I’m not an impressive baker by any stretch. For a while I knew my way around a no-knead sourdough, but grad school and hot weather killed my baking schedule and then time went and killed my starter (presumably; I’m terrified to look). So I didn’t want to bake something incredibly complicated–I’m out of my depth–but there was a bread I remembered from GBBO that I always wanted to try: the leaf-shaped fougasse.
The dough itself is a pretty basic one: flour, water, salt, yeast, olive oil. A bit of fresh rosemary for yum. I let it go in the stand mixer for a bit and proofed it for an hour. Shaping it wasn’t much harder than making pizza–just with more knife cuts.
There’s a brush of olive oil and a scattering of lovely pink salt. It only bakes for 15 minutes in a hot oven. I slid the parchment paper from my board onto a pizza stone. Easy peasy. Came out lovely and brown.
Somewhere between foccacia and a chewy pita, really. But prettier.
I thought about trying to learn real pastry stuff–patisserie, puff pastry, choux, something like that–but frankly? I don’t have it in me to do the work. Especially for a special treat. Dinner, maybe. So I had to go look up what the hell counts as “pastry” before concluding that, OK, pie crust is pastry. Good enough for me.
Because I’m aiming to make things I haven’t made before, I wanted to do a galette. I might’ve made one before; I don’t really remember. I didn’t make this particular crust recipe before or this particular combination of fillings. And a bonus: it is super easy and forgiving.
I made one recipe of a double crust (I will probably use the other half for another prompt, sshhh) from Vegan Pie in the Sky using half whole wheat pastry flour and half all purpose. It came together really fast in the food processor because I like a useful shortcut, okay? Then I brought it to my partner’s mom’s house to assemble, bake, and enjoy.
Filled with fresh peaches from her tree and raspberries I picked up at the farmers’ market, it came together super easy. After consulting a few recipes and guides, I tossed the fruit with a little sugar, salt, lemon zest (also her tree), and cornstarch, then arranged it on top of the rolled out crust. The edges were folded over a bit haphazardly, then sprayed with a little olive oil and sprinkled with sugar.
Baked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for maybe 35 minutes (started checking around 20), long enough for the crust to get a lovely golden shade and the fruit to bubble.
It’s a slight thing, but perfect. Even the bottom was well cooked.
Also, not super sweet! I don’t like too-sweet desserts; this had a nice balance of tart and sweet.
I have a fondness for carrot cake, despite rarely eating it and possibly never making it. (It might’ve been my parents’ wedding cake?) But I don’t NEED, like, a whole fucking layer cake in my house, especially when I’m cramming in a whole bunch of baking lately. The solution? Cupcakes.
I know. NOVEL.
I used Isa’s recipe from Super Fun Times, halved and poured into eight liners. Also I got to use some rainbow carrots for funsies. (I went with three little orange ones and one big white one. I figured more vibrant colors would get lost in the bake.)
If you’re playing along at home, the bake time for these was about 35 minutes.
Then: frosting. Because an “amazing cake” usually has some kind of extra sugary goodness, right? This was a thing of Kite Hill cream cheese, a little bit of Miyoko’s butter, vanilla extract, some powdered sugar (about a cup?), and lemon zest. It got really loose from the beating, so I chilled it before using.
I was going to be all fancy, but I have like one icing tip and it fucking sucks. I am not good at this shit. So I just put it on with a butter knife and tried to give it some homey looking soft peaks. And oh yeah, a little extra decor.
Sure, I could’ve candied them or something, but I don’t care. They’re pretty enough.
Oh, and tasty enough. Honestly a more important criterion.