How to Make Sourdough With…Beets? (Or Any Vegetable!)

The Perfect Loaf is a column from software engineer-turned-bread expert (and Food52’s Resident Bread Baker), Maurizio Leo. Maurizio is here to show us all things naturally leavened, enriched, yeast-risen, you name it—basically, every vehicle to slather…

The Perfect Loaf is a column from software engineer-turned-bread expert (and Food52's Resident Bread Baker), Maurizio Leo. Maurizio is here to show us all things naturally leavened, enriched, yeast-risen, you name it—basically, every vehicle to slather on a lot of butter. Today, a guide to making vibrant, flavorful loaves with vegetable purees.


Creating a recipe for a loaf of bread oftentimes requires a series of trials, where each trial inches you closer toward your ideal. It’s your job, as the baker, to figure out the inputs (flour, water, mix-ins, salt, preferment) and the process (mixing, bulk fermentation, shaping, proofing) to get you there. And for me, this is perhaps the most exciting part about baking sourdough bread: It’s like seeing a picture of a finished, beautiful puzzle, then being handed a box of scattered pieces to put together yourself.

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How to Light a Christmas Pudding on Fire (Because Why Not?)

To an American palate, Christmas pudding may taste like a yummy, gooey, extra-rich fruitcake (in a good way) that’s slathered with hard sauce (which ensures that you will like it even if you don’t care for fruitcake) and eaten with a spoon.
This is on…

To an American palate, Christmas pudding may taste like a yummy, gooey, extra-rich fruitcake (in a good way) that's slathered with hard sauce (which ensures that you will like it even if you don’t care for fruitcake) and eaten with a spoon.

This is one family’s version of a traditional English Christmas pudding, famously carried to the table in flames with a sprig of holly on top. It's studded with dried fruit—three kinds of raisins, plus prunes—along with chopped fresh apples and almonds, bread crumbs, grated suet (raw beef fat), stout, and brandy. A little flour and a couple of eggs hold it all together.

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11 Great Corn Syrup Substitutes (in Case You Don’t Have it on Hand)

In the U.S., at least, corn syrup is ubiquitous. We mix it into our marshmallows and pour it over our pancakes; we sip it in our sodas and cook it into our caramels. In its high-fructose form, the average American has consumed more than 40 pounds a yea…

In the U.S., at least, corn syrup is ubiquitous. We mix it into our marshmallows and pour it over our pancakes; we sip it in our sodas and cook it into our caramels. In its high-fructose form, the average American has consumed more than 40 pounds a year over the past decade. Light and dark corn syrups, the versions typically used by home cooks, can be found in nearly every supermarket and bodega in the country.

And yet, here you are, in search of a substitute. Maybe it’s for health reasons. Maybe you don’t feel like walking to the store. Maybe you’ve slipped into an alternate reality where Gottlieb Kirchhoff seriously miscalculated the sulfuric acid concentration before taking a sip of his new syrup, and didn’t survive to share his results. If you’ve never heard of Gottlieb Kirchhoff, then that must be it.

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Our 30 Best Puffy, Fluffy, Ready-for-Butter Yeast Bread Recipes

Any time of day, a warm, fluffy loaf of bread can seemingly fix just about any problem. Whether it be a simple cranberry-hazelnut toast, lathered with a generous smear of cultured (or vegan!) butter for breakfast, or a whole wheat pizza loaded with the…

Any time of day, a warm, fluffy loaf of bread can seemingly fix just about any problem. Whether it be a simple cranberry-hazelnut toast, lathered with a generous smear of cultured (or vegan!) butter for breakfast, or a whole wheat pizza loaded with the season’s freshest ingredients for dinner, bread in any form is sure to put a smile on your face.

To celebrate all things gluten and yeast, we’ve gathered 30 of the best yeast bread recipes that go far beyond your average loaf.

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These 16 Savory Tart Recipes Are Buttery, Flaky, Delicious

In winter, the constant desire to have something delicious baking in the oven, warming and perfuming the house, has me making a lot of savory tarts.
I love them: Add a pile of lightly dressed greens and you’ve got a meal, but cut off a sliver a few ho…

In winter, the constant desire to have something delicious baking in the oven, warming and perfuming the house, has me making a lot of savory tarts.

I love them: Add a pile of lightly dressed greens and you’ve got a meal, but cut off a sliver a few hours later and it’s a perfectly acceptable snack. And like many of my favorite baked goods, they are open to tons of possibilities, which leaves the window wide open for creative combinations.

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Extra-Cozy Fall Desserts to Add to Your Baking Wish List

In partnership with Lodge Cast Iron, we’re celebrating the holiday season with our favorite fall desserts. Whether you’re baking up a tender apple cake or chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, Lodge Cast Iron’s bakeware line—starring essentials like pi…

In partnership with Lodge Cast Iron, we're celebrating the holiday season with our favorite fall desserts. Whether you’re baking up a tender apple cake or chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, Lodge Cast Iron’s bakeware line—starring essentials like pie pans, casserole dishes, loaf pans, skillets, and more—will help make sure your sweet treats (savory recipes, too!) come out juuuust right.


As the weather gets cooler and the leaves begin to turn red and golden-yellow, we’re gearing up for the endless amounts of baking that the holidays (and your hungry family and friends) demand.

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Can You Swap Salted and Unsalted Butter in Baking?

Do you ever round up all of the exciting, far-reaching ingredients you need for a baking project (Rooibos tea leaves! Golden syrup! Prune butter!), completely overlooking the basics? Obviously have butter, you think.

Do you ever round up all of the exciting, far-reaching ingredients you need for a baking project (Rooibos tea leaves! Golden syrup! Prune butter!), completely overlooking the basics? Obviously have butter, you think.

Photo by James Ransom

Except you return home, flushed on the high that is tracking down goat milk, only to realize you have salted butter, and the recipe calls for unsalted. Or the other way around. So it's time to get creative: Can they be used interchangeably by adding or reducing the amount of additional salt used?

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This Essential Bakery Tool Makes Any Bread Recipe Easier

If you’ve ever made bread dough, you’ve probably stumbled across the phrase “until doubled” more than once. See here for “until doubled in bulk.” Here and here for “until doubled in size.” And, just to shake things up, here for “increased by at least…

If you’ve ever made bread dough, you’ve probably stumbled across the phrase “until doubled” more than once. See here for “until doubled in bulk.” Here and here for “until doubled in size.” And, just to shake things up, here for “increased by at least one-third of its size.”

But eyeballing this growth is harder than it sounds.

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10 Ways to Upgrade Boxed Cake Mix, From a Pro Baker

Even though the best-quality cake mixes don’t completely live up to the taste of a cake made from scratch (thanks to the preservatives and additives needed to keep it shelf-stable), we’ve all probably made or eaten one at some point.

Whether you’re sh…

Even though the best-quality cake mixes don’t completely live up to the taste of a cake made from scratch (thanks to the preservatives and additives needed to keep it shelf-stable), we’ve all probably made or eaten one at some point.

Whether you’re short on time, looking for convenience, or not a super-confident baker (yet!), sometimes life will call for a boxed cake mix. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to upgrade all sorts of boxed cakes mixes, from classic yellow cake to moist chocolate fudge cake.

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