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Quarantine Cooking: Baking Bread

While bread continues to be scarce at some grocery stores, and while we try to avoid shopping any more than we absolutely have to, it’s a good time to learn how to bake bread at home. This is a simple recipe that can be used for bread loaves, pizza crust, cinnamon rolls or just about any other type of yeast bread.

Back: Cinnamon Swirl Loaf
Front: Basic Yeast Bread
Quarantine Cooking: Baking Bread

Simple Yeast Bread

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast (may use Bread Machine Yeast / 2 packets of individual serve yeast)
2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar (may substitute honey, but add to water, not here)
1 teaspoon Salt

Mix together and add:

4 Cups Warm Water (around 105°F – 115°F)

Add enough additional flour to make a thick dough. Beat on high for 1-3 minutes, until dough becomes “gluey”.

Pour dough out onto a floured surface and cover with about 1/2 cup additional flour. Knead flour into dough. Continue to add more flour in 1/2 cup increments until dough is no longer sticky.

Cover with a clean towel and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Punch down dough to release air, divide into equal parts and shape into greased bread pans or into rounds. Let rise until almost doubled in height.

Bake at 325°F – 350F for 15-20 minutes, until tops are evenly browned. Remove from pans immediately and transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or cool and store in an airtight container. Freezes well for up to 3 months.

Sliced Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

How To Make Baby Yoda Cookies

Delicious they are.

Always pass on what you have learned.

— Yoda

When a photo of a baby Yoda cookie went viral, my son decided this was the cookie we needed to make for Christmas. Not only was it a blast baking with him, but we created our first videos together in the process. Enjoy!

How to Make Baby Yoda Cookies
(Includes recipe for Sour Cream Cookies)
Timelapse of the decorating process for Baby Yoda cookies

Sour Cream Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine:

2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cooking oil
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a separate bowl, combine:
2 cups unbleached wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Pour flour mixture into dough and stir together. Add enough additional flour (2 – 4 cups) to make a slightly sticky dough. Drop a portion of the dough onto a floured surface and roll out. Leave dough thicker for soft cookies and thinner for crispy.

Using an angel cookie cutter, cut shapes from the dough and place on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper. Carefully trim the edges of the angel head from each cookie and round slightly.

Bake at 350F until lightly browned.

Iced with royal icing.

It’s a Wrap: The Filming of Stories in the Pantry, Episode 2: Homemade Pizza and Sauce

Back in February, we filmed our third episode of Stories From the Pantry in collaboration with New Mexico Association for Youth in Media. It seems surreal now that it’s been three months ago and that the world as we knew it then is completely changed. But the celebration of cooking as a part of our living and sharing time with each other – that has changed in many ways for the better. More people today are cooking in their own homes and finding ways to make the day happier through the sights and smells of what they are making at home.

I’m so grateful to the team at NMYAM for supporting this project and providing youth in New Mexico with opportunities for hands-on experience in the film industry. It was a pleasure having them in our home during filming and to watch them collaborate online to complete post-production editing. Even the music in this film was created by their team.

I’m also grateful to Arellana Cordero for joining me and being such an avid supporter of this project. She serves on multiple boards and has held C-suite roles, and it was a pleasure to witness her blending her professional and personal lives for this project.

You can visit the project page to view the recipes.

Quarantine Cooking: Chocolate Chip Cookies

After a very unscientific poll using Instagram and Twitter, the top pick to kick off the live cooking series was how to bake chocolate chip cookies. This recipe uses Crisco because it is shelf-stable and preserves butter for other recipes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
YouTube Live Stream
Quarantine Cooking: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Cup Crisco (may substitute lard or butter)
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon Mexican Vanilla (may substitute 1 tsp vanilla extract)

Mix together and add:

1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda

Mix well and add:

1-2 Cups Chocolate Baking Chips
2 Cups All Purpose Flour

Bake at 325F – 350F for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve warm or cool and store in an airtight container. Freezes well for up to 6 months.