Sunday, May 2, 2010

Baking in Japan

I had been baking a lot before I came to Japan and was trying to prepare myself for potentially not having an oven here. However, as it turns out, we have a pretty decent one. It looks like a big toaster oven but it's tall enough for things to rise and gets hot enough to make pizza. So, I've actually been baking up a storm here--popovers, muffins, scones, cakes, cookies and even an apple pie the other day. I asked my sister to send me American measuring cups and spoons because doing conversions was getting annoying. She also sent me my favorite baking tool--the pastry blender. I have been able to find most of the basic ingredients I need--baking powder and soda, flour, even wheat flour, etc. Everything comes in much smaller amounts and costs a lot more though. Then there are the specialty ingredients that are difficult (and exciting) to find.

These gingerbread scones were made with love and the help of some friends. Molly sent the dry buttermilk, Nerida got the molasses in Tokyo, Trisha sent the currants I used instead of get the idea. I really recommend this recipe:

Comfort food is especially important when you're living away from "home". Japanese sweets aren't really all that sweet. Adzuki bean paste? Mochi? Green tea flavored everything? While it's fun to try new foods, it's nice to have familiar tastes too sometimes. Plus, I can keep up with one of my favorite hobbies!

Oh, and here's a picture of the famed oven.


  1. Those look amazing!

    I know what you mean about familiar tastes--I tried the treats you sent and I spent 1/2 the time trying to decide what each flavor "tasted like." (I guess they tasted like what they were supposed to taste like, right? But what should bean paste taste like exactly?)

  2. Scones!!!! I miss your amazing home made delectables!