We’ve all dabbled in a bit of quarantine baking, but sometimes it’s best to leave it to the pros. Roxana Jullapat is the owner/baker of Friends & Family where she turns out the kinda baked goods we’ve tried to accomplish at home. Since opening its doors in 2017, Friends & Family has become Roxana’s real-life manifestation of her love for ancient grains and California’s seasonality through breads and pastries.
Friends & Family isn’t her first tryst with flour. She began baking at Los Feliz institution Café Figaro with tenures at Campanile, Bastine, Luques, AOC, and Clarklewis. In 2011 she teamed with Chef Daniel Mattern to open Cooks County, which I was blessed to have around the corner from my dream apt of my 20’s on Beverly Blvd.
She spills the tea on what makes the perfect crust in first cookbook, Mother Grains: Recipes for the Grain Revolution (W.W. Norton), will be released in April of 2021. Until then, peep what makes this consummate baker tick.
Pie crust - the wild west of baking - can you share your approach to crust?
Use great whole-grain flour and bake fully. Never serve an under baked pie.
Would you be willing to send a recipe for your pie crust? And that awesome video you took of making it?
Recipe is going to be published in my upcoming cookbook. I can share the recipe just yet.
Pick one pie 2020? Why?
Apple Pie. We all need the comfort. Also, it is affordable to make, and many bakers out there are short on cash after been laid off for so long.
Do you keep pastry hours on your day(s) off?
I sleep in which means I get up at 6am. A lot better than 2 am!
Do you dream about baking?
All the time.
What are you filling your pastry case with this month?
All my trusty stand bys but you can also see lots of winter fruits in our pastries: quince, apples, cranberries, persimmons, potatoes.
Do you travel with your starter?
Either way please explain Sometimes. If I travel to teach a class, yes. When i travel for fun. No. I would rather enjoy some other bakers’ bread.
Please choose 1 answer, and feel free to write an anecdote or short explainer as to why (not necessary though).
Double or single crimp?
Crimping is very personal. Whichever speaks to you.
*Watch Rox’s technique here
Lard or Shortening ?
Semi Sweet or Bitter Sweet?
Bittersweet if we’re talking about chocolate
Fruit or nut?
Cookies or croissants?
Pie or galette?