Homemade Matzoh in 18 Minutes Flat – mixed, rolled and baked!

Homemade Matzoh | Breadin5 (1 of 9)

This week is the start of Passover and there will be a lot of matzoh consumed. Does anyone really love the taste of matzoh? I would guess not, unless you have a penchant for eating cardboard. I have very fond memories of eating matzoh with my grandparents at Passover, however it wasn’t the taste as much as the tradition. But, that doesn’t have to be the case if you make your own. It is one of the easiest and fastest flatbreads there is. In fact, it is dictated by Jewish tradition that matzoh be made in 18 minutes. The Jews had 18 minutes to flee Egypt and therefore didn’t have time to let their bread leaven. They mixed the dough and baked it right away. This recipe makes 6 good sized matzoh, which is just the right amount for a small gathering and you’ll be able to mix, roll and bake in 18 minutes flat. If you need more than that, I recommend getting your friends or family to help with the rolling and have a couple of baking stones on the ready. Obviously this won’t be Kosher for Passover, but if you are okay with that, it is the BEST matzoh you will ever eat. Even if you can’t partake during Passover, I recommend you try it for another day.

And, I suggest everyone, of any faith, or none at all, try this bread, just because it is fantastic!

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Garlic Fougasse

Olive Fougasse | Breadin5 09

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

Focaccia Bread, Two Ways!

meyer lemon + thyme focaccia | bread in 5

My family loves eating bread, but some evenings, after school, work, and afternoon activities, there isn’t much time to bake a whole loaf in time for dinner. We recently re-discovered focaccia bread, however, and it has been a quick way to put bread on the table.

Focaccia is terribly delicious; it’s a perfect accompaniment to pasta or soup, and it even makes great afternoon snack. While focaccia can be topped with all kinds of ingredients, we prefer ours rather simple: onions and rosemary scattered on an olive oil-dough flatbread. We even keep the ingredients light to promote nice browning, and the results are a well-flavored bread with a crisp crust. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can try our Meyer lemon-thyme version; Meyer lemons are much sweeter than regular lemons and are a delicious option.

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The Flatbread Braid, New Video: How to Braid a Flat Circle


Zoe did a great post last month on a traditional braided loaf (made with peasant dough). I thought now might be a nice time to do a new video (it’s way at the bottom of this post), showing one of my favorite techniques, the flatbread braid. Flat or traditional tall, these techniques also work great with challah or brioche dough (but you need to bake those lower temp (350F) because of the egg and sweetener in the challah or brioche). As in the photo, you can turn around a straight braid to make a very festive ring, and I topped it with egg wash and poppy seeds. This dough is about 50/50 whole wheat and white flour, which is a wheatier version of the Light Whole Wheat (you don’t have to use the “old” dough). The 50/50 recipe appears in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a DayContinue reading

Olive Oil Flatbread with Asparagus and Caramelized Onion Spread

olive oil flatbread with asparagus and caramelized onion spread | bread in 5

The asparagus season is short, and since we’re on the very tail end of it, working it into a flatbread seemed like a good idea. Technically this might just as easily be a pizza, since there is sauce, some cheese, and a heaping of vegetables. Either way, it’s a delicious dinner. The caramelized onion spread is sweet, and adds a nice backdrop of flavor. The asparagus is peeled into ribbons, and this technique helps them bake easily, leaving a tender bite and a subtle flavor. Goat cheese lends just a bit of tang, and if you happen to have chives growing in your garden, topping it all off with chive flowers makes a beautiful presentation.

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Thanksgiving Leftovers Torta

Thanksgiving leftovers

No matter how big your Thanksgiving feast is or how many people are gathered around your table, chances are there’s more leftovers than you know what to do with. Here is a way to use the extra turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, plus anything else that graced your holiday table and make it into something new. We feature an Italian Torta recipe in Artisan Pizza in Five, but why not swap out the layers for all those leftovers? It is tasty and gorgeous and goes together in a flash if you are cleaning out the fridge of all those half empty tupperware containers. Continue reading

Flatbread Sandwiches: Cool Kitchen, Hot Summer Meal

Here in Minneapolis we have been having a heat wave, and while grilling out can be a great way to keep the kitchen cool, some days it’s just too hot to even do that. So we came up with a quick and easy meal to help beat the heat, a dinner that just requires some stove top time and easy prep.

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Roasted red pepper for fougasse

Fougasse, stuffed or plain: New how-to video

Thanks for being patient with my roasted red pepper obsession.  Above, dropping the scorched peppers into a bowl to steam (see last week’s post on roasting your own peppers).  But now the embarrassing part:  I shot the video on a different day from pepper-roasting time, so I stuffed the fougasse with with tomato and cheese.  So it’s really fougasse in the pizza margherita style.  But you get the picture, or at least, the video:

Lamb Pita

Turkish Spiced Lamb Pita – (Lahmacun)

In addition to making pizza on superbowl sunday, I propose that you shake things up a bit with these Spiced Lamb Pitas. This is one of my favorite recipes in our new book. I love it for many reasons, but the story behind my first bite of Lahmacun is as rich as the bread itself.

I arrived in Istanbul with my husband and two sons (9 & 11 at the time), after a long trip from Minneapolis. As we entered into the city, with the sweetest cabby in the world, and the fastest driver I have ever seen, we realized we were not in the Midwest anymore. It was a feast of the senses. To say we were overwhelmed by the beauty, smells, sounds and traffic, would have been a gross understatement. No sooner had we put our bags down in the hotel, then the concierge called the room to say I had a “friend” waiting for me in the lobby. He whispered into the phone and said “Please, be careful of people who claim to be your friend in a new city.” His way of warning me about something. I didn’t know anyone in the city, and hadn’t made plans to meet up with anyone, so I heeded his warning and sent my husband to the lobby to find out who this mysterious “friend” might be. It was indeed a friend, a dear sweet woman named Serap, who I’d met in the States. She owns a delightful Turkish restaurant called Depot 62 in Manchester, Vermont. I had told her I’d be in Istanbul, asked her for tips on where to eat, but that was all I ever expected to hear. Here she was, the loveliest surprise in the world. She was visiting her sister in istanbul, and they took the day to give us a tour of the city. They fed us the most glorious foods and she introduced me to her favorite Turkish food; Lahmacun. I will never forget that day and this flatbread is forever linked with one of my most precious memories. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

This thin pita is topped with Spiced lamb, quickly baked, so it is still soft, topped with chopped onions, parsley and a squeeze of lemon, then it is rolled up like a crepe.  Continue reading


Braided Flatbread Challah

(color photo above by Mark Luinenburg An interviewer recently asked me, “what’s new in your pizza & flatbread book that you didn’t already cover in “Artisan Bread…” and in “Healthy Bread…”?  My answer:  A lot!  Like how ’bout this Braided Challah Flatbread that requires zero resting time before it goes into the oven?  Braided enriched loaves like these are integral parts of many holiday traditions– Finnish Pulla, Swedish St. Lucia’s Bread, Jewish Sabbath bread, and others.  So this busy holiday season, you can be ready with super-fast festive loaves like these.  Detailed photos ahead… Continue reading