What are you baking? November 2023

Baking folks, in case you didn’t see the other thread @hungryonion created, if you do your Amazon black friday or other holiday shopping via the HO affiliate link, you can help defray costs for the site.



Pita with sourdough starter. I wanted to make these because they are made with a decent amount of egg white, which I always have on hand. These also contain a pretty good amount of oil. I often find pita loses a lot when it cools down, but these are so delicious when fully cooled no doubt in part due to these additions plus of course sourdough starter. And they contain more protein than regular pita, too.

I love the crumb here

These do not like deflating even when completely cool.




Ginger hottendots from Classic Home Desserts. I haven’t made these in ages. They’d probably be good for a holiday cookie plate since the ginger is quite forward. Two sheet pans made 114 cookies that had an average diameter of 4cm or about 1.5 inches.


Finally made the fudgy smoked paprika cookies from Cookies: The New Classics and these are definitely worth making. I confess I wrote down the ingredients for half a batch and went into automatic this morning and creamed the butter since so many of the cookies in this book start with creaming, only to realize I was supposed to have melted the butter. I increased the salt because it didn’t seem enough and cut back slightly on the vanilla because it seemed too much.
This book continually has some issues on portioning, as I previously made recipes which called for a scoop that led to far more cookies than what the recipe was supposed to yield. This time I got only 7 cookies when I should have gotten 9, and normally I wouldn’t think much of such a discrepancy except I creamed the butter rather than melted, so if anything I should have ended up with more, not fewer cookies. I think the #16 scoop he calls for must be filled pretty scantily.

The cookies are delicious even for someone like me who isn’t always into double chocolate cookies. The smoked paprika is undeniably present, but doesn’t taste like you’re eating smoked paprika— it tastes like another flavor note in the chocolate. I mentioned I increased the salt, and I’d like to actually increase it a bit more still. Some salt flakes would not be unwelcome here.
Btw I’m amused that the recipes in this book all calling for natural cocoa is supposed to make it more accessible considering the trouble I had in acquiring this cocoa (ended up getting Guittard after never getting a response from Cocolaat about their mistake) and knowing that people who bake regularly are much more likely to have Dutch process exclusively.


Brownies, baby!
Cocoa, rum, chocolate chunks, browned butter.

Not for me, though :joy: Hostess gift (well, for the kids) for tomorrow.

Just half a batch, because they will probably have plenty of Thanksgiving dessert leftovers.

I almost went with the recipe in Yossi Arefi’s new book, but the order of steps just didn’t sit right with me (mainly that the cocoa isn’t bloomed), so I decided it was too risky to try a new recipe for a gift (thanks @MidwesternerTT for cautionary words about new recipes in a different context).


I messaged my cousin’s wife yesterday to let her know that the remainder of the cake would freeze well, (they were leaving for a 10-day trip, and took the cake home Sunday night).

“Remainder?” was the reply I got back — I forget how fast teenage boys can inhale baked goods :joy::rofl:


Here in USA, natural cocoa - Hershey’s regular or Ghirardelli - is far more likely to be in kitchens since every grocery store stocks that. Sorry it took a special search for you to find some. But your cookies look terrific.

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I get that as I lived in the USA most of my life, but my experience is that people who bake regularly buy Dutch process and for myself I always had both in the USA, but have always used Dutch process a lot more because modern recipes are formulated with Dutch process much more often. I can buy natural cocoa powder here no problem as it’s pretty much the only type of cocoa available in Latin America. It’s just not what I would buy for baking as assuming there’s any information on the labels, it’s low fat and I specifically seek out 20%+ fat cocoa powder.
I ordered my natural cocoa online when I lived in the USA, too.

The only thing to come out of my oven today was the apple pie that I’ll bring to my sister’s SIL’s house tomorrow. Basic recipe from my 1976 Better Homes and Garden cookbook.

I’m also making a cookie called Orange-Spice Chewies that I used to make for my late stepfather and my Mom. Well see how they come out.


After the Thanksgiving feasts are put to bed we can take a few days to recover and prepare for…National Cake Day on Sunday November 26 this year.
I’m considering making eirher the white chocooate bundt or the Redwood Inn (pineapple dump) cakes I like or maybe this neat-o frosted pumpkin snack cake I saw. I don’t think I’ll be tired of pumpkin then, since an itty bitty slice will be on my plate on Thanksgiving.


Did you mean people who bake regularly for home consumption or professionally? I’d be curious if it’s true for folks on this baking thread.

(I don’t stock Dutch process, though I can get it nearby if there’s a recipe that insists on it.)

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I don’t even think professionally, but rather people who are in baking communities (here, chowhound, Reddit, etc) frequently extol the virtues of Dutch process because many (somewhat erroneously) consider it higher quality and because it’s frequently called for specifically in recipes whereas natural not nearly as much. If I go through my cookbooks Alice Medrich is an outlier when it comes to calling for natural cocoa, and even she has her recipes where she calls for Dutch process (her whole book on low-fat desserts for example). I see plenty of people annoyed about having to buy natural cocoa to make a specific thing (for example Stella Parks’ Texas sheet cake, when the vast majority of the time she calls for Dutch process) and needing to stock both. When I ran out of natural cocoa powder I was perfectly fine with it because there’s only one particular recipe that specifically requires it, whereas almost everything I make requires Dutch process, can be made with it without issue, and is often better with Dutch process (for example Flo Braker gives a choice on an angel food cake and the Dutch process version was just much better).

Then there’s the popularity of black cocoa in recent years, which is a heavily Dutched type of cocoa powder (and personally I have a mental hang-up about ever buying it because it’s essentially a lower quality cocoa and paying for it is so much about the aesthetic aspect that I just can’t :joy:). Black cocoa cakes and other desserts have really blown up in recent years.

Also back to this book, it’s one where he calls for large quantities of freeze-dried fruit, tahini for black and white cookies, high grade matcha, heck even smoked paprika isn’t necessarily going to be available in a regular supermarket that wouldn’t also stock Dutch process cocoa. Other ingredients: absinthe, Campari, preserved lemon, sumac, muscovado, buckwheat flour, not to mention steps like smoking your own butter. So I just find it a bit puzzling to then go “these recipes call for natural cocoa powder because it’s the most commonly sold in grocery stores”.
Also the FIRST recipe in this book is for black cocoa sandwich cookies. The one exception to the natural cocoa requirement of all other recipes that call for cocoa. It is just illogical! :joy:

I stock both, but have to look up which is which Every. Single. Time.


I tried a few different Russian Shalotka recipes a couple years ago. I can’t remember if I made the Smitten recipe.

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My pastry disc is 100x too cold to roll out and I need to help it warm up. I’m afraid to gently heat it in the oven or microwave, but I need to speed it along. Anyone got a secret technique?

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Beat it with your rolling pin???


it finally warmed up. jeez.


I think you’ll have to keep it out longer, but not too long. Good luck!

Pineapple Casserole (or salad!)


My newest assignment! Anyone tried this? I’m looking at you @Phoenikia !

ETA; Nope! Only the pineapple in common. Apparently a family favorite, here in Conyers, Georgia.