Green Four-Leaf Clover Broccoli & Cheddar Buns for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day bread

They say that everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and I hope that’s true, because I love the Irish–for their music, their literature, their Guinness Stout, and believe it or not, for their food.  It’s been many years since I was in Ireland, but I remember swooning over the fresh, wild salmon, buttered potatoes (of course), and the moist and flavorful brown bread.  But brown bread’s not particularly festive (or green!), and Zoe and I don’t have a recipe for classic Irish soda bread, which is made without yeast (for that, I rely on James Beard’s recipe in Beard on Bread– the first bread I ever made).  Then Zoe reminded me about our broccoli-and-cheddar buns in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  Turns out that four-leaf clovers aren’t especially Irish, but they’re very lucky!  Sprinkled with cheese, these make a lovely accompaniment to corned beef and cabbage.  One little disclosure– the broccoli doesn’t make it all that deeply green, as you can see.  Some would have used green food coloring, I suppose.  Bain taitneamh as do bhéil!  Hearty appetite (I think)… Continue reading

Christmas Stollen

There is 20 inches of snow on the ground here in Minneapolis and the temperature has dipped WAY below zero. This is why we Minnesotans are such bakers, it warms up the house and makes everyone happy. Christmas Stollen is a great tradition this time of year. A sweet loaf that is studded with fruit, spiced with cardamom and a little treat of almond paste runs through it. Once it comes out of the oven we dust it with a thick layer of confectioners’ sugar to look like the snow outside. If there is any left the next day it makes amazing French toast.

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Whole Wheat Pullman Loaf with Tapenade

Olive tapenade bread

I must admit that I use my Pullman pan quite frequently – there is something about those neat, square pieces that seem to make my sandwich more special. However, I wanted to change things up a bit, and decided to get a little creative. Normally I prefer sweet swirled breads, but sometimes something savory is needed. I found that this French olive spread (tapenade) is just the thing.

Tapenade bread 2

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Thanksgiving Pumpkin Brioche Swirl Buns With Chocolate Ganache and Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour

Winter is slowly approaching (although here in Minneapolis we hit 70 degrees this past weekend!), and that means the smell of pumpkin is in the air. These swirl buns came together on a whim; we were asked to bring something to a brunch, and there was pumpkin pie brioche dough in the fridge, a favorite recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. A little chocolate ganache was easily whipped together, and after an overnight rise in the fridge, these buns were baked off in the morning, filling our house with early Holiday cheer.

The original recipe for this dough was made with White Whole Wheat for a lighter effect, but we decided to re-test it with traditional whole wheat.  Gold Medal regular whole wheat worked beautifully…

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Apple Strudel Bread

It is apple season again, one of the best times of the year. In MN we are blessed with a bevy of apple choices, which makes baking so exciting. When I make a recipe with apples I like to combine them for flavor, texture and color. In HBin5 we feature apples in our Strudel Bread, which combines all the flavors of the traditional Viennese pastry, with the easy and speed of our dough. Roll the filling into almost any dough and you have a bread that shouts “autumn is here!” Anyone who loves apples will fall head over heels for this loaf.

My eldest son is going through a NO nuts or raisins phase, which I hope to break him of soon, but in the mean time, I bake without them for his sake. Usually this loaf would be made with both of those delicious additions and I highly recommend you try that version. In order to make the loaf more interesting without the nuts and raisins, I replaced them with a sharp cheddar cheese. The loaf was gone within minutes of the school day ending, so I know he appreciated the effort.  Continue reading

Another pumpernickel as cool weather baking yields to Spring

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As the cool-weather baking season starts to wind down (in Minnesota, I should add the word “mercifully”), I thought I’d reprise one of my favorite hearty cool-weather breads– pumpernickel.

The “black and white” pumpernickel/rye braid is a New York specialty that brings back fond memories for me. Mark Luinenburg’s photo above is downright savory; you can almost hear the caraway seeds crunching in your mouth.  Pumpernickel is a kind of rye, and we included a whole grain version in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which also has a rustic Bavarian-Style pumpernickel based on the same dough.  Let’s throw together the recipe for this healthy and hearty dough… Continue reading

Bradley Benn’s Beer Bread video and the winners of the RED STAR YEAST giveaway!

I met Bradley Benn at a pottery class many years ago. He is a master of his craft and a kind and patient teacher to those of us who dabble in clay. Little did I know that he was also a skilled baker, until he showed up in a classic MG with a loaf of fabulous bread. One of the hazards of this career of mine is that people rarely, if ever, bake for me, so this was an especially cherished loaf. He shared not only the bread, but also the recipe. When I decided to put it into Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, I adapted his recipe to 100% whole grains. The dough is made with beer, which gives it a jump start on the sourdough flavors we usually wait for. Then we wrap the dough around sauteed onions, rosemary and walnuts. Together they create a bread with so much character and flavor you can eat it alone, but I love it with sharp cheese, grainy mustard and some sweet ham.

Below you will find my first attempt at a video and the recipe for BBBB. I will show you exactly how to roll the dough and prepare it in the pan so that you get onions in every bite. (This same technique can be used to create the raisin bread from last week’s post)

*at the bottom of the post I will announce the 6 lucky winners of last weeks RED STAR YEAST giveaway. Continue reading

100% Whole Wheat Honey Pita on the Gas Grill (NEW VIDEO)– Michelle Obama’s LetsMove.gov initiative

As a doctor, I’m constantly being asked whether you can eat bread without gaining weight.  The evidence suggests that you can maintain a healthy weight by limiting your energy intake, whether your diet’s low-carb, low-fat, or has a balanced limitation of calories.  There’s no evidence that limiting calories from carbohydrates (like bread) is better than limiting it in fat or anywhere else.  I bake and eat lots of bread, and I don’t gain weight, even though I spend lots of time testing bread recipes for our books and website.  There’s some evidence that whole grain breads, like this 100% Whole Wheat Pita with Honey, are a better choice than refined white breads.

So I’ve been following Michelle Obama’s initiative to tackle childhood obesity: LetsMove.gov.  I keep hoping she’ll answer my e-mail about getting kids to bake the whole-grain breads for their families.  I may have to keep waiting on that one.  About this recipe… Continue reading

New video: How to shape a loaf (using whole grain dough)

So many of you have asked for close-up video of someone shaping a loaf  (what we called “gluten-cloaking” in the first book).  Doing this quick shaping step is the same with whole grain doughs, but the feel is different– it isn’t quite as resilient.

But as you can see in the video, it’s basically the same process with this 100% whole wheat dough (the honey-enriched variation on page 80 of Healthy Bread in Five Minute a Day).

Whole Grain Pumpernickel, and a look at our new FAQs page

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The “black and white” pumpernickel/rye braid is a New York specialty that brings back fond memories for me.  Mark Luinenburg’s photo above is downright savory; you can almost hear the caraway seeds crunching in your mouth.  Pumpernickel is a kind of rye, and we included a whole grain version in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which also has a rustic Bavarian-Style pumpernickel based on the same dough.  Let’s throw together the recipe for this healthy and hearty dough, plus talk about a new feature on our website:  The FAQs–Frequently Asked Questions tabContinue reading