This week is the one time a year when we purposefully make our food look creepy. Halloween is great fun for the kids, but we adults love to play with our food too, and its great fun to watch people squirm just a bit. Even though these breadsticks are ghoulish, they are crunchy and delicious as well. Stick a few in the lunch box to give your kids a little Halloween thrill at school. Continue reading
It is that time of year again in Minnesota, when the weather goes from 90°F one day, to 48°F the next. It is bittersweet to lose summer, but we enthusiastically head into baking season. This time of year also brings the apples, glorious apples. This week alone I have made pie, fritters, waffles and these baked doughnuts with all the apple varieties I found at the farmers market. Baked Doughnuts? Many of you have requested a doughnut recipe that is not fried. I admit I was hesitant, since I am a doughnut fanatic and was afraid the baked version would be a poor substitute. I am, once again, thrilled to announce YOU WERE RIGHT! The baked apple doughnuts are tender, sweet and studded with pieces of tart apples. The trick is to coat the dough in lots of cinnamon sugar, then bake them so they are still soft on the inside and have a wonderful sugar crust on the outside. The Maple Glaze gives them an even more decadent feel, even though they are the healthy version of our favorite treat. You may never miss the fried version again, but if you are like me, you’ll make both.
As you may know, we have always used Gold Medal Flour to test our recipes. It is the most widely available flour, its quality is always predictable and the results are fantastic. Not to mention, you can make a batch (4 loaves) of our dough using their flour for 40 cents a loaf. When the folks at Gold Medal Flour invited us to Kansas this summer to meet their farmers, ride a combine, tour the mill and play in their test kitchens, we jumped at the opportunity. We were blown away by the company and came away with even more respect for the brand. So, when they asked us to partner with them, we decided it was a perfect match.
Baked Apple Doughnuts:
This weekend we joined Michelle Gayer (above with Jeff) from The Salty Tart Bakery, to make pizzas in a wood-fired oven at the 2nd Annual Bread Festival, hosted by Gold Medal Flour and the Mill City Farmers Market. It was a perfect fall day to bake outside and enjoy freshly baked breads and pizzas. Continue reading
September is the month of the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This Six-Strand Braided Challah, using our five minute dough, is a beautiful and festive way to celebrate. Traditionally for Rosh Hashanah we bake the bread in the shape of a ring studded with raisins, but if you serve any of our delicious challahs you will do the holidays justice.
Braiding six strands takes a bit of technique, but once you have the rhythm the braid goes together quickly and easily. Keep in mind that you are only working with one strand at a time, so there is no juggling to do. You want to be sure to keep your hands and work surface well floured so the strands don’t become sticky as you work.
Having just returned from Kansas and seeing the amber waves of wheat, I was moved to bake a bread that represents the American Breadbasket. This simple basket-weave of bread sticks is a stunning way to serve tuna salad (or anything else your craving) at your 4th of July picnic. You can make a large one to share or smaller baskets for individual plates.
Happy 4th of July!
The winner of the Gold Medal Flour giveaway is announced at the bottom of the post. Continue reading
Last week I did a post about baking a loaf of bread in a slow cooker. The resulting bread was fast, easy and delicious, not to mention it didn’t require a hot oven on a warm summer day. Several people asked if the same technique could be used with our gluten-free doughs. I am happy to announce that YES, it also works with gluten-free. I used the “Not Rye (But So Very Close)” recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Check with your crock-pot’s manufacturer before trying this, since some model’s instructions specify that the pot has to be at least partially filled with liquid to avoid safety or durability problems. And never bake in a crock-pot unattended. Continue reading
When I moved to the midwest I was introduced to Crock Pot cooking. I had never even seen a slow cooker before and had no idea the range of foods that could be created in a plug-in cooking pot. Since then I have had everything from No-Peek-Chicken, Swedish Meatballs and Peach cobbler, done in one of these magic devices. When my husband was an art director Aveda they had “crock pot parties,” which meant everyone plugged in their slow cookers at their desks and made a dish to share. Brilliant! Maybe kids should bring crock pots to school and have healthy food cooking at their desks.
But, bread in a crock pot? Over the years we have gotten requests from readers to develop a method of baking our dough in a crock pot. I had my doubts, lots of them. I didn’t think the slow cooker could get hot enough, I thought it would take too long, I didn’t think it would bake through or have a nice crust and I resisted trying it. I was so convinced it would be a fail. Oh, how wrong I was. The crock pot does indeed get hot enough, and it takes less time than using your oven, because the rising time is included in the baking. The only thing I got right was the crust, it is very soft and quite pale when it comes out of the slow cooker, but just a few minutes under a broiler and I got a gorgeous loaf. I am a convert and it is just perfect for summer baking when you don’t want to heat up your oven. You could even amaze your friends at work by baking a loaf under your desk! *
This week I had the tremendous pleasure of doing an event with the Minnesota Food Bloggers. The group is held together with the love and sweat of Stephanie Meyer and includes 450 passionate food lovers. The group gets together about once a month to celebrate what is exciting and new in the Minneapolis food scene, which is growing larger and more exciting every day. Stephanie invited me to do a pizza class for the group, and I jumped at the chance. An excuse to hang out with this group and an opportunity to get them all tossing dough in the air and baking pizza. The venue was also a tremendous draw for me, we did this giant pizza party at the Kitchen in the Market. A fully equipped professional kitchen run by the sweet, sassy and talented duo Molly McDonald Herrmann and Tracy Morgan. Here is a lovely post of the party by Sarah Kieffer whose site The Vanilla Bean Blog is just beautiful.
We made dough from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day the kind made specifically for tossing high in the air. The dough for tossing is made with Bread Flour, so it is a bit stronger and can handle being thrown as high as you dare. The group has several folks who are on a gluten free diet, so we had our gluten free crust available to them. The g-f crust is tasty and makes a brilliant pizza, but can’t be tossed high in the air and needs to be handled in a different way from traditional dough. Below are our instructions for the no-fail gluten free crust. But, before I roll out the dough, I want to say a little about the toppings. There are some gifts that are priceless…so rare, so precious and so fleeting that they make you want to weep. Kathy Yerich, one of the partners of Rouge Pottery, brought me such a gift at the pizza party. She went foraging for morel mushrooms, ramps (spring onions) and nettles and brought them to me in a basket. The contents of this basket were almost too gorgeous to eat, but I managed and made this pizza, which my husband said “tastes like summer!” What a gift. Continue reading
(This is a post that first appeared in 2009 – we hope it is fresh for some and a welcome memory for others!)
“Hot cross buns, hot cross buns, everybody loves hot cross buns!” are the words to the children’s song and it is so true. I made these buns at the request of many of you and my kids devoured them within minutes. They are the buns traditionally served at Easter time. A sweet dough, spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing.
As I researched these delicious buns I realized that there are as many ways to make them as there are families who bake them. Some people slash the dough to make the cross, others use a flour and water paste to create the symbol and others use the sweet icing. Tell me how you make your buns, and if you don’t have a family tradition yet, you can start with these!