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Cornish pasties test

Today, after reading up on Cornish pasties, I decided to make some using THIS recipe, although dividing by three. I only wanted two pasties to start, in case they were a bust!

Note the many comments that pointed out how inauthentic this recipe was, since it called for CARROTS! A total no-no for “Cornish” pasties. It’s probably very popular in other parts of England. I used the turnip, traditional in Cornwall, also known as a Swede, and it was delicious. The turnip has undergone several changes in social class over the centuries.

I was particularly interested in how the crust would turn out, since I had skimmed freshly rendered beef fat from some soup bones I had and wanted to use the hardened fat in the pie crust. I had heard good things, but had some doubts. It worked way better than I expected.

The flour and fat blended in easily, unlike my usual pie crust failures using butter. I did put a few drops of vinegar in, though, for insurance. It rolled out beautifully. The crust is flaky, tender and crumbly. I’m so pleased.

Dividing by three was a real challenge. I ended up measuring in grams and weighing all the ingredients. Also my meat was hamburger bits. I have a 1/4 of beef in my freezer and must use it up quickly. About 1/3 of the meat is hamburger, so you can see my dilemma.

Anyway, here are pix of the results. I’m pretty happy about this first try. The top picture shows the pasties ready to go into the oven, the next one shows them finished, the last shows them ready to eat.

cornish pasties ready to bake

cornish pasties done

cornish pasties ready to eat


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History and pronunciation of “pasty”

One example of a Cornish pasty (pass-tee)

Since lots of people are too impatient to click on links, here are some interesting tidbits from this Wikipedia entry:

A pasty (pron.:/ˈpæsti/, Cornish: Hogen; Pasti, also ‘Pass-tee), (sometimes known as a pastie or British pasty in the United States) is a baked pastry a traditional variety of which is particularly associated with Cornwall in Great Britain. It is made by placing uncooked filling typically of meat and vegetables, without meat in vegetarian versions, on a flat pastry circle and folding it to wrap the filling, crimping the edge to form a seal. After baking, the result is a raised semicircular end-product.


The term “pasty” is an English word borrowed from Medieval French (O.Fr. paste from V.Lat pasta) for a pie, filled with venison, salmon or other meat, vegetables or cheese, baked without a dish. In 1393, Le Menagier De Paris contains recipes for pasté with venison, veal, beef, or mutton.

Migrating Cornish miners helped to spread pasties into the rest of the world during the 19th century, says the Wikipedia entry.  Most countries that adopted the food were English-speaking.
The Mexican state of Hidalgo, and the twin silver mining cities of Pachuca and Real del Monte (Mineral del Monte), have notable Cornish influences from the Cornish miners who settled there with pasties being considered typical local cuisine. In Mexican Spanish, they are referred to as pastes.

Cornish pasties should NOT have carrots in them!

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February challenge

Here’s another note from Monica:


Here are four options for making “hand pies.” The first two are traditional, while the second two are modernized. You have lots of choices to make: type of dough, sweet or savory filling, the size of the hand pie.

Get creative and we’ll see you on the first Monday of February. Remember, we now meet at Sandy Behling’s house which is on the corner of NW Alder and NW 8th.

Monica Schalock

* * *

N.B. See next post for history and pronunciation of “pasty.”

Some people are nervous about calling meat pies pasties, because they, like me, don’t know how to pronounce it. I’ve since learned that the “a” rhymes with the “a” in “pass.”

Others are nervous because some people think there have been a typo for ‘pastry.’

Finally, the major reason for being embarrassed about calling them pasties, is that strippers, or people at beaches use ‘pasties’ to cover their nipples and aureolae. Wikipedia does not have a pronunication guide for this item.


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Here’s that video I promised I’d post. Frankly, I doubt we’ll tackle this anytime soon, but you never know. Some members are real daredevils when it comes to trying out new, challenging baked goods. Enjoy!

This video was recommended by Matt D’Agostino, CMB, member of Bread Bakers Guild of America.

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Hello, again. We’re back!

After a long hiatus, we’ve decided to re-activate our McMinnville Bakers blog. Here you’ll be able to see what we did and learn what we plan to do next. We’ll also post interesting videos we find out about. Feel free to submit your own!

Here’s our report on January’s meeting:

Baker’s Dozen meets the first Monday of the month.
Location:  Sandy Behling’s house
She lives on the corner of NW Alder and NW 8th Street in McMinnville
I’ll get the house number in the next email

We changed our meeting place, because Laurie needed time to relax away from the bakery.

This month puff pastry was the topic. Several people used the pastry dough to make palmier cookies; others made parmesan bread sticks or turnovers.

It was a fun and interesting meeting. I certainly learned a lot about burning cookies (first batch); making them too big so they expanded and all bumped into each other (second pan). The third pan came out right, which was great because those are the ones I brought to the meeting!

Next month’s challenge is to make Cornish pastry pastys or empanadas. Later this month I’ll send out three dough options. We will all choose our own fillings, either savory or sweet. It’s going to be a fun month.

Hope you can come and join in the tasty discussion.

— Monica Schalock
— McMinnville Bakers Dozen

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This Sunday, Nov. 13 – Gingerbread houses!!

On Sunday, Nov. 13, at 3 p.m., we will be assisting with making components of Gingergread Houses at the Red Fox Bakery.

This project is being made as a fundraiser for Friends of the McMinnville Library and Habitat for Humanity.

We cut out and bake roofs and walls, etc., put them into plastic bags, ready for creative people to construct their own creations.

Members of Bakers Dozen are helping again on this project.

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Next meeting – Dec. 5, Stollen

Since there are so many different traditional recipes, our stollen probably won’t look like this, but here is a sample from the Internet:

One kind of Christmas Stollen

For December, we decided to make Christmas Stollen rather than the brioche we had talked about later.

Location: Red Fox Bakery. Time:  Six p. m.  Note earlier than usual hour!

We won’t be making our own. Laurie Furch, owner of the Red Fox Bakery, who hosts the McMinnville Bakers Dozen meetings monthly, will demonstrate how to make the stollen she makes. We’ll be allowed to “help” during preparation.


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