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Baking

  • Piecrust is like a wild animal; when it sees fear in the eyes of its tamer it goes out of control.

  • Brioches are a light, pale yellow, faintly sweet kind of muffin with a characteristic blob on top, rather like a mushroom just pushing crookedly through the ground. Once eaten in Paris, they never taste as good anywhere else.

    • M.F.K. Fisher,
    • in Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste ()
  • A basic rule of baking is that, in general, it's almost impossible to make an inedible batch of brownies.

  • I do not feel myself called upon to say how many loaves of bread, under my apprenticeship, came out of the oven as heavy as a bad joke ...

  • Black bottom pie [is] so delicate, so luscious, that I hope to be propped up on my dying bed and fed a generous portion. Then I think that I should refuse outright to die, for life would be too good to relinquish.

  • Without wishing in the slightest degree to disparage the skill and labour of breadmakers by trade, truth compels us to assert our conviction of the superior wholesomeness of bread made in our own homes.

  • [On fruitcake:] One last test is to lift it from the oven and listen to it, placing your ear to its side. If you can hear it singing away to itself inside, it is not cooked.

  • When there is very little else left to believe in, one can still believe in an honest loaf of fragrant, home-baked bread.

  • Bread-making is an occupation very conducive, I find, to reflective contemplation. Bread is so fundamental, and there is such satisfaction in kneading and shaping the responsive sponge, and in taking the finished loaves, brown and comely and sweet-smelling, from the oven.

  • It was not just that she couldn't cook, it was much, much more. There was between her and any fresh, frozen or tinned ingredient a sort of malign chemistry. They were born antagonists. He had observed her once making a tart. She didn't just weigh and handle materials, she squared up to them appearing to have some terrible foreknowledge that only an instant and combative readiness could bend them to her will. Her hand had closed over the shrinking pastry ball with a grip of iron.

  • She has got on to the right side of the baking powder, and her cakes and things are so light they fly down your throat of themselves.

    • Susan Hale,
    • letter (1907), in Caroline P. Atkinson, ed., Letters of Susan Hale ()
  • Is anything more homey than a kitchen with cookies in the oven?