I don’t know about you, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that 2013 is over. It seems like the older that I get, the faster the years fly by. Does anyone else feel that way?
Last year around this time I started a series on IBC called “A Year of Yeast.” As I stated at the outset of the series, I wanted to overcome my fear of recipes involving yeast. I managed to overcome that fear and bake eleven different yeast “breads.” I had hoped to try a few more recipes, but the series faded a bit toward the end of the year. Despite that, I am so pleased that I faced my fear head on and now have some delicious new recipes in my culinary repertoire.
Today, I thought I would recap my three personal favorites from “A Year of Yeast” and share my new series for 2014 (which I probably already gave away through the first picture in this post.)
To be honest with you, picking three favorites was pretty tough because I was actually a fan of every recipe. However, a few really stuck out from the rest.
First, the Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze.
Not only does this taste fabulous, but the presentation is gorgeous. As with most of these recipes, despite being a tad time consuming, it’s really simple to put together. Serve this up for a breakfast (even if it’s a breakfast for one) and you’ll be guaranteed to please everyone in attendance.
Second, the Pizza Bread.
This has become one of my go-to appetizers. My friends and I had an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party in December and this was one of the dishes I made. The flavor in this is out of control! Plus, who doesn’t love pizza and a recipe that allows you to customize the ingredients to suit your tastes.
Finally, the Cinnamon Bun Bites.
I’m a sucker for anything that resembles or tastes like a cinnamon roll. The combination of dough, cinnamon, and icing is pure heaven to me. These work as a great finger food on a brunch buffet, afternoon snack, or casual dessert. You’ll be making these at every opportunity.
In case you missed any recipes in the series, here are the names and links to all the recipes:
Jim Lahey’s Stecca, “Everything” Flatbread, Jalapeño Cheddar Bread, Gorgonzola and Sun-Dried Tomato Bread, Lemon Pull-Apart Bread, Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia, Cinnamon Bun Bites, Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, Pizza Bread, Spiral Apple Bread, and Braided Nutella Bread.
Okay, now onto this year’s new series. A few months ago I was walking around in Powell’s Books in Portland and stumbled upon the book, A Year of Pies. It was one of those a-ha moments; I knew immediately that pies would be my next cooking challenge.
I can honestly say I have never made homemade pie crust. That’s pretty sad, right? So, this year I plan to become a pie aficionado with my new series “A Year of Pie.”
To get the inspiration flowing, I picked up these three books.
After briefly flipping though the pages, I’ve already found several recipes I can’t wait to try. I’m also looking forward to baking some family favorites such as Strawberry Rhubarb and Graham Cracker.
Something I didn’t consider until I was perusing the recipes is that there are a plethora of savory pies as well. So while I’ll probably end up focusing more on the sweet pies, I may throw a few of the former into the mix for good measure.
Regardless of what I decide to bake, I’m just super excited to have this opportunity to perfect my crust making skills. Plus, I’ll get to sample all of my creations. Not a bad perk, eh?
What do you think of this idea for a new series? Any pie recipes you’d like to see me tackle this year?