All this year I've been doing a self-designed that I've been chronicling at Instagram, and am now doing here. Here are the (also known as rolls) I posted about earlier (see my timeline for more), now with an egg wash and "everything bagel" seasoning after baking. Kaiser rolls are kind of a pain to shape by hand, but they're SO much nicer than the plain buns baked in "Kaiser roll-shaped" bread pans like you see at the store.

@jasonpettus Jason out of curiosity have you ever tried doing Kardemummabullar (the Swedish cardamom buns they serve with coffee) I have always wanted to try my hand at it but never got the chance. Are you focusing on yeast breads, with a starter? Tell us all about it.

@mshawkanddove I tried sourdough with a starter earlier this year, but decided (controversially at my co-op) that as long as you're using high-quality flour and following the long wait times of , there's no real difference in taste or look when using store-bought yeast versus wild yeast caught from the air. Anyone who disagrees can fight me! (cont)

@mshawkanddove I've made something like 25 different things now this year, including gluten-free, alternative flours like chickpea, French baguettes and more. I've mostly been concentrating, though, on perfecting the basic Rustic French boule, because the main reason I'm learning is so I can make healthier bread for my sad 53-year-old middle-aged belly than the horrifically unhealthy bread you buy at the store. See all my earlier experiments at . (cont)

@jasonpettus I am, alas, not on the ‘gram. But if you post these lovely morsels here I shall sit and drool and cry for bread and roses.

@mshawkanddove My natural taste has gravitated mostly towards savory things, although I've made a number of muffin and scone types this year too. The big concentration has been on making things for the 20-person group meals we have here at the co-op each night, such as breadsticks, rolls, focaccia, etc.

@mshawkanddove The single biggest surprise this year is that if you use the more delicate flour from (99% of commercial bread is made from the hardier and cheaper but heavier and grosser red berry strain of wheat), you can basically make whole-wheat bread that's as light and fluffy as white bread. That's exclusively what I bake with now, mostly with the version since I can buy it at my neighborhood Whole Foods instead of mail-order.

@jasonpettus have you tried Bobs Red Mill and how do the flours compare? Also? Focaccia is the food of the GODS 😋

@mshawkanddove I haven't tried Bob's Red Mill, and I should because I can get that at Whole Foods too. My favorite has been from, just a couple hours from us in Chicago; but the problem is that when you buy retail-sized bags, the shipping costs literally double the price.

@mshawkanddove Since you asked, here's some "greatest hits" photos from earlier this year, which I'm sharing as replies so they don't clutter up other people's feeds. Here: biscotti; the Rustic French boules I've gotten pretty good at; homemade English muffins; and sliceable sandwich bread using the same artisan flour mentioned before.

@jasonpettus this…this looks absolutely amazing. Good on you! I need to get more in the kitchen in the way of making delicious stuff. Maybe that should be a goal for me next year.

@mshawkanddove I knew absolutely not even the slightest thing about breadmaking on January 1st of this year, so let me be the proof that ANYONE can learn this!

@mshawkanddove More shots from the breadmaking class! Here: focaccia for 20 people; Irish soda bread (one with vegan buttermilk, the other with stout beer); crescent rolls; and "Olive Garden-style" breadsticks (i.e. normal breadsticks loaded with butter and salt -- that's their big house secret).

@mshawkanddove I can't see my previous response to this, so let me try again and apologize for a potential double-posting: Soda bread is heavy but great, and I've discovered that you have to be in the specific mood for it. But it goes from raw ingredients to taking a bite in just three hours, so you can't beat that!

@jasonpettus I actually saw that post; it went independent of the thread.

@mshawkanddove Last "greatest hits" breadmaking reply! Here: New Orleans "po' boy" style sandwich rolls; homemade Wheat Thins; big-holed Italian ciabatta; and from just last week, grissini-style thin Italian breadsticks.

@jasonpettus this has all been a delight to see, thank you so much for sharing!!!

@mshawkanddove Oh, it's been HUGE fun to do it this year, a New Year's resolution I managed to keep all 12 months, not only what you've seen but also sourdough, brioche, braided multigrain, rye with carraway, almond flour, and lots of muffins and scones. Sickness paused it earlier this year, so still to go is croissants, bagels, tortillas, pitas, arepa, naan, chapati, challah, matzo, then as a "final exam," homemade pizza night at the co-op for 20 people (13 vegans, 2 gluten-free)!

@jasonpettus I made a resolution, not for NY but earlier in the year; grew up in the suburbs and outside the time I spent at grad school in Hyde Park and the time I did for undergrad out east, I’ve lived out here my whole life but just started visiting the state parks, and my plan is visit as many regions as possible in the next two years (the ones down south will take planning)…I feel like bread might been an easier venture 🤔

@mshawkanddove Well, my original big new plan before the pandemic was to start doing a lot more international traveling, the very reason I moved into a co-op, so I could save money; so bread became my secondary venture as well during the pandemic. Once you find it easier, though, I encourage you to get in your car or camper and go out to those state parks; that sounds like a really lovely year-long goal!

@jasonpettus I visited Starved Rock earlier this year; lived in Illinois almost my whole life and never went that far west in the state. I plan on seeing a lot of this land. Apparently there’s a town called Metropolis near the Kentucky border that has a lot of Superman themed stuff? I need to see that. Road trip for sure.

@mshawkanddove Yes, now that I'm thinking about it, there's a lot to see in Illinois as far as state parks just by heading out to its borders. Over there on the west you can also go to Galena and Nauvoo, or down to St. Louis, east to the Indiana Dunes, or due south all the way to Tennessee and the tail edge of the Smoky Mountains.

@mshawkanddove Okay, I lied, one more photo update from the old Instagram account, because it's worth seeing the inside of the nearly perfect New Orleans "po' boy" style sandwich rolls I made back in March. My brother lives in NOLA and I've been there 8 or 9 times myself, and have grown to love the city and especially alligator po' boys with root beer at Parkway, so it was VERY satisfying to duplicate the unique bread so perfectly.

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