My Breads, Pies, Cakes, and More

Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected. -- Oscar Wilde

My bread

I've been studying bread-baking, and am getting pretty good at it. My breads are tastier and much healthier than anything I can buy at the nearest bakery. (Although the bakery's not so great, so that isn't saying much. :-) I'm baking about 2-3 loaves per week, all made by hand with 100% whole grains, and with long fermentation times using yeast and bacteria that I've harvested locally. Here are a few of them, the only ones I managed to get pictures of. Most of them get carved up and eaten before I have a chance to snap a picture. :-)

By the way, I'm not averse to baking professionally, if you want to hire me.

Potato Rosemary with Roasted Garlic: Good with soups and stews, or just as it is.
Closeup Scored

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns: Twice the nutrition, one third the calories, and just as satisfying!

German Style Seeded Rye Meteil: Five kinds of seeds. This loaf is about 25% seeds by weight!
A beautiful closeup The loaf A slice with butter

Whole Wheat Bagels: These are authentic bagels, boiled and flavored with barley malt.

Whole Wheat Pizza with 3 cheeses, eggplant, onion, mushroom, and herbs. And a nice stout to go with it.

Country Hearth Bread: Simple, healthy, and delicious. Look at that rich, brown crust!

Cinnamon Bread: 100% whole grain, lightly sweetened with honey, plus a spiral of cinnamon and sugar. Only 15% more calories than regular bread, and with lots of fiber and protein from the whole grains.

Buckwheat Bread: A hearth bread of my own creation, made with whole buckwheat. A long fermentation time with wild yeast makes this bread just slightly sour, and buckwheat's excellent amino acid profile ensures that it's especially healthy. I thought it might be a disaster, but it was pretty good!

Hutzelbrot with Dried Cranberries: This German holiday rye bread is great for breakfast, but it sure is a pain to make! It's unsweetened except for the cranberries, which is just about right. The white coating on the top is not a frosting, but rather a baked-on paste made from oats, which lends a delightful crunchy/crumbliness that I haven't experienced in any other food.

Handmade Spinach Fettuccine: 50% whole wheat, and I didn't quite have enough spinach. I made 5 meals' worth. It was a pain to cut all those, and I ended up damaging my kneading board. But it was worth it!

Cheese Bread: There are few breads I love more than a good cheese bread. I didn't really know how it's made, but I had an idea or two. I used potato water and only 50% whole wheat for a softer crumb, and included a half pound of sharp raw milk cheddar. I have a strict rule — that I can't cut my bread until it's cooled for at least an hour — but in this case it smelled so enticing that I just couldn't resist.

Honey Mash Bread: Another hearth bread of my own creation, this is a mash bread (a bread made with gelatinized grains) that's lightly sweetened with honey. I suppose it doesn't look like much, but I like the taste.

Roasted Garlic and Potato: This is similar to the potato rosemary above, but with no rosemary and a lot more garlic! Enough to overpower two or three vampires, by my calculations. Unfortunately, the lighting was bad, so the pictures aren't very good. No vampires came that week, so it must have worked.

Potato Onion Rye: I think this is one of my tastier rye breads, but boy was it a pain to make! I'm still looking for a way to make rye bread without the incredible stickiness of the dough gumming up my hands. Anyway, this loaf contains 60% whole rye and 40% whole wheat, plus a lot of fresh onion and boiled potato, with a touch of molasses and caraway.

Candied Yam Bread: Since I'd been making several potato breads recently, I got the idea of making a sweet bread with yams, brown sugar, and honey. Despite the name, the bread is only slightly sweetened. The bread has an orangish brown crumb, a rich, dark crust, and a chewy texture. It's pretty tasty.

Bread Pudding: Bread pudding with nuts and a few dried cranberries, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and little bit more vanilla than normal. It was really nice. I think it's bread enough to belong on this page. :-)

Cherry-Rhubarb Pie: I've been making a bunch of pies lately -- cherry, apple, peach, mixed berry... this is cherry-rhubarb. Fruit pies are my favorite. I've been experimenting with whole wheat crusts, too.

Frankenstein Bread: Everything seemed to go wrong when making this bread. I was trying to make a nice seed bread, with a 60/40 mix of whole grains (wheat and rye) and white flour. In a moment of absent-mindedness, I used a 100% whole grain mix of wheat and rye. That threw off the hydration of the dough, which I had to attempt to fix. Then I had to replace sesame, sunflour, and pumpkin seeds with sesame, poppy, and more sesame, and honey with brown sugar, because I ran out of ingredients. And finally, while waiting for the shaped loaf to rise, I fell asleep. By the time I awoke at 2AM, it had grown to a monstrous size, and I was sure that overfermentation had made it too sour. In my sleep-addled state, I forgot to score the loaf and add the final topping of seeds. But it turned out to be one of my tastier breads, with a wonderful, complex flavor. I think that just goes to show that if you get the basics right, it's pretty hard to mess up bread.

Lemon-Raspberry Cheesecake: This is the first cheesecake I've ever made. Actually it's the first cake of any kind that I've ever made. It's a basic cheesecake, but I tried to give it a bit of a sour flavor, and a hint of lemon. I also prepared a lemon-raspberry sauce for it.

Baked Vanilla Custard: Branching out further, I decided to try making custard. I think I made too much, as I was unable to cook the center without overcooking the outside, but it was still pretty tasty. I've always loved creamy desserts.

Blueberry-Oatmeal Fruit Bars: I made two small batches of blueberry fruit bars, with a 4-grain (mostly oatmeal) crust. One has cream cheese.

Other breads: Some of the breads I've made but didn't manage to get pictures of: onion rye with caraway, Boston brown bread, anadama (a New England bread, distinguished by cornmeal and molasses), whole grain oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies, multigrain sandwich bread, basic whole wheat sandwich bread, and numerous variations of all the breads above.