A Baking Party at General Mills with Gold Medal Flour

Gold Medal Flour

Jeff and I just spent a couple of days with the good folks at General Mills and a bunch of super talented bloggers. We got a tour of the GM headquarters, which seems more like a small city, than a company. The campus is outfitted with test kitchens, a cookbook library, photo studios, banks, dry cleaners, grocery stores, secret recipe testing labs (I tried to sneak in, but security is tighter than the white house) and halls lined with the history of the company, which goes back to the 1800s. It is quite amazing to see how this company has shaped Minneapolis and the food culture in general. We were there as part of an event for Gold Medal bloggers. In addition to seeing the inner workings of the company, we got to visit with the people behind the blogs. Some of them we’d travelled to Kansas with to ride the combines and tour the mills, and others we just met for the first time. All of them have amazing blogs, which I have no doubt you’ve visited.

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Lauren Keathing: Healthy.Delicous
Adam+Joanne Gallagher: Inspired Taste 
Sommer Collier: Spicy Perspective 
Maegan Brown: Gold Medal’s BakerMama
Lori Lange: Recipe Girl
Maria and Josh Lichty: Two Peas and Their Pod
Jenny Flake: Picky Palate
Monique Volz: Ambitious Kitchen - she’s also the social media force behind Gold Medal.

Here are some highlights of our days with Gold Medal – including pictures of us racing on segways. I have to admit I was terrified to reveal any photos on a segway, but it was so much fun I have to own my love for this strange mode of transportation.  Continue reading

Cinnamon Buns – Child’s Play (plus Brioche made with Red Star Platinum Yeast)

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Here is the perfect treat for back-to-school (or for that brunch your hosting this weekend, or just a midnight snack). This time of year is always bittersweet for us parents. Our little cherubs are headed back to school; we miss them, but also rejoice the quiet, in equal measures. Baking something sweet and tasty seems like a great way to celebrate. The best thing about this recipe is that it is easy enough for the kids to bake themselves (a bit of help with the oven for the little ones.) My 12-year-old son started a “bakery” this summer (read about his entrepreneurial endeavor here) and he made these cinnamon rolls. I handed him the galley copy of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking; he mixed the brioche dough (using a Scale and a Danish Dough Whisk), rolled it out, made the filling, baked them, whipped up some frosting, and then ate one (quality control) before his customers arrived at 7:30am. I did nothing but photograph his adventure in the kitchen and watched the oven.

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As you may know, Jeff and I have been using Red Star yeast since the very beginning of this bread baking venture. We love the results we get, we can get it in bulk and it is less expensive than the other brands, what’s not to love? They have recently come out with a new product, so of course we were eager to give it a try. Truth be told, I’ve been using it for about a year, since they gave me a sample when they first developed it. It has all the great aspects of their regular instant yeast, but they’ve added dough enhancers. These “enhancers” are what professional bakeries use in their recipes to improve the rise and to strengthen the dough. Anything that makes a dough rise better and bake up taller seems like a good idea. The enhancers are all natural, but not gluten-free, so Platinum yeast should not be used in our gluten-free doughs. The other Red Star products are all gluten-free. Continue reading

The NEW Breadin5 Recipe is on the Gold Medal Flour Bag!

Gold Medal Flour with Breadin5

This weekend I went to the market and bought a bunch of flour. This is nothing unusual for me, as you can imagine. I absentmindedly put several bags of Gold Medal Unbleached All-purpose Flour in my cart, got home and unloaded the bags into my flour bin. That’s when I finally looked at the bag and nearly fell over. There was a logo I recognized, as if I was looking at a family photo, it was our Breadin5 logo, right on the front of the flour bag. Holy-Buckets-of-Dough-Batman, our recipe from the NEW ABin5 is on the bag of Gold Medal Flour!

New ABin5 recipe on the Gold Medal Flour bag | Breadin5.com

We’ve always tested our recipes with Gold Medal, so when they suggested we pair up to share our recipe with their customers, we thought it was a great idea, but I didn’t expect to see the bag on the shelves until this fall. I was caught completely by surprise. Pinch me. Scan the shelves of your local markets and see if your store is carrying it. A friend in CA said she found it too, so I know I didn’t dream this.

The new edition of the best-selling bread cookbook

Here’s the recipe from the bag. Everyone understands that the towel is to be removed from the oven glass before closing the oven door? Some older ovens were made without tempered glass and if you want to be extra careful, protect it. Not a lot of space for clarification on those bags, and some people were confused:

Recipe on GM bag

The new book will be out this October in all retail stores, but you can pre-order The New Artisan Bread In Five Minutes a Day any time. 

Note: Gold Medal Flour is a sponsor of BreadIn5 LLC’s promotional activities.

Star Spangled Berry Pizza on the Grill – A Gold Medal Flour Post!

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There is nothing more American than grilling on the 4th of July, well, maybe a star spangled pizza is the most patriotic of all. This is a super fast pizza that is ideal for breakfast, which I just served my family this morning, or can be throw together at your holiday BBQ as dessert. I made the pizza in a small baking sheet, but you can make a larger one if you have a crowd to feed.

Happy 4th of July! Continue reading

Gluten-Free Calzone

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Stuff it with any fillings you like and you have a simple and delicious lunch. And if you make them small, individual-serving-size, you can pack them for a great school lunch. There is no end to the flavor combinations. This recipe can be made with any of the doughs in our Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day book, but today I made it with the gluten-free dough, which is super tasty and easy to work with. Because the dough doesn’t have the same gluten-full stretch, we have to handle it slightly differently, but it is just as simple as traditional dough with the right technique.  Continue reading

Soft Puerto Rican Sweet Buns (Mallorca) with Gold Medal Flour

mallorca

For spring break my family visited Puerto Rico. It took me less than 24 hours to find myself an amazing local bakery with all kinds of tasty pastries and breads to try. My favorites, which I managed to sample several times during our stay, were the Quesitos and Mallorca buns. The buns are a sweet enriched dough that is wound up into a snail shell shape and dusted with a thick coating of powdered sugar. We ate them plain with coffee or split open, stuffed with eggs and bacon, as a breakfast sandwich. When I got back home, I used our brioche dough to recreate the sweet buns and they are delicious and easy to make.  Continue reading

5 Minute Easter Bread – Tsoureki

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This beautiful loaf is the traditional bread of Easter in Greece and many other Christian countries. It is an enriched dough that is twisted around brightly dyed eggs. The bread is often braided with three strands to represent the holy trinity, formed into a circle as a reference to life and the eggs are dyed red as a symbol of Christ’s blood. The dough is lightly sweet, flavored with orange zest and a traditional Middle Eastern spice called Mahlepi, which is made from ground cherry pits. The spice can be found in Middle Eastern or Greek markets. If you don’t have the spice, you can make the dough with ground Anise seed or even Cardamom.  Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Bread – (Brioche made with Gold Medal Bread Flour)

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Nothing expresses your love as much as a tasty homemade gift. All you need is a bucket of brioche, a heart shaped cookie cutter and red decorating sugar to make this gorgeous heart shaped loaf. It’s an easy and fast project to do with little kids on Valentine’s Day.

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Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread with Gold Medal Flour

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Here is a fun, easy way to pack lunch right into your loaf of bread. No, I don’t mean the typical sandwich our kids are sick to death of, I mean ham and cheese (or whatever you are in the mood for) is folded into the dough and baked as a loaf. Each slice is a sandwich. In order to get the layers to keep their shape, I made the dough with Gold Medal Bread Flour, which boosts the amount of gluten and gives the loaf a little more structure. To make it a touch healthier (I’m constantly sneaking whole grains where kids will never see them) I also used Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour. This technique would work equally well with many other doughs from our books.

pull-apart bread

As the name suggests you can just pull sections of the loaf apart, but I sliced into this one to show you how the ham and cheese ends up woven through the bread.

When I just checked Amazon, they were selling the Kindle Edition of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for $6.99. Not sure how long that will last, but if you’ve ever considered trying the E-reader version, this would be a great time to dive in.

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Sweet Brioche in a Crock Pot

Sweet Brioche is the latest in my series of crock pot breads*. It may have taken me a while to give the old slow cooker a try, but now I am unstoppable. Some of you may know that I am in the very last stages of a kitchen remodel, which has me displaced and baking under less-than-ideal conditions. So, the crock pot is the perfect way to get the job done. It can travel from room to room and it takes up no space at all. This time of year we may not be concerned with heating up our house with the oven, in fact, I rather look forward to it. That is precisely why we northerners refer to winter as the “baking season,” because we do as much of it as possible to keep ourselves warm. But, this time of year can be a battle to find enough oven space. Thanksgiving and Christmas can pose a Rubik’s Cube style challenge of getting everything baked and on the table at the same time. Why not eleviate some of the pressure by throwing a ball of dough in your crock? Next I have to see if I can make bread pudding in my slow cooker. I do look forward to having my kitchen back, but until then I will not be without fresh baked bread.

Happy Holidays! Continue reading