We're all at home. We're all cooking through our pantries. We're all craving human contact. Wouldn't this be the perfect time to connect—through baking? Playwright and GFS theatre teacher Geo Decas O'Donnell thought so, which is why he came up with the idea for the Great GFS Bake-Off: Pandemic Edition. A riff on the popular Great British Baking Show, but in our version, everyone wins Star Baker!
The first challenge? A fruit or veggie bread (think pumpkin, zucchini, banana, etc.). Geo chose a recipe recently featured in The New York Times (below) as the first signature bake for this weekend. If you would like to join in the competition (all are welcome!), email a photo of your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday night, 3/22; we will share all of the winning entries early next week. Bonus points for those who include photos of family members engaged in the process! Geo's also taking suggestions for the next bake, so submit ideas as well!
Here is the recipe from The New York Times:
Food columnist Melissa Clark is offering weekly recipe tips for those of us who are trying to make the most of grocery stockpiles:
For this first recipe, I chose a pumpkin bread because I had a can of pumpkin purée left in the back of the cupboard, left over from Thanksgiving, but you could use any fruit or vegetable you have around. Mashed ripe bananas or applesauce, very finely grated apple or pear, or even puréed frozen berries or peaches are also good candidates. Puréed roasted sweet potatoes or carrots would also work.
To make it, whisk up 1¾ cups puréed or finely grated fruits or vegetables, 2 eggs and ½ cup oil or melted butter. Sweeten the mix with ½ to ¾ cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like your quick bread (white, brown, coconut sugar, what have you), then season it with ½ teaspoon salt and a teaspoon of whatever spices you've got. (I used a combination of ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon.) When it's smooth, whisk in 2 cups flour (use all-purpose or a combination of all-purpose and whole-wheat) and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Bake at 350 degrees in a greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan for 45 minutes to an hour.