Dear Bakers and Friends,
Welcome to the January 2023 issue of Betterbaking.com and happy New Year to you all!
Shhhhâ€¦do you hear that sound? That small voice whispering is the promise of a whole new do-over. Welcome to 2023! Happy new day to everyone wherever my note finds you. I trust youâ€™re well or on the mend, catching your breath, re-charging and looking ahead with optimism on the cusp of a gorgeous new year. Forget yesterday because today, everything, anythingâ€¦is possible. All this just arrived on your lap at the stroke of midnight last night. We have a clean slate! So carry over the good (and the cannoli) and leave the rest.
I wonâ€™t stay long since Iâ€™m as stunned as you to wake up on the first morning of a new year. I can barely believe the holidays are behind us instead of ahead and I miss them already or at least the anticipation of them. But then, Iâ€™ve also noticed the extra minutes of sunlight each day so thereâ€™s always a letting go of one thing but something else to take its place. Plus as I mentioned, nothing beats a brand new start. And nothing beats the New Yearâ€™s usual theme of wellness quite like home baking!
To woo you back to the kitchen Iâ€™ve created some nice treats. To woo myself back to my own kitchen, I invested in another kitchen island to help make my modest kitchen into a perfect baking nook. Since Iâ€™ve been working on breads so much it was imperative to find another way to make things expedient. Iâ€™ve also added a dough and sourdough starter proofer (and yogurt maker) with aÂ Brod and Taylor proofer,Â Â something Iâ€™ve coveted a long while. My flour bins are stocked, butter blocks are frozen and thereâ€™s a soldierly line-up of fresh spices all saying, bake meâ€™. And so this is where you find me on this crisp and sunny January morning â€“ still a handmaiden to the wheat which is a huge part of my new year, new you wellness machine.
In â€˜shopping newsâ€™, as my eldest son calls my penchant for non-culinary things, Iâ€™ve been investigating some outstanding serums, moisturizers and healthy skin oils with some amazing companies. Stay tuned for that feature up ahead. I might also add in my private book list of books Iâ€™ve loved this past year and those on the TBR shelf. Iâ€™ve been building a bigger following as a book club host and influencer and when the list is ready, Iâ€™ll be pleased to share it. With books, youâ€™re never alone. Itâ€™s also been such a joy to invite the authors to my book club where they chat with my group like weâ€™re all old friends.
My advice to myself this year and anyone who cares to listen is to make small changes in anything you do. And donâ€™t wait for a Monday to start â€“ start where you are - with one small change and build on that. Then itâ€™s easier and the small change moves from a â€˜shiftâ€™ to being part of your fabric. At some point, that new fabric actually morphs into a new and conditioned muscle. When it gets to that stage, add a new small change.
On this rainy, grey, unseasonably mild Montreal New Year's Day all is well in my world. There's a free 30 day yoga class starting, an afternoon of tango and one precious hour of pool time I intend to enjoy. The baking is done and so is this newsletter!
In 2023, I hope you'll stay with me and read or bake with me. In turn, I promise you a haven thatâ€™s rife with potential and a honey-laden adventure that wonâ€™t quit. For now, go outside, be with people, explore your world and then come back here. I'll be here in the kitchen, waiting for you.
Warm wishes from my floury kitchen to yours,
Master Baker, Author, Publisher
Est. 1997 Canada
Recipes for January 2023
Sourdough Pumpernickel Bread
Free!!! Carrot Millet Muffins
Feta and Fig Biscuits
These are biscuits bordering on scones simply because theyâ€™re savoury but theyâ€™re genius! You know how one often pairs feta cheese on crackers with a bit of fig jam or fig slice? Well, these biscuits cut out the middle man and use those wonderful flavors in one flakey package.
Arcade Fire or White Devilâ€™s Food Cake
This is one amazing cake, much like the Indie, now-famous band it was created for. Imagine a dark, dense chocolate cake topped with an old-fashioned white, butter-based icing. If you always frost chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, you will be totally blown away by the change up of white-frosting-on-chocolate not to mention the unique finish of warm marshmallow cream over the whole affair. This cuts in huge slabs of moist, crumb free cake. Visit the band that inspires the cake at www.ArcadeFire.com. Shown here in a layer cake, I usually make it in a 9 by 13 inch pan.