Friday, March 5, 2021

Clay Club: RIP Judith Duff

Clay Club: RIP Judith Duff: Judith Duff with Nina Hole, Danish wood fire sculpture and students at 2006 residency at ASU sponsored by the Center for Craft, Creativity ...

Sunday, October 11, 2020



Pottery tools and equipment for sale near Penland School

Jon Ellenbogen and Becky Plummer are closing Barking Spider Pottery and they are selling quite a bit of studio equipment. Here are the details from Jon:

Over our 43 years in the studio we’ve accumulated lots of tools and equipment, and we’d like to pass (sell) it on to worthy recipients.

Because of the virus we don’t want groups of people, so interested parties should call us (828-765-3123) for a time slot. Everyone will need a mask and social distancing will be enforced.

There’s a partial list of what we’re selling on our website: Go to the SALE OF STUDIO EQUIPMENT page.

Studio location details are also on the Barking Spider Pottery website.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Best Cruffin recipe


Yield: 8 cruffins

From Lady and Pups website:


150 grams (1 cup + 1 tbsp) bread flour
150 grams (1 cup + 1 tbsp) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp (6 grams) instant dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp (11 grams) salt
130 grams (1/2 cup) luke-warm water + 30 grams (2 tbsp) for adjustment
50 grams (3 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter, soften and cubed
165 grams (11 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter, room-temperature


2 hours before starting the dough, leave 165 grams (11 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter on the counter for it to completely come to room-temperature.

In a stand-mixer bowl with dough-hook (or large bowl with hand-held mixer with dough-hooks), whisk together bread flour, all-purpose flour, instant dry yeast and salt until even. Add 130 grams of luke-warm water (around 95F/35C) and knead on low speed for 3 min. The dough should be slightly shaggy and stiff, but if it has difficulty coming together, add the additional 30 grams (2 tbsp) of water and knead again. Then add 50 grams of cubed, unsalted butter and knead on low speed for 5 min until completely incorporated. Then increase to medium speed and knead for another 10 ~ 15 min until the dough is extremely smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 40 ~ 45 min at room-temperature. It should expand slightly. 

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and divide into 4 equal portions. Work with 1 portion at a time and cover the rest loosely with plastic wrap. Dust the dough with just enough flour so it doesn't stick, then roll it into 1/3" (1 cm) thickness. With a pasta machine at its thickest increment, feed the dough through the machine once, then feed it back again but this time, overlap 1 end of the dough over the other and run the seam through the machine so it sticks/connects tightly together. You should have a continuous ring of dough going through the pasta machine like a conveyor belt. This saves you the trouble/time of re-feeding the dough back into the machine after each increment.
Now dust both the inner/outer side of the dough with a bit of flour, then start running the dough through the machine, continuously, until you reach the thinnest increment (should be paper-thin). Gently avoid any crinkling or folding of the dough during this process, laying it neat and flat on the counter. Now cut the dough loose where it's close to the machine, then run to release the dough from the machine. 

The dough will be very long, so you may need to cut it in half, and keep it unfolded and laid flat on the counter. Now with your fingers, gently rub a thin layer of the room-temperature butter (has to be very soft but NOT MELTED) evenly across the dough, extending all the way to the edges. Do this to both sections of the dough if you had to cut it in half. Just keep in mind that this is a 1/4 of the entire dough and you should use up 1/4 of the butter. Once finished, start rolling the dough from one end to the other, as tightly as you can, into a firm log. Place the log on one end of the other buttered section of dough, and roll it up again. Now, cut the log in half length-wise with a floured knife, then with the cut-side facing outward, twirl it into a semi-knot and tuck the ends underneath itself (*do not make them too tight, because they need a bit of room to expand*). Place the knots inside buttered muffin-pan. Repeat the process with the other 3 portions of the dough and butter. 

If you are doing this the day before, you can wrap the entire muffin-pan with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge at this point. If not, cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and let proof at room-temperature for 2 ~3 hours until fully doubled in size (it may need a couple hours more if it was chilled before hand). Bake in a preheated oven at 400F/200C, for 25 min until puffed and golden browned (I didn't bother with egg-wash because they are gonna be dusted with powdered sugar, but you can if you want). Let cool slightly on a cooling-rack, then dust with powdered sugar.

Random Fillings:


6 oz. Boittersweet Chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbls salted butter

Microwave chocolate until soft
Put butter and heavy cream in a pan and heat until just before boiling: add Chocolate stir and set aside to cool...SQUIRT in  Cruffin. 

(I usually take a chop stick and make a hole and wiggle it around to make room for filling.)

1 cup heavy cream 
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Whip in mixer until stiff peaks; put in refrigerator

Then take 
 8 oz pack of cream cheese at ROOM temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whip it good
Fold into refrigerated cream above
Refrigerate again 20 minutes 
SQUIRT in Cruffin 

(I usually take a chop stick and make a hole and wiggle it around to make room for filling.)

1 package frozen strawberries in syrup
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbls corn starch

Combine in saucepan and cook at medium whisking constantly.
thickened in 8-10 minutes
Remove and chill in refrigerator
Squirt in Cruffin
(I usually take a chop stick and make a hole and wiggle it around to make room for filling.)