Many chefs are sour on baking, but enough sour beer convinced Patrick Langlois to come up with a gingerbread cookie recipe that worked perfectly with Crooked Stave Wild Wild Brett Orange.
That no-baking chef business gets a rise out of Mantonat:
I've never really understood the attitude that most chefs/cooks (professional or otherwise) have toward baking, other than it's just something out of their comfort zone. I don't think there's anything less exacting or precise about making a perfect hollandaise, vinaigrette, or bbq sauce than there is about cookies or bread. Once you master the techniques and ratios, you don't really need recipes and you can invent new things from the basic ingredients. Check out the book Ratios by Michael Ruhlman (he also has iPhone/iPad apps) for some great kitchen tips for learning a few basic ratios (cooking as well as baking). Then you can impress your friends by making pie crust from scratch, or tweak that ginger snap recipe above to go with other beers you love. Nice combo on the beer and cookie flavors, by the way.
Should real chefs bake bread? Post your thoughts -- and your favorite baking tips -- below.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.