We see you — people who are doing their part by staying home amid the coronavirus outbreak. What are you up to? Cooking, to start. Also, baking — lots of baking. After all, why else can’t we find flour and yeast at the stores?
[If you suddenly need to learn to cook, these resources will help guide you]
For those of you just getting into this sweet (or savory) distraction, and for those of you who may be more experienced, we’ve compiled a collection of advice and recipes to help you in your baking journey.
The basics/just getting started
Baking is both an art and a science. It’s helpful to understand the principles at work, as well as when it’s important to follow a recipe and when you can riff. Start with these resources:
Five tips to make you a better baker
You can’t always trust measuring cups, but here’s what you can do about it
Don’t let high-altitude baking get you down. Here’s how to ensure sweet success.
[People are baking bread like crazy, and now we’re running out of flour and yeast]
Proper British Shortbread. (Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Especially now that I’m home with my family all the time, the last thing I want to do is get stuck with a sink full of dishes (and yet it happens anyway). With a one-bowl baking recipe, I can be guaranteed minimal mess to clean up, so I can focus on eating what I just made — and parenting my toddler.
One-bowl baking: How to simplify your baking, and cleanup
And some recipes:
Fudgy Flourless Brownies
Warm Blondie Pudding Cake
Proper British Shortbread
Find more one-bowl baking recipes here.
Pillowy Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls. (Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Bread doesn’t have to be intimidating. Given time and some basic technique, you can start churning out your own loaves and rolls without too much stress. If you’re interested in no-knead breads, great. If you’re interested in a long-term investment, such as sourdough, or just a day-long project, we can assist you there, too.
I went to bread camp to take my sourdough loaves to the next level. Here’s what I learned.
How to make your own sourdough starter for bread, pancakes, waffles and more
Now for the recipes to put that yeast and flour to work:
No-Knead Whole-Wheat Bread
Pillowy Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls
No-Knead English Muffins
Za’atar Rubbed Pitas
Chocolate Chunk Tahini Blondies. (Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Amanda Soto/The Washington Post)
Cookies are always a great thing to bake, especially for beginners. You usually get a lot per batch, which you can share and enjoy when they come out of the oven or freeze for later. So often they’re tinged with nostalgia and comfort. That’s a good thing by us.
Take the sweetest trip around the country with these 14 American regional cookie recipes
The 9 essential cookies every home baker should know how to make
Here are some of our favorites not included in the stories above. And, yes, we’re including bars in the mix:
Chocolate Chunk Tahini Blondies
Creamy Orange Cookies
Salted Honey Bars With Thyme
Almond Biscotti (Cantucci di Prato)
Simple Customizable Pavlova. (Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Gluten-free baking is better now than ever before. From store-bought blends to recipes designed to be specifically gluten-free, it’s easy to be inclusive. Whether you want to make anything from cookies to bread, know that success is within reach.
How to use gluten-free flour blends in your everyday baking
Here’s how to succeed at gluten-free bread baking
8 gluten-free cookie recipes so everyone can join in
Check out these recipes as well:
Chocolate Almond Cookies
Simple Customizable Pavlova
Gluten-Free Pizza Dough
Black Olive and Honey Gluten-Free Bread
Strawberry and Pistachio Olive Oil Cake
Chocolate, Red Bean and Rose Brownies
(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Your recipes will only turn out as good as your equipment, but you don’t need the fanciest gear for success. You just need to know how to use what you have correctly and make some worthwhile investments.
Yes, you really do need two types of measuring cups. Here’s why.
Don’t underestimate your hand mixer. Here’s how to put it to work for you.
Five essential pans to use for baking and so much more
How to swap baking pan sizes without ruining your recipe
The tools you need to bake better cookies
7 sweet treats that taste better in a cast-iron skillet
(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Always make sure you choose the ingredients that are best suited for what you’re baking. But also feel free to explore and experiment with a particular type.
How to choose the right flour for the right baking recipe
These are the 4 types of sugar even the most casual baker should always have on hand
So many cartons, so little time: A guide to grocery store eggs
Freeze-dried fruit is the colorful, concentrated flavor boost your baking deserves
How to work with chocolate, and not have a meltdown doing it
The best thing to do with heavy cream? Whip it, whip it good.
(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Baking Basics newsletter
If you want someone to guide you as you work on your baking, sign up for our Baking Basics newsletter, with self-taught baker turned professional, food photographer and cookbook author Joy “The Baker” Wilson. Every Friday for eight weeks, you’ll get detailed instruction, clever tips and a recipe for one of eight classic recipes, including Dutch oven bread, biscuits, pecan sticky rolls and pound cake. Sign up here.
Here’s a sampling of her recipes:
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sticky Pecan Rolls
More from Voraciously:
A note from the Food editor: We’re in this together. What do you need?
Grocery shopping during the coronavirus: Wash your hands, keep your distance and limit trips
The 10 best breads in the world