Chef Kat Bayle Rocks Dumplings at Home

By Amelia Schwartz | Will Blunt

By

Amelia Schwartz
Will Blunt
Baker Katherine Bayle of Field & Vine in Somerville, MA
Baker Katherine Bayle of Field & Vine in Somerville, MA

With a home pantry full of lacto-fermented produce and a little free time, Chef/Baker Kat Bayle was in search of a new project. “I was looking for something that takes a lot of time and has a lot of steps,” she says. After a sudden craving for dim sum, it hit her: dumplings. Although Bayle has made dumplings in the Field & Vine kitchen, doing it at home, with no fancy equipment, is a whole new ball game. She starts by making a basic dumpling dough, rolls it out, scales, divides, and rolls again into small rounds. With the help of her boyfriend, she fills the dumplings with whatever she’s got on hand. Ultra-fragrant lacto-fermented ramps, for instance, were combined with Szechuan-style shrimp for a play on shrimp and chive dumplings. “They were the fastest we’ve ever shaped because they were so fucking smelly, but the flavor was amazing,” says Bayle. Dumplings are not only a quarantine hobby for Bayle, they have become a blank slate for flavor experimentation—flavors that will join her upon her return to the Field & Vine kitchen. 

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