The NY Times’ Baker’s Apprentice: Emily Learns to Bake + I Get to Help Her

It’s frequently said that the teacher learns more than the student, but I think this is often the case and it’s always the case with me.  Whenever I teach – and I consider cookbookery and food writing teaching – I’m forced to think carefully about details that I might take for granted in the kitchen, and Emily really made me think, not just about techniques, but about language too. 

I’d said that the recipe for Emily’s first assignment, the Corniest Corn Muffins (from Baking From My Home to Yours) was ‘no-fail’ and she called me on it, asking me what made them foolproof. 

Hmmm … I’d written it automatically, knowing that the muffins would look beautiful under almost any circumstances because the leaveners, the baking powder and baking soda, would give them the lift they needed.  Yes, that was what made them no-fail, but Emily would have to take some responsibility for their success as well – she’d have to measure and mix carefully and bake properly, and so I spelled out the rules for her.

And she followed them.

And she got muffins that were beautiful and, best of all, great tasting.

Hooray!  And three cheers for Emily!

So far, Emily has baked – I really want to say mastered, because she did so well – the muffins, French Yogurt Cake and the Blueberry Crumb Cake.  That’s Emily’s cake in the picture  and the photo’s hers as well.  The recipes are included in Emily’s posts.

Emily will be baking for weeks to come, so follow her on The Baker’s Apprentice.  Even if you’ve baked these recipes before, like me, you might learn something.  And even if you don’t plan to bake these recipes, you’ll love her writing.

Dorie Greenspan