It feels like most of my personal life revolves around baking at the moment. I’ve been watching a lot of The Great British Baking Show because it’s an easy thing to listen to while I’m crafting. I’ve seen it so many times I don’t need to look at it very often to know what’s going on. It’s also been really sweet while we’re social distancing because the year Greg and I got married, I decided to bake my way through all the challenges from the first season of GBBO on Netflix. I think it’s the 2014 season (the one with Martha, Nancy, and Richard). In hindsight, taking on 30ish baking challenges the same year I had to wear a wedding dress might not have been my brightest idea. I had so much fun doing it, though, and it’s been extra special since we haven’t been able to see our friends. My roommate at the time got married a few months before Greg and I did, so a lot of the challenges I baked through coincided with parties and life events. It’s so nice to watch the show and remember “that’s the cake I made for her bridal shower” or “that’s the cake I made for my own bridal shower.” Reliving those memories in this time of isolation has been a blessing.
But I digress. Refocusing on the present-when I’m not watching GBBO, I’m baking something most weekends. I’ve had a lot of fun and gotten to try a bunch of new things and revisit some old favorites, so here’s a list of recent bakes I loved, and the recipes I’m trying in the near future.
Things I baked, loved, and would recommend:
- Mary Berry’s cherry cake is pretty easy, and it feels really good to successfully make one of the technical challenges from GBBO.
- I made these neapolitan amaretti cookies from Love & Olive Oil and they were really fun. Rolling the cookies out was nice and relaxing.
- I used this recipe for Japanese milk bread to make hot dog buns for our bánh mì hot dogs, and it was one of the best choices I’ve made in a long time. Greg was raving about the buns for days.
Things I’ve baked and am remaking again soon:
- I make all our bread from scratch to try to cut down on the single-use plastic store-bought bread comes in. Paul Hollywood’s burger baps are my go-to recipe for hamburger buns. I have some ground beef in the freezer and it’s hot AF in Texas right now, so grilling burgers soon seems like a good idea. Keeping the cooking heat outside is a win.
- I’m working on a savory tarte tatin recipe I’m really excited about. I need to tweak it a bit more to eliminate a soggy bottom, but it should be making its way to our recipes tab soon!
- I’m trying to improve my piping skills, so I’ll probably be making another batch of Amanda’s soft sugar cookies soon. I made a batch a few months ago but the icing looked like a third grader did it :p
Things on my to-bake list for the near future:
- I want to make these blueberry hand pies from Grandbaby cakes. I might even do that today if I have time. I made a peach version a few weeks ago, but I want to try it with the original recipe.
- I want to try a yeasted cake, so I’m probably going to have a go at the savarin recipe in my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Plus, I’m always down for more Julia in my life.
- These earl gray panna cotta tarts seem interesting!
- I love pasteis de nata (Portuguese egg tarts) so I’ll probably make them soon.
- I’ve been wanting to try my hand at key lime pie.