Category Archives: Baking

What are conchas?

Mexican Concha

Conchas are a sweet yeast bread roll that can be found in many Mexican markets. The pan dulces, or sweet breads, are named for the shape of their topping, which is applied with a shell-like pattern. The dough used to make these buns is a light yeast dough that is typically enriched with eggs, butter or shortening, and sugar. The bun itself is only lightly ... Read More »

What is clear vanilla?

Clear Vanilla Extract

There is more than one type of vanilla flavoring on the market. There is vanilla extract, which is made by macerating vanilla beans in an alcohol solution to extract the beans’ natural flavors, and there is imitation or artificial vanilla extract, which is produced with synthetic vanillin, the same compound that is naturally found in vanilla beans. You can also find alcohol-free vanilla flavorings, if you want to ... Read More »

Tips for Troubleshooting Pie Crusts


Pie crusts are intimidating to many bakers because we always hear how difficult and temperamental they are to make. Pie crusts are not that difficult to make, but there are quite a few problems that you can encounter with them and, unfortunately, sometimes you won’t know what is wrong with a pie until after you have baked it, so make sure to read through these ... Read More »

How to use Greek Yogurt in Baking


Over one third of the yogurts sold in most grocery stores are Greek or Greek-style yogurt, taking over shelf space where “traditional” yogurts once sat. Greek yogurts are thick and tangy, with a distinct natural yogurt taste that isn’t covered up by too much sugar or additional flavorings. Greek-style, for reference, typically means a thick or strained yogurt that isn’t made with milk that has ... Read More »

Micro-bakeries are raising the bar for bread

Freshly baked Epi

Artisan bakeries have been a trend for so many years that they’re not a trend anymore – they’re simply where we go to look for great bread. But even though the idea of artisan bread has been around for some time now, that doesn’t mean that it is widely available. In large cities – especially places with very strong foodie traditions – you’ll find more ... Read More »

What is Coconut Flour?

Coconut Flour brands

Coconut flour is a gluten free “flour” that is essentially dried coconut in powdered form. It is made from the coconut solids that are left over after the meat been used to produce coconut milk. The solids are ground into a very fine, flour-like powder. The flour is popular for gluten free and low-carb baking, since it is low in carbohydrates and very high in ... Read More »

What is imitation vanilla?

Gold Medal Imitation Vanilla Extract

Vanilla is a staple ingredient for bakers and I use it in almost every one of my recipes. Vanilla beans are the most expensive form of vanilla and are a popular choice when making ice creams and custards, where you really want to see the seeds from the vanilla pods. Vanilla extract is the most commonly used form of vanilla and it is an alcohol solution that ... Read More »

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