go over to the right side of my blog and become a fan of Fake Ginger on Facebook? I put off starting a FB fan page because I had this crazy fear that my only fans would be my husband and my mother so I’d really love lots and lots of fans! Thanks ya’ll! :D

So chickpeas, I love them. This is a new thing for me because I always thought they had a weird texture. I think my first experience with Chana Masala is what did it for me. I bought a Target brand frozen version one day just out of curiosity and loved it. The chickpeas, the spices, everything was perfect. I didn’t think it was something I could recreate at home so I picked up a Kashi one when I was at a store other than Target (why do other stores even exist?). The Kashi one was bland and actually pretty disgusting. Not long after that, Smitten Kitchen posted this recipe. It was fate. Me + chickpeas = together forever.

Chana Masala
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds toasted and ground
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cups tomatoes chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and saute over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spiced for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice.

I made these waffles twice this weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday morning. That, my friends, make these a definitely winner.

I don’t make waffles often because I don’t like how thick my waffle maker makes them but I have finally found the solution. These yeast waffles are crisp on the outside and almost airy on the inside. My husband said it was like eating a funnel cake without powdered sugar. We added the powdered sugar on day 2. ;)

I also love that you prep these at night. I’m definitely not a morning cook so these will make my mornings very simple. I can’t wait to make them again!

Yeast Waffles
  • 1 1/2 cups 12 ounces milk
  • 6 tablespoons 3 ounces butter
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons 1 3/8 to 2 ounces maple syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups 8 1/2 ounces King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  1. Heat the milk till it’s very hot. Place it in a large mixing bowl (you’ll need lots of room for expansion), and add the butter, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla. Stir till the butter melts and the mixture has cooled to lukewarm. Add the eggs, flour, and yeast, stirring to combine; it’s OK if the mixture isn’t perfectly smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour; the mixture will begin to bubble. You can cook the waffles at this point, or refrigerate the batter overnight to cook waffles the next day. (Make SURE it’s in a bowl large enough for it to at least double in size!)
  2. Preheat the waffle iron. Spray with non-stick vegetable oil spray, and pour 2/3 to 3/4 cup batter (or the amount recommended by the manufacturer) onto the center of the iron. Close the lid and bake for the recommended amount of time, till the waffle is golden brown. It took us about 6 minutes, using our waffle iron here. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200°F oven.