Eating Together: Stephenie Gardiner

With baking, I love that I can take some pretty normal, sometimes bland, things, put them together, and out comes something so mouthwateringly tasty! It’s always fun to have those “use what I have” days and see what I can come up with. I also love that most life is done around food and drink. You’re happy, you celebrate with food; you’re sad, you comfort with food; you’re bored, you graze with food. Why not enjoy the food you fill your life with?

I started playing in the kitchen with food when I was around 10 years old or so. I remember finding my mom’s Betty Crocker cookbook she got for her wedding, and I would turn to the cake and cookie section and read all the recipes top to bottom. I would then go back to one and try to make it, and I made all of my birthday cakes. If something didn’t work or didn’t taste right, I would scrap it and start over — I’m a little obsessive when it comes to getting things right. When I moved on to macarons, I bet I made hundreds before I got to where I would let people try or even see them. The elusive vegan mac is my new “get it right” obsession.

Bread means comfort to me. Warm, fresh bread slathered with my favorite butter … mmmm. We bake it here at the shop Bon Bon’s because people like to have bread with simple, fresh ingredients. Plus, it makes the bakery smell really nice. It gives our customers a way to grab a fresh loaf before going to a dinner party or just to snack on at home. We have regular bread customers who look forward to Bread Day. 

 

French Bread

2 tablespoons yeast

½ cup water

2 cups hot water

3 tablespoons sugar

2 ½ teaspoons salt

1/3 cup oil

6 1/2 cups flour

Egg wash

 

Proof yeast in water until bubbly with sugar. When bubbly, add all other ingredients and mix until smooth.

Let rise in a covered bowl until doubled in size.

Cut into two halves and shape into loaves.

Slice three lines on top of each loaf.

Place on the back side of the sprayed sheet pan.

Let rise until doubled.

Gently spread with egg wash.

Bake.

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