The Absolute Best Way to Make Croutons, According to So Many Tests

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She’s boiled dozens of eggs, mashed a concerning number of potatoes, and seared more porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall. Today, she tackl…

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She's boiled dozens of eggs, mashed a concerning number of potatoes, and seared more porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall. Today, she tackles croutons.


On the wall of a café in the historic district of Moscow, not far from the Elektrozavodskaya metro station, hangs the portrait of a young woman. She stares into the eyes of whoever passes her canvas, lips parted merrily to reveal just her upper incisors. Strands of hair whip across her forehead and nose as if she’s caught in a gust of wind.

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What Is Durum Wheat (& How the Heck Do You Bake With It)

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, how to turn high-protein durum flour into a golden loaf of bread.


If you’re a fresh pasta-maker, chances are high you’re familiar with durum wheat. Though the species is most commonly used to make pasta, it’s also an excellent choice to incorporate into bread. It’s a hard wheat—hence the name durum, which is Latin for “hard,”—and is so-called because of the strength of the durum berry itself, requiring significant force to mill. The grain has a high protein percentage, but the gluten quality in durum flour doesn’t have the same gas-trapping characteristics as traditional wheat. This means when using even finely-milled durum flour. The resulting bread will have a tighter, more cake-like crumb, or internal structure, somewhat akin to a loaf of whole wheat bread (as opposed to a super-light loaf with large inner holes, like a country loaf). Though there are visual and textural differences to a loaf of bread made durum wheat, there’s no compromise made: The color, aroma, and flavors from durum are all quite striking when used in bread, yielding a more rustic loaf but nonetheless delicious.

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How a Self-Taught Baker Became a Pro Bagel Consultant

Making bagels is sort of like practicing law. At least, it is according to lawyer and full-time “bagel consultant” Beth George.

The 57-year-old is the mastermind behind Fair Lawn, N.J.–based BYOB Bagels (the acronym is for both “Build Your Own Busines…

Making bagels is sort of like practicing law. At least, it is according to lawyer and full-time “bagel consultant” Beth George.

The 57-year-old is the mastermind behind Fair Lawn, N.J.–based BYOB Bagels (the acronym is for both “Build Your Own Business” and “Be Your Own Boss”), a bagel-focused consulting firm that has helped open more than 60 bagel shops across five continents.

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Brothy Beans & Greens with Grilled Bread

With little more than some aromatics and time (also: thyme), drab dried beans become tender and buttery in a richly flavored broth, complete with wilted bitter greens and grilled bread to top it all off. Dried beans are a pantry staple, but it can take some practice to cook them properly! This brothy beans and […]

The post Brothy Beans & Greens with Grilled Bread first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

With little more than some aromatics and time (also: thyme), drab dried beans become tender and buttery in a richly flavored broth, complete with wilted bitter greens and grilled bread to top it all off.

Dried beans are a pantry staple, but it can take some practice to cook them properly! This brothy beans and greens recipe is our favorite method, resulting in a rich bean broth that’s surprisingly full of flavor. Serve with slices of toasted crusty bread for the perfect meal!

Two charcoal gray bowls with brothy white beans and wilted kale, with slices of grilled sourdough bread

2020 was undeniably the Year of the Bean.

Dried beans were not something we cooked with any regularity before last year. We honestly had no clue what we were doing in the beginning, and the first few batches surely reflected that (mmm crunchy beans).

Surprisingly, now that we have a bit more experience with them, we’ve been pleasantly surprised at just how good a properly-cooked pot of beans can be. Easily as satisfying as a good plate of pasta, and significantly healthier at that.

We’ve made probably made these brothy beans and greens, or something similar, at least a dozen times in the past year, and every single time it turns out different. So finally, after enjoying yet another soul-satisfying bowl of brothy beans, we decided to start writing things down and fine-tuning our favorite aromatics and additions so we could share it here with you.

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1-Pot Chickpea Noodle Soup

Everyone needs a good, homemade noodle soup in their arsenal, especially when someone in the family is under the weather. This version is slightly modified from a recipe in our cookbook!
Carrots and celery add bursts of color and fiber, gluten-free noo…

1-Pot Chickpea Noodle Soup

Everyone needs a good, homemade noodle soup in their arsenal, especially when someone in the family is under the weather. This version is slightly modified from a recipe in our cookbook!

Carrots and celery add bursts of color and fiber, gluten-free noodles and chickpeas add protein and texture, and thyme and bay leaf marry all of the flavors together. Cozy up to a bowl of this simple, 1-pot, plant-based soup that’s perfect for making ahead and enjoying as needed!

1-Pot Chickpea Noodle Soup from Minimalist Baker →

A Journey in Enriched Sourdough: Buttery, Savory Cheese Rolls

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 fluffy, perfectly enriched rolls.


Harmony—a word that sums up the primary concern when developing a recipe that involves multiple ingredients and components; cooks and bakers know this all too well. When creating a new baking formula, I often step back to assess what I’m making to ensure all the components work in greater unity. The texture and flavors must play their part in contributing to the overall eating experience, and a successful recipe hinges on the presence of all these components in just the right proportion.

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How to Make Crisp (but Not Too Crisp!) Crostini

Some of the most complex recipes have the fewest ingredients and steps—because there’s nothing to hide behind. Success hinges on high-quality ingredients and excellent technique.

Which brings me to my biggest culinary pet peeve: sub-par crostini. When…

Some of the most complex recipes have the fewest ingredients and steps—because there’s nothing to hide behind. Success hinges on high-quality ingredients and excellent technique.

Which brings me to my biggest culinary pet peeve: sub-par crostini. When made well, these delicate toasts are a blank canvas with unlimited potential. Marcella Hazan defined them as “the easy-to-make Italian equivalent of croutons,” but crostini require a high attention to detail.

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Can a Computer Write the Internet’s Best Cake Recipe? Google Thinks So.

Some think AI—artificial intelligence—could take over the world. Others fear that machine learning, a nascent technology that feeds data to computers and then allows it to customize and make its own decisions, could steal jobs, rob us of our humanity a…

Some think AI—artificial intelligence—could take over the world. Others fear that machine learning, a nascent technology that feeds data to computers and then allows it to customize and make its own decisions, could steal jobs, rob us of our humanity and render us useless. Sure, all of that could happen. In the meantime, Google is programming AI to bake cakes

Building off the popularity of baking during quarantine, the team at Google put together a machine learning model to get to the bottom of baking science.

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Bostock

One of the lesser-known French pastries is Bostock. Perhaps it’s the funny name that doesn’t sound very French, as pain au chocolat or chausson aux pommes do, that’s been keeping it out of the spotlight. True, the name does sound like a Swiss bouillon mix and although I’ve read it’s from Normandy, I haven’t found any conclusive evidence of that. But wherever it’s from, the…

One of the lesser-known French pastries is Bostock. Perhaps it’s the funny name that doesn’t sound very French, as pain au chocolat or chausson aux pommes do, that’s been keeping it out of the spotlight. True, the name does sound like a Swiss bouillon mix and although I’ve read it’s from Normandy, I haven’t found any conclusive evidence of that. But wherever it’s from, the good thing about Bostock is that it’s one of the easiest desserts to make and doesn’t require rolling out any pastry, spending a day making brioche, or rely on any fancy techniques. It’s one of my very favorite things to eat.

Bostock was likely invented to use up leftover brioche that bakeries had on hand after they closed their doors. Bakers everywhere are naturally thrifty and this is a clever way to use up leftover bread, whether it be brioche, challah, or any firm-textured white bread, such as pain de mie.

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You Think 2020 Was the Year of Sourdough? Look Back to the Gold Rush

When the discovery of gold near Coloma, Calif., in 1848 ignited a massive influx of prospectors to the area from other regions of the United States, as well as Europe, Asia, and Australia, many arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs. …

When the discovery of gold near Coloma, Calif., in 1848 ignited a massive influx of prospectors to the area from other regions of the United States, as well as Europe, Asia, and Australia, many arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs. Among the few prized possessions brought along for the journey were jars of sourdough starter—the mixture of fermented flour and water used to make bread without commercial yeast—that held the promise of a full belly. To thousands of hopeful (and hungry) miners who risked it all in pursuit of striking it rich, those jars of cultivated wild yeast represented a semblance of stability and a taste of home, even amid backbreaking work and an uncertain future. Legend has it that the miners even hugged their starters at night to keep the cultures warm and help them survive.

Sourdough starter served as a lifeline to which the miners literally clung. Due to the sudden population explosion, farms couldn’t keep up with the surge in demand, rendering affordable food an elusive commodity in many parts of the state. Moreover, the discovery of gold excited locals, too: As California’s farm workers left their agricultural jobs to pan for gold, farms that had once supported the state's economy sat abandoned. Local food merchants, smelling opportunity as droves of miners rushed the goldfields, inflated prices on everything from fruit to flour: A single egg could command as much as $3 (more than $80 per egg in today’s dollars). Suffice it to say, many merchants struck more riches than gold miners; after traveling thousands of arduous miles to stake their claim to wealth, most hopefuls in the mining camps ultimately made little money. Faced with limited funds and resources, the miners could extend a small amount of purchased flour by mixing it with sourdough starter—a more affordable solution than buying a fresh loaf of bread.

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