Monday, November 2, 2009

'Tis the Season for Holiday Baking!

Thanksgiving is coming ~ are you ready? Maybe you've got your pantry shelves stocked with molasses and pecans, brown sugar and cans of pumpkin puree, and you're knee-deep in magazine clippings featuring recipes you can't wait to try.

Or . . . maybe the thought of producing pastry for the most high-profile pies of the year makes you break out into the cold sweat of dread, and the pressure to produce feather-light biscuits just like Grandma's is starting to give you indigestion already. Relax, I'm here to help.

What's your biggest baking headache? Is it leather-tough pastry crusts? No problem, we can fix that! Soon, your legendarily tender, flaky crusts will be the talk of your family table, and before you know it, you'll be baking pies on demand every Thanksgiving! (Okay, so it's a blessing and a curse.)

Is it yeast dough that intimidates you and keeps you shelling out the big bucks for breads to grace your holiday table? Not anymore! You can make friends with that ornery little organism we call yeast and you'll be turning out artisanal-style loaves that will charm your guests without breaking your bank.

Frankly, we all have our baking betes noires, don't we? Especially when it comes to holiday favorites. (So much pressure!) But I'd like to help you break down some of the hurdles that may be causing you unnecessary trouble. So, let's get baking. By the time T-Day rolls around, you'll be excited to show off those mad pastry skills!

Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as we work through pie and tart pastry, fall holiday yeast breads, biscuits, and the like. And I'd like to invite you to take the survey in the sidebar. Your answers will help me know where to direct the focus of my posts. Also, feel free to comment or e-mail me directly with specific requests for help tackling baked goods that you find especially troublesome or tricky.

Let's make some oven love this season!


The Duo Dishes said...

Making pie crusts is one of the most fun things to do. Love a crust for sweet or savory pie.

Betherann said...

I think my biggest issue with holiday baking is that it's made into such a big deal. I get really, really stressed out with holiday cookies and the like. I don't make them, and feel guilty that I don't. But even if I did make them, they never turn out great and then I feel bad for serving sub-par Christmas cookies. What are some lighter/more fun/easier options for us those with Christmas cookie issues?

Thanks! As always, your blog rocks my world. :) Have you checked out the new Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day? I just got mine...can't wait to test it out!

Jillian said...

no stress here! Baking is therapeutic! (sp?) :D I'm baking Banana Cakes today.

I do love a wonderful flaky crust.

Sandy Smith said...

~Betherann: Thanks so much for your kind words! And listen ~ do NOT feel guilty for not baking Christmas cookies. To be honest, there have been years that I've boycotted Christmas-cookie baking myself. I can't stand all the wasted food, and if my mom and sister are baking, I know so many cookies will get thrown out. You can bake cookies at any time of year, so don't stress about making them at Christmastime! :)

That said, if you want an alternative to the standard cookie, stay tuned! I've got a "paleo" version coming up! No flour, no white sugar, and no added fat. (And perfectly edible.)


Sarah said...

really looking forward to this...pie crusts are more than a little intimidating to me...

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