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  • Lucia Borzillo

Baking in 3 Acts

Act One:


No Knead Bread. But not the 18 hour recipe. Just 2 hours.

This one is from An Italian in My Kitchen. Amazing!!!


3 1/4 cups 1 tablespoon all purpose flour (450 grams)

1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons lukewarm water / divided (396 grams)

1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon honey or sugar


In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup (60 grams) of lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon of honey (I mixed these together then added the yeast) and yeast.  Let sit 5 minutes, then mix to combine.

In a large glass bowl, add the flour, make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and remaining water (1 1/4 cups + 3 tablespoons / 340 grams), start to combine with a wooden spoon, then add the salt and combine well.  Sprinkle the top with 1 tablespoon of flour.

Cover the bowl and place in a warm, draft free area and let rest for 2 hours.

After 1 3/4 hours has passed pre-heat oven to 420° F (220°C).  And line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, sprinkled with flour.

With the help of a spatula, transfer the dough  (floured side up) onto the prepared sheet.  Divide the dough into 2-3 parts, shape into logs approximately 2 inches apart.  Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.  (Bread is done when tapped on the bottom and there is a hollow sound). Enjoy!

Act Two:

Something for breakfast.

I had some sour cream left in the fridge and an orange.

I had the recipe Orange Muffins from Every Day Annie pinned to my Pintrest page for a while. I cut the recipe in 1/2 and ended up with 12 muffins.

Moist muffins. Loved the taste and aroma of the orange.


Recipe for Dozen Orange Muffins-


For the muffins:

1/2 cup milk 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 1/4 cup sour cream 1 large egg 1 sticks (16 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup sugar 3/4 tbsp. Baking powder 1/4 tsp. Salt Zest of 1/2 orange

For the glaze: 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 tsp. Orange zest


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a muffin pan with paper liners.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs and melted butter.  Whisk together to blend.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Stir to blend.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the orange zest with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups.  Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet.

To make the glaze, combine the orange juice, confectioners’ sugar, and orange zest in a small bowl.  Whisk together until smooth, adding more juice if necessary to achieve your preferred consistency.  Drizzle the glaze over the muffins while they are still warm.  Allow the glaze to set before serving.

Act Three:

Look to the Cookie

How to Bake Everything by Mark Bittman is really the only baking cookbook you need. Okay, I have a few baking cookbooks, but if you were to buy just one this is all you need.

Shortbread Cookies are one of my favorites. I think my love for them started with the bags of Pecan Sandies. Tonight I made Lemon Shortbread from How to Bake Everything by Mark Bittman,

They taste like little bursts of lemon. You can add a glaze but it was way past my bedtime when these were finished so I called it a night.


2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup confectioner's sugar

1 egg yolk

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 tbsp grated lemon zest


Use an electric mixer on low speed to combine the butter and sugar, about 30 seconds. Keeping the speed on low, beat in the egg yolk, then the flour, and salt, until the mixture barely holds together. Don’t over beat.

Shape the dough into a 2 logs, about 2 " in diameter, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until firm. Cut dough into 1/4 inch thick slices, then put the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.

Heat the oven to 275. Bake the cookies until just firm but still quite tender and not at all brown, about 30 minutes. Cool for a minute on the sheet before using a spatula to transfer the cookies to a rack to finish cooling.

This made me laugh out loud-

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