Today marked the first time I consciously, on a holiday, did something for me. I put on my morning baking playlist, which I spent a week putting together, and baked. It was less important what I was baking, which I’m sure you’re wondering what came out of the oven, and more about loving every moment of it, from walking in my kitchen with bare feet, to pre-heating the oven, to having buttery hands, to washing my hands countless times, to reading recipes I had never made before, to taking a break to start my batch of Kombucha, to making mistakes, to bake for me.

Baking as a profession turned baking into less of something for me and more of something for you—which is great; but, through its repetition, I forgot why I baked or how I felt when I baked.

Maybe it’s more important to just listen to the playlist if you’re not a baker. Maybe it’s more important to know that sometimes through repetition, we forget how special a certain day, or a certain body movement, or a certain act can feel. Put intention back into something that seems so mundane. I remind myself that there is no one judging me, especially if that thing makes me happy.

Here’s what spent time in my oven today and their recipes:

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Pizza, one half sheet pan

This recipe is adapted from my good friend Pam Yung, who baked me a loaf of bread in 2015 that changed the direction my heart fluttered. She is an incredible woman who inspires me.

188g AP or 00 flour*
23g whole wheat flour*
165g bread flour*
56g levain
293g water
9g salt
15g olive oil

Mixing: Mix until combined.
Bulk ferment for 4 hours, folding 3 times.
Place in slightly oiled container. Refrigerate overnight.
Final proof if baking in a pan: Let dough come to room temperature, 2-3 hours. Oil pan and place the stretched dough on top. Rest 30 minutes before topping and baking.
Baking: As hot as your oven will go and until you get the color of the crust you want and the crispiness your heart desire. Use a pizza stone if you have one.

* Feel free to make your own blend.
** If wanting to make round pizzas, placed into the oven with a peel, lower hydration slightly.

 

Lemon Bars

With more lemons than I know what to do with, foraged from a good friend’s tree, I found a recipe I hadn’t made in over 5 years. It seemed like the right time to revisit old memories.

340g butter, cold and cubed (1.5C)
405g AP flour (3C)
94g 10x (0.75C)
2 lemons, zested
1t. salt

600g sugar (3C)
9 eggs, room temp
355g lemon juice (1.5C)
9t. lemon zest

For the crust, mix until sandy and press into half sheet pan lined with parchment. Parbake 18-20 minutes at 350°F until lightly golden brown.

For the filling, mix sugar, eggs, and lemon juice. (If you have a hand blender, use that, or else make sure to strain to remove the tough parts of the egg whites.) Add lemon zest. When the crust comes out of the oven, pour mixture over it. Bake 20-25 minutes until set. When cool, dust with powdered sugar and slice.

 

Lemon Shaker Pie

Not being raised in a household where a grandma made pies, I decided to make a new pie that I had never made before. If pies are my jam, I am destined to try as many of them as I can.

3 lemons
400g sugar (2C)
2.5g salt (1/2t.)
3 eggs`
1 yolk
17g AP flour (2T)

2 pie crusts

Slice lemons thin on a mandoline, remove seeds, and mix with sugar. Let it sit overnight. Place sliced lemons in pie shell. Add eggs and flour to lemon juice mixture. Pour into pie pan. Top with layer of pie dough. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes, lower oven to 350°F and bake for 30-35 minutes until set. Let it cool until room temp. Chill one hour before serving.

 

Chewy Sorghum Cookies

Take your favorite molasses cookie recipe and replace the molasses with sorghum. It’s a “less intense” cookie where the spices come through a little more.

170g butter
150g sugar
50g dark brown sugar
50g eggs
85g sorghum
2g salt
270g AP Flour
8g baking soda
5g cinnamon
2.5g cardamom, ground
1g nutmeg
1g ginger

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, sorghum, and salt. Add dries. Portion into balls and roll in raw sugar. Bake 350°F. Bake a few minutes less than you normally do if you want them to be soft and chewy.