10 comforting baking recipes to make while you’re stuck at home: Cooking in times of crisis


The current coronavirus crisis has many of us stuck at home. The combination of school closures and many offices forcing people to work from home brings a lot of stress.

One way to cut the tension: cooking.

Over the weekend, many grocery stores reported strong sales of flour and other baking supplies. What better time to try out some new baking recipes. Here are 10 of our favorite recipes for homemade bread, cookies and desserts.

No-knead bread

Sourdough no-knead bread.Nathan Hostler, Special for The Oregonian / OregonLive

If you’ve never made homemade bread before, this no-knead recipe from Portland baker Joan Harvey is a great place to start. You won’t need a fancy stand mixer with a dough hook. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make your own “artisanal” bread.

Recipe: Sourdough no-knead bread.

Homemade cookies

Pastry soothes in times of crisis

Homemade Middle Eastern Falafel Crackers.Brittany Greeson, The Oregonian/OregonLive

If your cracker idea starts with saltines and ends with Wheat Thins, you have to try these Middle Eastern-style crackers from Portland cookbook author Ivy Manning. They contain the same basic ingredients as falafel, right down to the chickpea flour (Bob’s Red Mill makes a good one). They are excellent with hummus.

Recipe: Middle Eastern Falafel Chips.

BabyCakes NYC Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pastry soothes in times of crisis

BabyCakes NYC Chocolate Chip CookiesStephanie Yao Long, The Oregonian/OregonLive

These cookies from New York’s BabyCakes bakery blew our minds when we first tried them. When we baked them for coworkers, many tasters declared them the best chocolate chip cookies they’ve ever had. Then we told them the cookies were vegan and gluten free, and jaws dropped. They are so good.

Recipe: BabyCakes NYC Chocolate Chip Cookies.

(Almost) Packer Orchards Cowboy Cookie

Pastry soothes in times of crisis

(Almost) Packer Orchard Cowboy Cookies.Nathan Hostler, Special for The Oregonian / OregonLive

One of the best things about Portland-area farmers markets is picking up the dynamite Cowboy Cookies that Packer Orchards and Bakery sells. But you can recreate a very close facsimile at home with our version. Although we couldn’t replicate the exact texture, the flavor of these cookies does come close.

Recipe: (Almost) Packer Orchards Cowboy Cookie.

Whole Wheat Muffins

Pastry soothes in times of crisis

Whole wheat oatmeal muffins.Alicia Ross, kitchen spoon

These hearty and healthy muffins are quick to prepare, and since they’re not too sweet, they’re good any time of the day. They are made without oil or butter, so they are low in fat.

Recipe: Whole wheat oatmeal muffins.

Chocolate, pecan and cranberry cake

Pastry soothes in times of crisis

Chocolate pecan and cranberry cake.Kate Lewis

Baking genius Fran Costigan’s combination of chocolate and dried cranberries provides that perfect combination of sweet and tart. This vegan candy is one of those “If only I had the time” recipes. Well guess what? With so many canceled activities, you have time.

Recipe: Chocolate pecan and cranberry cake.

Maple Pumpkin Bread

Pastry soothes in times of crisis

Maple and pumpkin bread.Alicia Ross, kitchen spoon

Still have some canned pumpkin left over from the holidays? Here’s a great way to use it. It freezes well too. And because it’s dairy- and egg-free, it’s naturally vegan.

Recipe: Dairy-free maple pumpkin bread.

Brown sugar pound cake

Pastry soothes in times of crisis

Mae’s Brown Sugar Cocoa Nib Cake with Brown Buttercream Frosting.Leela Cyd, Figure 1 Edition

This incredible pound cake comes from Mae’s restaurant in Portland. Chef Maya Lovelace gives this cake a nutty flavor with brown butter, pecan bitters and cocoa nibs for a sweet and sour crunch. If you can’t find cocoa nibs, she says it’s just as delicious with pecans.

Recipe: Mae’s Brown Sugar Cocoa Nib Pound Cake.

Edward’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pastry soothes in times of crisis

Edward’s chocolate chip cookies.Alan Richardson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pastry guru Dorie Greenspan got this recipe from Edouard Bobin, the co-owner of one of the Parisian bistros Le Pantruche. Although it looks like the type of recipe you might find on the back of a bag of chocolate chips, it has more flour and the nuts are ground, not chopped, resulting in a dense, chewier cookie.

Recipe: Edward’s chocolate chip cookies.

Cranberry Scones

Pastry soothes in times of crisis

Cornmeal and cranberry scones.Leigh Beisch

Baking guru Alice Medrich uses dried cranberries in these gluten-free scones. But raisins or other dried fruits, such as chopped dried apricots, would work just as well.

Recipe: Cornmeal and cranberry scones.

-Grant Butler


503-221-8566; @grantbutler

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