The fourth eight weeks of shelter-in-place stress baking with Jill

This update is really late. Like, I’ve been sitting on the set since October, but a lot of stuff came up. We had the election, which has been going on for, at last count, two years. And my dishwasher broke. And there were holidays.

And that’s just the things that caused me to not get around to posting. Some of this baking was done when the skies were orange like in Blade Runner 2049.

Also, for my lockdown birthday, on a date not specified because of OpSec, I decided against baking my own cake. Nor was it fair for me to demand that my wife bake me a cake herself when she could order one. Which ended up having a Gâteau St. Honoré, because I haven’t yet dared make myself one.

Week Twenty-Five: English muffins (some of them raisin) and sugar cookies

Recipe from Flour: A Baker’s Collection of Spectacular Recipes by Joanne Chang.

My sugar cookies, from Joanne Chang’s cookbook, make a wide variety of people really really happy. In this case, it was a friend’s birthday.

I decided, instead of frosting them, that I’d cover them with sugar sprinkles.

Week Twenty-Six: Cinnamon Churro Challah


The Nosher has a bunch of really fascinating recipes and, while I’m not Jewish, it did seem a worthy idea to try them out anyways.

I’ve got at generally 5 different sugar crystal forms in my cabinet and I really like the look I get from using several different sizes.

Week Twenty-Seven: Teacakes, Donut Muffins, Challah, and a mid-week bread pudding

This was a week where I was sending some people food, so I had to bake extra goodies, which was mostly an exercise in figuring out what I could make given that one person had some exotic allergies and another person didn’t really like the textural aspects of having fruit or nut bits in their food, except for certain particular baked goods where it’s OK.

I also turned the previous week’s Cinnamon Churro Challah into bread pudding.

Week Twenty-Eight: Peanut butter cookies, English muffin toasting bread

Recipe from Brave Tart by Stella Parks

One of my friends was describing the baked goods she really really liked in life. One of them was peanut butter cookies. So I did some digging through my cookbooks and procured all of the extra ingredients for the Brave Tart version of them so I could send them to her.

I figured, after all of the English muffins, that making a loaf-ish version of them would be fun. And it does have that English muffin sort of texture to it when you slice it and toast it.

Week Twenty-Nine: Apple Muffins and a Pan Noix accident

My wife likes a considerable amount of apple things, so of course I had to try apple muffins.

I also tried to make Pain aux noix, except I screwed up and used bread flour instead of wheat flour, so I need to try that all over again.

You could say that was a pain-ful screw up.

Week Thirty: Blueberry muffins and Browned butter bread

Someone my wife knew got some bad news and so I was pressed into service to make blueberry muffins for them.

Week Thirty-One: Fruitcake and a repeat of the wheat bread

I have a distinct memory when I was a little kid of being at my grandmother’s place and her explaining that lots of people make fun of fruitcakes, but that she likes fruitcakes.

And so she cuts me a slice and lets me have some and I, being the sort of person who eyed the green-dyed cherries at the store, thought it was just great as well. So ever since then, I’ve also been a fan of fruitcake.

When we got a fruitcake a few years ago as part of the holiday basket, I engaged in some peer pressure to urge my coworkers to try some, and they declared it “not as bad as they thought”

I decided that this year was the time for me to make it from scratch. Which I did, although my fruit mixture is a bit different. It was mostly a trial batch, made in cupcake form, so I’d be able to gauge how a second batch would turn out.

In The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, she talks about how her recipe for fruitcake is actually OK in cupcake form straight out of the oven and it was. But then, some weeks later, after being soaked with more rum, it changed into something else and that’s also really good.

Week Thirty-Two: Oatmeal Raisin bread and Halloween Barmbrack

I’d been eyeing the Irish Halloween Barmbrack recipe for a while and it was time. It was Halloween.

I cooked it a little too long, but it was still quite tasty.

And then I wanted some sort of wheat bread and did kind of a whacky mix-up of the Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey bread with the addition of raisins.


Still more new recipes tried out.

Still living in a world of plague, but during this period, I was also living in a world with orange-red Bladerunner 2049 skies.

And I should probably be planning the next food post sooner instead of posting October’s baking in December.