Saturday, February 21, 2009

President Obama supports The Great American Bakery Hunt

In an unprecedented show of support for The Great American Bakery Hunt, President Obama stopped at two bakeries to pick up a variety of treats during a recent visit to Canada. His purchases included an "Obama tail", a hot pastry reminscent of funnel-cake, and Canadian maple leaf cookies from his second bakery stop on the hunt.

What lessons can we draw from this presidential bakery tour? Even during these desperate economic times, bakeries can find hope in folks from all walks of life continuing to crave baked goods. You can take the money out of a recession, but you can't take away a world leader's sweet tooth. Indeed, this means hope for the next generation of bakery hunters.

Editor's Note: Interested in more news like this? Why not swing by the Obama Foodorama blog for round the clock analysis of Obama gastronomica?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dear Nashville lonely hearts...

Feeling loveless this Valentine's Day? Perhaps you need to take a trip to Tennessee, where the Loveless Cafe will serve you up some commiseration in the form of fresh biscuits and Southern charm. With biscuits like these, who needs romance?.

The great land of Davis inspires some homemade pretzel making

On a recent trip to visit Davis, my friend Lindsay spearheaded a genius homemade pretzel making project. Since I'm officially addicted to Rockenwagner's pretzel bread offerings, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that basic pretzel making is a relatively simple process. After prepping the dough, we planned to bake it over at a friend's house pre- dinner party.

Below, Lindsay, our noble Protector of Dough, cradles the dough to shield it from the chill Davis air. We were a little concerned about the yeast and potential temperature changes while traveling. Bakers, heed this warning: When homemade pretzel making on the run, you must have a Protector of the Dough.

After boiling the pieces of pretzel dough, we brushed them with an egg wash, kosher salted them, and baked them. Then, voila! Pretzels hot from the oven and devoured immediately by yours truly.

Thanks to friends Sarah and Lindsay for introducing me to this recipe! It is also worth mentioning that Davis was a great farmer's market city. The Saturday market featured a great variety of vendors, including several bakeries. Upon entering, we were greeted with free naan samples, then eventually wandered over to the flourChylde bakery. The flourChylde's retail location is in Marin County, where they offer several wheat and gluten free options for people with alternative diets.

Also, it's worth mentioning that Davis has a grocery store called the Nugget. You really can't go wrong when you're buying ingredients from a place like that. Not only because the exterior of the Nugget features (naturally) a sign that says "Nugget", but also because there are Roman-like grocery goddesses governing the top of the building, adorned with billowing frocks, looking down on passers-by, regally balancing baskets of stone fruit on their heads, and beckoning you to explore the magic that is cooking and baking in the city of Davis. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not used to seeing majestic robed women towering over me whilst I enter grocery stores.

See what I mean? Here's one pretzel recipe from Alton Brown, if you're looking to get into the pretzel spirit. Enjoy!