Show Previews

Week 8 Biscuits Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Snap, Crack(le). . . Bake! 
English Digestive Crackers by Jean from Madison

The poet Carl Sandburg’s Good Morning, America begins with 38 definitions of poetry. His memorable line, “poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits,”  is as scrumptious to speak as the 62 snappy crackers, stout tea cakes, and sturdy gingerbread structures submitted to our Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge: Biscuits Week (and by “week” we mean 20 days — thanks for your patience and support of the WPT August pledge drive, bakers)!

Biscuits — or crackers and cookies to Americans — took center stage in Paul and Mary’s tent, along with our five remaining British bakers this week. Cathryn, Brendan, James, Danny and John faced the quarterfinals with three demanding challenges testing their skills of precision, dough handling and even their architectural acumen.

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Biscuit challenges. Let’s get cracking with our review! 

Continue reading Week 8 Biscuits Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Quilt Expo celebrates Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

We’re less than two weeks away from the start of the 14th annual Quilt Expo, held at the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall in Madison. (Get your discount advance tickets here – or consider volunteering!)

Natalie Sewell and Nancy Zieman pose together at Quilt ExpoThis year, as every year, attendees will enjoy several special exhibits beyond the 10-category Quilt Contest. One of these exhibits honors the legacy of two women who have been central to quilting in Wisconsin and beyond: Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell. 

Read on for more examples of their beautiful landscape quilt collaborations!

Continue reading Quilt Expo celebrates Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

What We Watch: Garry Denny

Bringing Wisconsin Public Television’s delightful mix of programming together takes a lot more work than most of us realize. Beyond PBS itself, WPT previews and purchases programs from American Public Television, the BBC, our own local production teams and multiple other independent sources.

Garry Denny

In our latest installment of What We Watch, we chat with Garry Denny, WPT’s director of programming. A member of our staff since 1986, he’s the one who brings it all together: acquisition, scheduling and delivery of programming services on WPT’s six-station network.

Read more to find out what Garry is most looking forward to in WPT’s fall schedule!
Continue reading What We Watch: Garry Denny

The Great American Read: Jerry Apps shares his picks

We’re getting closer to the Fall Kick Off episode of The Great American Read: airing 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept.  11. Have you voted on the list yet? If you’re stuck – as we are! – why not check out some more picks by Wisconsin writers?

Today we bring you the prolific, the folksy, the one and only Jerry Apps. He’s a WPT favorite for good reason: adept at memoir writing, storytelling, history, teaching and more, he keeps readers busy turning out new and sometimes unexpected stories at a blistering pace.

A person stares into a frozen wave of water.His latest, Cold as Thunder, is a dystopian novel set in a frozen wasteland where only “a resourceful band of Wisconsin sixty-somethings calling themselves the Oldsters” have the knowledge to fight the ruling regime.

Read more to find out which books have helped this beloved author think about writing!

Continue reading The Great American Read: Jerry Apps shares his picks

WPT Producer Joel Waldinger Shares His Wisconsin Life

Wisconsin Life relies on its producers to tell the stories of the people who make the show what it is. Their abilities to capture the emotion off camera and present it on camera is truly inspiring. One of those talented producers is Joel Waldinger. Ahead of this season’s premiere 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, we caught up with Joel to ask a few questions about his life in and outside of Wisconsin Life. Read on to uncover Joel’s Wisconsin Life!
Continue reading WPT Producer Joel Waldinger Shares His Wisconsin Life

Week 7 Sweet Dough Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Oh my,  Wisconsin Bakers! We sure do love your sweet, Sweet Buns!

The Tent tackled “sweet dough” during Week 7, which is baker-speak for beloved items like doughnuts, coffee cake and cinnamon rolls, as well as the loaded and elaborate breads that adorn our holiday spreads. But instead of using Grandma’s Christmas fruit loaf as a door stopper — sorry, Gran — this week, “celebration loaves” are the showstopper!

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Sweet Dough challenges. Overcoming yeast, fryers and fruitcake, Sconnie bakers faced off with 24 Sweet Buns (see how Oxford Dictionaries settles the “bun” vs. “roll” vs. “cake” debate), 10 Jam Doughnuts and a partridge in a pear Celebration Bread. 

Continue reading Week 7 Sweet Dough Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

WPT Education presents Click Youth Media Festival

WPT has been part of the educational infrastructure of Wisconsin since the station’s beginnings – on television, in the classroom and in the community.

Over 55 educators and students ages 10-18 gathered in Madison this June for the first-ever Click Youth Media Festival, a one-day crash course in journalism and media production.

Over 55 youth and educators attended the first ever Click Youth Media Festival.

Read more to learn about the day!

Continue reading WPT Education presents Click Youth Media Festival

The Great American Read: Baptiste and Miranda Paul share their picks

We continue to read, debate and vote on the books of The Great American Read, and several Wisconsin writers have shared their own picks with us. Today, we enjoy several firsts: our first team (in life and work), AND our first children’s authors!

Baptiste Paul, a dark-skinned man wearing a gray and maroon shirt, and Miranda Paul, a light-skinned woman with long blonde hair, sit together and smile.Currently residing in Green Bay, Baptiste and Miranda Paul are the globe-trekking, dynamic duo behind the new book Adventures to School: Real-Life Journeys of Students From Around the World. 

As for her inevitable “I can’t choose!” answer, Miranda writes,  “Asking a reader to pick a favorite book is like asking a sweet-tooth to pick a favorite dessert; these are the things that shape us and bring us joy. All the time, children ask me which of my own books is my favorite, an interrogation I’ve labeled ‘The Forbidden Question.’ I ultimately let them know the truth: my favorite book is always the one I haven’t written yet, because I intend to write forever.”

Keep reading to learn about this insightful pair and the deep emotions that drive them to create.

Continue reading The Great American Read: Baptiste and Miranda Paul share their picks

Week 6 Puddings Recap: The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Last season, admittedly, we were a little hesitant about the, well, Britishness of some of these challenges. “They don’t want to use all that suet, do they?” we thought. “And where do you get treacle, anyway?”

Wonder no more, friends; in Week 6, this pud’s for YOU!

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show,  The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked our bakers to select just one of the three pudding challenges.

Before we get started: If you have not watched this episode yet, SPOILER ALERT!

And don’t forget to read to the bottom to find out who our six featured Wisconsin bakers are!

All Season 5 contestants pose in front of the tent

Continue reading Week 6 Puddings Recap: The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Week 5 Pies Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

All eyes were on PIES this week in Paul and Mary’s tent, and our glorious Wisconsin bakers came through with over 80 heavyweight Wellingtons, American Sweets and some hair-raising Hand-Raising to rival them all. A quote from one of our bakers sums up Pie Week to perfection: “. . . butter, butter and more butter . . . and lard!”

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three pie challenges. Fearless with flour, several bakers tackled puff pastry and elaborate latticework for the first time. They also learned the best way to protect a Wellington’s fragile crust from meat’s overzealous juices: just wrap it in . . . more meat! #MeatWrappedMeat!

Continue reading Week 5 Pies Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge