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August 2006 - Vital Signs ….. A Circle of Wheat; A Never Ending Mystery…


A Passion for Baking
The Back to Baker’s School Issue

Greetings Baking Class of 2006.  BB University, Wheatland Campus welcomes you for a whole new semester of great baking. We got your pre-requisites (80’s Carrot Cake), fundamentals (Best Banana Bread), and special-request classes (Crème Brulee Blondies) all good to go. Polish the apple for the teacher and that apple pie roll, sharpen your rugulah, and get that apron in gear. And please, no ‘I-got-batter-stains-all-over-my-homework’ excuses.

!!FREE!! Class of 1980 Classic Carrot Cake
Alice Waters, Moosewood, and California Cuisine (and health food movement) is part of the reason counterculture, upstart ‘ole carrot cake got its debut. Use organic carrots this time. Tiens – you’ve been schooled.

Class of 2006 Carrot Cake Biscotti
Sticks of spice and orange batter, dotted with carrots, raisins, and slicked up with a ‘cream cheese’ icing of white chocolate. Save these for the teacher’s lounge or coffee klatch with your best friend for a TGIF moment.

Chocolate Carrot Cake
 Hey, even chocolate and turnips would taste good. Chocolate cachet in a rich carrot cake is just one-upmanship in a cake you already love.

My Favorite Banana Bread
When you want something new, it’s tiramisu biscotti or Pizza Quiche. When you need a comforting friend, it’s banana bread.

Blue Ribbon Zucchini Walnut Raisin Loaf
Who doesn’t need this recipe at this time of year? One of the best of this favorite.

Rosh Hashanah Specialties
Check the new edition of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking for all the traditional recipes for New Year’s as well as the BB Complete Recipe Archives for more holiday cooking and baking ideas.

The BIG Honey Cake 
Bakery style honey cake yields slices the size of small hunks. Seriously, this is an amazingly moist honey cake that will serve you from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur. It stands tall, keeps well, and is flavor rich. Another even-if-you-hate-honey-cake-you’ll-love-this-one recipes.  Be forewarned: it is HUGE and incidentally, delectable, impressive and the stuff of holiday legends.


Pie Dough Sweet Apple Roll
An instant classic – sort of apple pie that comes in a log. The combo of fresh and frozen apples is the trick to the bakery-style taste.

Gummy Bear Chewy Fruit Strudel
Sweet, chewy, filling in a flaky pastry; sort of rugulah but a bit different. The Gummy Bears melt just-so. An old-fashioned recipe with a new school update.


Apple Cranberry New Year's Challah
This is the perfect cross between bread and a cake. What could be more appealing - a rich challah studded with chunks of fresh autumn apples and a touch of fresh cranberries. This is the perfect cross between bread and a cake. The bottom of the baked bread becomes caramelized with apple and cranberry juices as they reduce into a sticky coating on the bread bottom. A nice change from the round raisin challah or save it for break the fast.


Fall Classics


Apple Baba Muffins, a Café Bistro Style Recipe ©
These are muffins with attitude! They taste and look like pastries but are as easy and satisfying as muffins. They start with leftover croissant or challah bread cubes and whip up into a café style treat. If you want these homey, use regular muffin tins. If you want them upscale, make a parchment paper collar, which will result in taller, prettier baba muffins.


Chocolate Mandarin Tea Blend
Speaking of scones and chai tea cake, how about a soothing yet decadent tea blend of fresh English Breakfast, a touch of Ceylon Orange Pekoe, chocolate and oh-de-orange. Nothing beats this tea at any time but it is uniquely satisfying to sip, as you watch the leaves turn color and chill settle into the autumn air.

Demeter Fudge Cake

Another pint of sour cream, another spectacular, dark, delicious fudge cake. This one slices without nary a crumb. It doesn’t need icing but no one will whine if you add the whipped ganache frosting provided. Le Plateau, in Montreal, is where a ton of neat, trendy, new restaurants pop up every other day. This cake is indicative of some of the great tastes that emerge from a local sidewalk cafe.


Crème Brulee Cheesecake Blondies

Blond ambition. This recipe should be bronzed. A chewy, caramel bar is stuffed with cheesecake filling and rippled through with crème brulee. This recipe is as tasty uncooked as it is baked.


Oregon Chai Spice Cake
Say hi to Chai. Nippy weather calls out for the zip and punch of a great spice cake. This one uses a cup of brewed chai tea - but you can also use any spice and orange tea, a standby like Bigelow’s Constant Comment or check out our tea recommendations. You don’t have to like spice to adore this cake. Oregon Chai btw, uses a touch of vanilla in with the spices. My recipe uses spice, orange and the vanilla for a teacake like no other.  is my source for a great chai blend.


Blueberry Bundle Cookies
Are you familiar with Elsa’s Cookies? That’s where these get their inspiration. A fresh blueberry filling is tucked away in a little pocket of a cookie. This is a tender/crisp cookie; make these small and dust with confectioners’ sugar for a more elegant look, or keep them medium sized to pack in school lunches.


Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Big, bold, redolent with fresh cinnamon. A great breakfast munch or anytime snack. Nothing beats homemade cinnamon bagels. Use part whole-wheat or use all white whole-wheat flour (try King Arthur) and toss in some cracked flax seeds while you're at it. These rock.


Pizza Quiche
Awesome! Your own pie shell or store-bought, a bit of spice, cheese, tomatoes and cream and voila! Pizza flavor with French sophistication. This is a brown bag gourmet treat or a fall brunch, hospitality dish. The taste says pizza; the presentation says, you genius, you. Something savory, something great!



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