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Hanover innkeeper is author, baker, breakfast maker
Baking is such a delight for one Hanover innkeeper that she savors the process of creation even though she can no longer sample the results.
Kathryn White, owner of the Beechmont Inn Bed and Breakfast, is the co-author of the new cookbook "Eight Broads in the Kitchen," featuring more than 150 recipes by a close-knit group of bed-and-breakfast owners whose territory ranges from Massachusetts to Washington state.
The cookbook grew out of a blog the women started about six years ago to share recipes with industry insiders and general breakfast-consumers alike, but for White, the love of baking goes back much further.
"I've been doing it since I was a teenager," she says. "My mother was a baker and used to bake bread every Saturday. It was always our big treat on Saturday evening to have yeast rolls with dinner."
Daily joy: Since moving to southcentral Pennsylvania and taking over the Beechmont in 2000, White has been the inn's daily baker for a big breakfast and a fun midday snack.
"Every afternoon, I bake cookies, and then in the mornings, usually if I'm serving an egg dish — I love to do eggs — then I'm baking something to go with the egg dish, whether it's muffins, or a quick bread, or a coffee cake," she says. "I really do love to bake, whether it's cookies or sticky buns or anything with yeast."
For White, the joy of a good breakfast and the camaraderie around the table are as important as providing a relaxing place for her guests to sleep.
"We try to emphasize that we are a bed and a breakfast," she says. "It isn't just creating a wonderful environment in terms of the room but also that experience of breakfast in the morning."
The book: No wonder, then, that she teamed up with seven other women to put together the "Eight Broads in the Kitchen" cookbook. The full-color guide offers expert recipes for creating sweet and savory breakfasts and sides, quick on-the-go muffins and scones, healthy fruit dishes, toppings and sauces, and, yes, the decadent, monstrously good treats saved for special occasions or store-bought breakfasts at the average home. The book is a trove of dishes good enough to serve company; after all, the bed and breakfasts do. The recipes carry touches of regional flavor, as well, with broad palates to please.
"We bring our own background, whatever it was that we grew up doing," White says of working with her co-authors. "We've learned a lot from each other."
Having fun: The women also travel to industry conferences and present workshops and cooking classes, and, of course, the food is spectacular when they get together.
"We just have so much fun being in the kitchen together," she says. "When we get together, we'll do dinner for each other."
The discussion is fast and furious now, as the women consider themes for a second cookbook — brunch recipes are the frontrunner, but nothing's set in stone yet, White says.
For her, spare baking time has become an opportunity for experimentation, as her beloved yeast breads are off-limits.
"I was diagnosed with celiac, so now I can't eat any of it," she says. "I'm working with the special flours."
She encourages others to get in the kitchen and give cooking and baking a try no matter where their interests lie.
"Just have fun with food," she says. "Don't be afraid to try recipes and make them your own."
— Reach Mel Barber at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to get the book
"Eight Broads in the Kitchen" is a 188-page, full-color cookbook featuring more than 150 recipes highlighting breakfast dishes and afternoon desserts and refreshments.
The book retails for $29.95, and free shipping is available for online orders from www.8broadsinthekitchen.com.
Books also are available from the "Eight Broads" inns, including the Beechmont Inn Bed and Breakfast, 315 Broadway, Hanover. Call the inn at 717-632-3013 to confirm availability before dropping by.
A sweet recipe from Kathryn White
I love making galettes. The crust is free-form and so easy to make, although plan for time in the refrigerator to chill the dough. Trust me, it's worth the effort. This recipe is made with yellow peaches, but you can also use apples, apricots, nectarines, pears or berries.
For the dough:
1 cup unbleached flour (plus up to 1/2 cup additional)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
For the filling:
2 large yellow peaches, sliced
Brown sugar to sweeten
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
For the egg wash:
2 teaspoons heavy cream
Sugar for sprinkling
Slice the butter into 1/2-inch cubes, wrap, and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Measure water, add the salt and stir to dissolve. Place in the freezer with the butter.
Measure the flour and place on a work surface (I use my counter). Scatter the butter cubes over the flour, making certain to lightly cover the cubes with flour so the rolling pin won't stick to the butter. Begin rolling, and as you are incorporating the butter into the flour you can use a bench scraper to help scrape the mixture back into shape. After three or four rounds of rolling and scraping, make a well in the center of the mixture and pour the 1/4 cup water into the center. The dough will look like a mess, but continue to scrape and cut the dough until you can form a rectangle about 4 or 5 inches by 12 inches long. Dust as necessary with flour so you can roll out the dough before bringing it back in by scraping the sides back together. Repeat three or four times until the dough is smooth and together.
Shape the dough into a rectangle about 4 inches wide by 12 inches long. Transfer the dough to a cookie sheet and wrap tightly with plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Peel the peaches and slice. Be sure to taste a slice to determine how sweet it is. You will add brown sugar as necessary to sweeten.
When the dough is thoroughly chilled, cut the rectangle into four equal pieces to make small rounds, or larger if you prefer. Round off the corners with your hands, then roll out the dough to a circle about 7 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch in thickness. Place the fruit in the center of the circle and sprinkle with brown sugar (or granulated if you prefer). I like to sprinkle a little cinnamon and grate a little nutmeg on top. Fold up the edges of the dough over the fruit.
Place back in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Create the egg wash by whisking the egg and heavy cream together in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash over the chilled edges of the pastry dough and sprinkle the edges with sugar. Bake for 40 minutes or until the dough is browned and the fruit inside is bubbly. Remove from the oven and serve hot, or cool on a wire rack and serve at room temperature.
Note: A 7-inch round of dough will hold about 1/2 cup of peach fruit and serve one or two people.
Recipe from blog.eightbroads.com