The Baking Sheet: Paradise on a plate

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From talking to you we’ve learned that you bake for sustenance, celebration, out of kindness and to express your creativity. We love to hear your adventures, and to give you inspiration to try baking new things. Enter The Baking Sheet.BS_Fall_Cover

Producing this newsletter is a great joy for Gwen and me. We like nothing better than researching, inventing, and testing new and old recipes, to be sure they work and taste great.

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This week’s favorite is an Onion and Bay loaf, gleaned from a new British cookbook, somewhat Americanized, and scheduled to appear in our Winter 2014 issue.Onion and bay loaf Very popular for toast and breakfast.

We’re lucky to have this task, and it seems so obvious to us that other people should love these recipes also that it’s hard to explain to other people. So I asked my best friend what she likes best about The Baking Sheet. Here’s what she said:

“It’s unique and can raise anyone’s game. Don’t tell anyone, but I think baking is the ultimate therapy. I tap into the ‘flow’, have a task to complete, and something good to eat at the end. No nasty ingredients either! Everybody loves a baker.”

The best part of baking, to us, is the connection it gives to other people. Gwen got married a couple of weeks ago, and I was honored to make the wedding cake.

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Gwen’s groom is Ben Adams, who, by the way, designed this awesome new blog format. Here they are cutting the cake.

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I hear wonderful things from readers. Many have told me that recipes from The Baking Sheet have become family staples, which is my idea of the ultimate success. I’ve also heard that their families fight over the issue when it arrives, choosing which treats their baker must make first.

Perhaps in your house it would be the Sandwich Special from our Autumn issue: Sourdough Biscuits with caramelized onions, blue cheese, and walnuts, cradling a Baked Denver Omelette.

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Along with the Sandwich Special, there’s a recipe makeover in every issue. I just wrote about that process when I told the story of Doris Knutson’s Cream-Filled Coffeecake. All of the recipes we publish have complete nutritional information, including Weight Watchers PointsPlus®.

The current issue also has the recipe I entered in the International Biscuit Festival competition: Caramel Apple Biscuits.

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The holiday issue, coming up, has 8 extra pages packed in: our gift to you at a time of year when you can use it the most.

Every year, it’s our task to come up with an incentive to encourage bakers everywhere to treat themselves to what The Baking Sheet has to offer. For the last 2 years, we’ve written, baked, and filmed DVDs for Pie and Cake, explaining in detail how to bake your best in a pretty comprehensive fashion. This year, we tackled Whole Grain Baking, because we get soooo many questions about it.

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We based the content of our Whole Grain Baking Essentials on the questions you ask us. You want to use more whole grains, but aren’t sure how to start. How do you change your recipes to get the results you want? We go over all of that, as well as providing a hefty selection of recipes for everything from cakes to pie, cookies to side dishes and salads. And bread. Boy, do we have bread! If you’d like to get a feel for the DVD, click here for a preview.

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Now that baking season is upon us, things are heating up on the Baker’s Hotline. That’s Jonathan (who appears in the DVD) in front, and Linda, who is our Baking Sheet customer care guardian angel.

If you’ve been cooking a lot from your iPad or tablet, we’re with you. You can subscribe to The Baking Sheet with a choice of paper issues, electronic ones, or both. We’re a little different from most digital magazines. Our current subscribers have access to the whole kit and kaboodle of Baking Sheet recipes dating back to 1990. That’s about 10 cookbooks’ worth: over 3,500 of them. bakingsheet-backissuesOther magazines charge for back issues. We don’t.

Mostly, we just plain want you to join us, so we can bake and share our adventures with each other. If you feel the way we do about baking, paradise is the look on a loved one’s face, when they experience their first forkful of something wonderful from your oven.

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Susan Reid
About

Susan Reid grew up in New Jersey, graduated from Bates College and the Culinary Institute of America, and is presently enjoying her fourth career after stints in advertising, running restaurants, and teaching at the New England Culinary Institute. She joined King Arthur in 2002 to ...

comments

  1. Judith Carr

    I am a loyal King Arthur customer and baker. I just opened this email and read the blog. Sorry my comment isn’t about baking per se, but I have to comment! The wedding cake you made for Gwen is outstanding in presentation–I can just imagine the taste. But, the wedding dress on Gwen is absolutely stunning!!! Thousands of times more gorgeous than these million dollar strapless numbers seen on the celebrities and in the bridal magazines. Gwen has taste and elegance and her dress is exquisite!!!!

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid , post author

      I am lucky to have such a great partner in my endeavors here, and it was for sure a labor of love to make Gwen and Ben’s cake. Some people are just a joy to do things for, and they are on the list. And I agree, Gwen looked fabulous. Beyond compare. Susan

  2. Cleosa Valentine

    I love the Baking Sheet. One of my all time favorite recipes came from it (Summer, 2002) – Vanilla Dreams. Every time I make a batch of these winners I’m asked for the recipe. What a compliment! As the recipe states, the secret ingredient is a must – baker’s ammonia. It’s the only recipe where I’ve seen this ingredient used. Keep on keeping on.

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid , post author

      Thank you so much, Cleosa! I think that’s our biggest thrill, to provide people with recipes that become their friends, their signature dishes, and that communicate the enthusiasm we all have for baking! Susan

  3. Annie Littlefield

    Your recipes look heavenly. I love baking with King Arthur flour. Have plans to order some Gadgets and supplies out of one of your booklets for the holidays. Thank You …..Sincerely, Annie Littlefield

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid , post author

      We hope you’ll enjoy baking with us for the Holidays. By all means, let us (or me) know how you like it! Susan

    1. Susan Reid , post author

      Baker’s ammonia is the chemical ammonium carbonate, which, back in great-grandma’s day and before, was used as a leavener. It smells like the name while baking, but there’s no ammonia flavor afterward at all. Before ammonium carbonate, people obtained the chemical by burning the antlers of red deer, and the name for it was hartshorn. We still use it today because it gives thin, buttery cookies a crisp texture you can’t really get any other way. Susan

    2. Amy Attaway

      Susan is so right. Baker’s Ammonia really doesn’t have an equivalency. I bought some to make the Vanilla Dream cookies and they were a HUGE hit. Especially with my husband who likes crispy cookies. There is no other way to get that crispiness.
      I didn’t use it for over a year and it clumped so I threw it out but I will definitely buy more the next time I plan to make Vanilla Dreams. It is a specialty ingredient that is worth the money.

    3. Susan Reid , post author

      Hi, Amy! Most of the time there’s a reason we don’t use the earlier version of things, but we do give up certain qualities for convenience. We’re big on time travelling through food at The Baking Sheet, exploring the tastes and recipes our forbears knew and as such, getting to know them better in the process. Holiday bakeathon is a good time for a fresh container, that’s for sure. Susan

  4. "moon dog"

    I just started subscribing to the Baking Sheet in the Summer because I’ve had such good luck with your recipes. Your site has made a baker out of me!

    I made Mom’s apple cake from the Fall issue this weekend, and it was delicious. I’ve also made the sourdough biscuits (I added a bit of bacon to them as well), the apple snickerdoodles, and the squash 5 spice rolls from the fall issue, and we loved them each of those recipes. I only wish the issues came out more often!

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid , post author

      Hooray! That is so wonderful to hear. We had a great time testing all of those recipes (I’m taking a minute from peeling apples right now :-). Wait till you see how much fun we’re going to have for the Holidays!! Susan

  5. Ellise Farber

    I absolutely love my subscription to the Baking Sheet, and I generally find most magazines or guides with recipes to be a waste of time. Not so this one! Every time it arrives I go through my copy to “dog-ear” the pages showing recipes I want to make. Half of the time I find them already folded since my husband has gone through them to be helpful. :) I can not tell you how many recipes my family has enjoyed from this newsletter. Also, now that the digital app is available, it’s even easier to find older recipes. My only quibble – and it is a minor one – is that the digital app for the Kindle could use an index to the index, so for example, I don’t have to flip through all of the categories to “Rolls” to scan through to the different Rolls recipes. That being said, I love the access to all of the back issues and the fantastic search function. Keep up the amazing work!

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid , post author

      Thanks for the good words, Ellise. I just got a Kindle so I can walk the walk with you; I’ll do my best to see if there’s something I can do in concert with our developer to get the search function working for you. Susan

  6. Linda

    I was so happy to see The Baking Sheet become digital. I appreciated the CDs when you did that but the real winner is a digital version. It isn’t that the paper copies aren’t GORGEOUS and so much fun to read and enjoy but there comes a time when there is just too much “stuff” in the house and you want to find things more quickly. The digital copy is great for access and storage and just as beautiful to me as the paper–but a lot less shelf space and a whole lot more enjoyment! Thank you for doing that. I’m excited about the holiday season. Got 3 ovens now that can handle it all! Thank you for another great idea and incorporating more whole grains too. I have your cookbook for that but again–so much nicer for storage and access in a DVD or digital form. Great work!!!

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid , post author

      Thank you so much, Linda. We put a lot of work into getting the archive digitized, and is sure is handy to be able to wade through the index and go right to a recipe! Susan

  7. Anne Bennett

    I just subscribed to the Baking Sheet on September 21 — I posted on KAF Facebook page to see if I still qualify for the DVD. If not, it’s going on my Christmas wish list.

    Funny story about that apple cake in the current issue: my mother made an apple cake for me after my recent foot surgery, and I was talking to her about the recipe I’d seen and showed it to her. It’s the same ingredient list as her recipe, although her recipe came with very specific directions on how to combine the ingredients which were very different from yours. She had actually forgotten to add the leavener (it calls for it at the very end) yet the cake turned out fine, very moist and dense, but not a brick. I can tell already my entire extended family is going to be benefiting from my subscription!

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid , post author

      Hi, Anne! Thanks for sharing your apple cake story. I find it fascinating, the way recipes change (or don’t) over time, and as they pass from one baker’s hands to another. Now I’m curious about the directions on your mom’s version! Susan

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