Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, March 25

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« Veggie Bite: Vegan Fast Food Free Today »

Store Sun Apr 22 2007

Bread Baking 101

Baguettes The art of baking bread has always eluded me. My doughs never rise, my crusts never crust up, and at the end of a day of mixing, kneading, waiting, punching, waiting some more, and then finally baking, all I'm usually left with is a dry, dense mound. This is why I immediately signed up for the Chopping Block's Bread Workshop when I found it on their April calendar of cooking classes. The class, held in the upstairs kitchen at the store's Lincoln Square location, was very well-organized and the instruction very thorough.

Pizza We didn't have time to make all four types of bread from start to finish, but we did start from scratch with our pretzels and pizza dough. The dough for the baguettes and whole wheat cranberry hazelnut rolls was rising when we arrived, but we shaped and baked each and were rewarded with copious amounts of carbohydrates at the end.

Pretzels My favorite was the pretzels, though. We dropped the twisted dough into simmering water, which formed a thin glossy layer on the surface. Once they were baked, they bore a remarkable resemblance to the big doughy pretzels available for $7 at Wrigley Field. The Chopping Block furnished us with no less than 10 varieties of fancy salts and seeds to sprinkle on top, which made our pretzels much more gourmet than anything that could be obtained at a major league ball park.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
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