This is the season of soup. It’s cold outside here in MN and nothing is better than a cup of hot soup. Oh, and there is all that leftover Turkey to deal with and the beautiful butternut squash proliferation at the grocery store. To go with all that soup you’ll be making, there is nothing better than homemade bread. This fougasse is a traditional French flatbread. It is both crispy, due to all that crusty surface and tender on the inside. It’s like a fancy breadstick. Because it is a flatbread, it is faster to make, since you have such a short resting time. My husband made a big batch of butternut squash soup from Amanda Paa’s new book Smitten with Squash. To go with the aromatic soup, I added lots of chopped garlic to the bread dough and the result is fantastic. Continue reading
(photo by Stephen Scott Gross and styled by Sarah Kieffer)
In 2007, when our first book hit the stores, I had never heard of celiac disease or gluten intolerance. In the past 7 years I’ve had quite an education on the subject. It all started here on the website. People were writing in to say they loved our method, but couldn’t eat wheat. There were many, many requests, so Jeff and I set off to develop recipes that fit our fast and easy method but used flours that were gluten-free. We’ve put gluten-free breads in all of our books since then, but they were just small chapters among a bunch of wheat filled recipes. It seemed unfair to the folks who couldn’t eat wheat to buy a book filled with recipes that didn’t suit their needs, so we decided to write a book for them. Last week Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day came out and we are thrilled to share the Master Recipe with you here.
We’ve had great feedback from our original gluten-free recipes, but we wanted to simplify the method even more. That meant developing two flour mixes that all our recipes are based on, so you just have to mix the flour once for many loaves. You just mix up a big batch of our Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix and/or our Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Flour mix and you’ll be able to quickly mix and bake all 90 recipes in our book. (We’ve tried commercial flour mixes, but haven’t found one that is as tasty, nor do they produce as nice a texture. If you have a brand of GF flour that you like to use, give it a try, but you may need to make some adjustments, so we recommend making a small batch to make sure you like the results.)
We also wanted to provide recipes that are mostly vegan (no eggs) and dairy free. Because eggs are a leavening ingredient, we do like the Master Recipe made with eggs for a lighter loaf. In fact, we find that the dough made with egg whites is the lightest of all the options. You can also use an egg substitute if you choose not to use eggs. And as always with our method, you save time by mixing a large batch and storing it in the refrigerator, pulling off dough to use as you need it.
The following recipe is our Master Recipe from GFABin5 made with egg whites, but you can make the same recipe with whole eggs, egg substitutes or without any eggs at all. Continue reading
Onions and poppy seeds have to be the most aromatic and delicious combination of flavors. They have been featured on Jewish breads from Bialys, Pletzels and Bagels for centuries. Here’s a new twist (sorry couldn’t resist the bad pun) on the classics. I started with whole wheat bread, spread the savory filling on the dough, rolled it up and then cut the log in two before twisting them together, so you can see the filling peek out. The result is beautiful, but the best part of this loaf if the aroma as it bakes. Continue reading
Tomorrow I will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, with family and friends. It is traditional to eat lots of honey and apples during this high holy day to usher in the new year with sweetness. The challah dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is made with honey, then I fold chopped apples into the dough and braid it into a circle. You can do any shape you like, but the circle is meant to symbolize the full cycle of the coming year. This bread may be ubiquitous at the high holy days, but it is wonderful anytime, especially during apple picking season here in the Midwest.
How is it that I’d never tried Dutch Crunch bread, never even heard of it? It’s a loaf that seems to be ubiquitous in the San Francisco area, and it would seem that they have been keeping it all for themselves. Now that I’ve had it I can’t blame them. Dutch Crunch gets its name from a similar bread found in the Netherlands, which is called Tiger Bread (tijgerbrood or tijgerbol). It’s easy to see how it got that name. The tiger spots are created by covering the dough with a slurry of rice flour, sugar, yeast and toasted sesame oil. The fragrance of the sesame is fantastic and the slightly sweet crispy bits on the loaf are hard to resist picking off and snacking on before you ever cut into the bread. Continue reading
The MN State Fair is open, so the annual food-on-a-stick showdown has begun. This is an update of an old post–a few years ago, Jeff and I presented our bread methods and introduced our latest and greatest achievement; Bread-on-a-Stick at booth run by St. Agnes Baking Company, in the Creative Arts Building.
I was thrilled when doughnuts took over as the “hot dessert trend” from the fanciful cupcake. I do like cupcakes, but they don’t excite me like a freshly made doughnut. These days you can find gourmet doughnut shops popping up all over the USA. They offer the classic flavors along with some very exotic, even esoteric combinations. I’ve seen everything from bacon to rose petals on a doughnut. I’ve tried every combination I can find and for me it all comes down to the dough. I like soft, airy yeast dough and it should be slightly sweet, but not overly so. The gourmet shops use great ingredients and treat their dough with TLC, so they often cost a small fortune. Truth is, homemade doughnuts are super easy and quick to make, especially with our five minute dough. You can make them as fancy or simple as you like and they only cost about 20 cents each, add a few cents for the bacon and rose petals! Continue reading
Jeff and I have been busy with another project, maybe our biggest and most exciting yet. We are thrilled to finally be able to introduce you to Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Baking Revolution Continues with 90 New, Delicious and Easy Recipes Made with Gluten-Free Flours. We’ve been adding gluten-free recipes to our wheat packed books for years, but we realized that folks who can’t eat wheat probably would prefer a book dedicated to gluten-free breads they can enjoy. Along the way we also decided to tweak our GF baking method to make it even easier and faster to make. Not only are they easy and fast, but they taste fantastic, and they’re made with easy-to-find supermarket ingredients. We’re really excited to have you try them, but you’ll have to give us just a wee bit more time until the print date. Amazon and other retailers have the book available for pre-orders and it will ship on October 22nd. It will be worth the wait!
After a year of our readers recommending the Baking Steel, I’ve finally given it a try. It is a little surprizing that this hadn’t happened earlier, since I have every other baking surface ever created. As you know, if you read my review of baking stones, I love my Lodge cast iron baking “stone,” but it isn’t perfect. The round shape makes it a bit hard to make baguettes and the lip around the edge makes it tough to clean. The handles on the Lodge are convenient for getting it in and out of the oven, but it means I can’t lay a baking sheet on top of it, so I have to take it out of the oven before baking anything on a baking sheet. None of those things prevented me from using it constantly, until I got the Baking Steel. The shape of the steel is more conducive to baking beyond just pizza and there is no lip or handles to work around. Just like the cast iron, the Baking Steel is virtually indestructible, heats up a bit quicker and conducts heat really well. In fact, I think the steel is the best heat conductor of any of my “stones.” The Baking Steel is a bit more expensive than my other stones. Is it worth it? For me, yes. The shape and heating properties make it worth the extra money, and I’ll use it daily and so it’s worth the investment. The fact that I don’t have to worry about it ever breaking (even on the grill) is a comfort as well.
The dimensions of the baking steel 14×16 inches.
If you’d like a chance to win a Baking Steel with carrying case and a copy of our book, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day please leave a comment below about your favorite pizza. (The package is only available to be shipped in the USA and subject to all our regular contest rules.)This giveaway is over! Continue reading