(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!
The concept for these little pizza/tarts came from a family recipe. My cousin, Riad Nasr, is a world class chef and quite often the source of inspiration in my kitchen. He practices his craft in New York City at a line-up of crazy-popular restaurants including Pastis, Minetta Tavern and Balthazar. Several years ago he wrote the Balthazar cookbook and included a savory tart with herby caramelized onions and goat cheese. I made it and fell in love. When Jeff and I decided to write our Pizza book I knew this flavor combo would be fantastic as a pizza. I’ve made it in several classes that we’ve taught to rave reviews, so I thought I would make it with you here.
The key to this pizza is caramelizing the onions. You can speed up the process by using a slightly higher heat and adding a touch of sugar, but for this recipe we’re going the old fashion route and doing it slow. I admit this may take a few more than 5 minutes, but I think it’s worth it. For those of you looking for a speedier version you can find one on page 108 of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Continue reading →
(photo by Mark Luinenburg) If you’ve read any of our books, you know that this particularly photogenic fruit (or is it a vegetable?) seems to have captured our imagination. After a year of perfecting the basic tomato/basil/mozzarella topping, I did (believe it or not) get tired of Pizza Margherita. Enter the smoky and savory roasted red pepper. Continue reading →
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 →
This week is Chanukah and it is all about frying our food, which brings me great joy. I am constantly trying to come up with something new to add to our menu of latkes, jelly doughnuts and all the other traditional fare. These savory doughnuts were inspired by the fried pizzas I had in Naples. We ate them as snacks during the day, to tide us over to the next pizza. Most of the pizzarias sold them outside their front doors to people waiting in long lines or folks on the run. Pizza dough stuffed with ricotta and deep friend; simple, but perfect. My boys love them stuffed with a variety of fillings, so use your imagination and create your own savory doughnuts. Continue reading →
One of the most popular recipes from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is our version of naan. It is a non-traditional way of creating the classic Indian flatbread, and it is incredibly fast and tasty. In Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day we decided to one-up ourselves and create a stuffed naan, made from a dough that has a slight tang from the addition of yogurt. This aromatic flatbread is filled with cilantro and onions, then baked until golden on a hot stone. When it comes from the oven we slather it in ghee and serve it hot. You’ll want to make several, because they go fast and they are as good hot as they are cold. Continue reading →
Please come– bake pizza from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day and tweet about it on November 15, 2011 (and through the weekend). Use the hashtag #PizzaPartyIn5 so we can re-tweet your pizzas. Looking for pizza party ideas? See our party video on YouTube? Bloggers, please include a link to your pizza posts and we’ll let the world know where to find you.
Zoe and I aren’t gluten-free, but some of our friends are, so our secondand third books have a nice sampling of gluten-free doughs. The pizza above? A gluten-free Pear, Prosciutto, and Blue Cheese Pizza that we featured in the article we just wrote for Easy Eats Magazine (click here for a free sample download of the article). Easy Eats Magazine (EasyEats.com) is brand-new, and it’s specifically for gluten-free folks– there’s no wheat in this magazine. Our article isn’t just about pizza– there’s bread, breadsticks, pannetone muffins, and challah. We’re thrilled to be part of the inaugural issue!
Today our new book is finally available and we couldn’t be happier to welcome Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day into our happy family. We are so excited for you to get baking from it, so we’re posting one of our favorite doughs from the book. I have to admit it took us a while to decide which one to share, since our favorite seems to change with our moods. This Olive Oil Dough is fantastic for a thin crust, a thick crust and so many of our worldly flatbreads. No matter the technique you decide to try, you’ll love the results.
We like to make the classic Pizza Margherita, it’s the ultimate in Italian toppings. In fact, the colors resemble the Italian flag and the pizza was named for the Italian queen, Margherita, because she fell in love with it. Nothing but tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil. So pure and so tasty.
We want to invite you to visit us while we are on book tour. To find dates and cities please visit our Events page. Hope to meet you! Continue reading →
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 →
I have to admit that I have never made Monkey Bread before. My brother’s used to make it when they were younger, but I’d already left the house for college. My husband has even made it for my boys, but always when I am out of town, a father/son tradition. In both cases it was made with a dough or biscuits that come in a pop-open-tube from the grocery store. You know just what I am talking about. This is perhaps why my husband only made them when I wasn’t around. Trust me, I love anything made with cinnamon sugar and caramel, so the concept appeals to me. When I found myself with a bucket of brioche and wanting to make the boys a treat, I thought Monkey Bread. Now I wonder how come it took me so long to figure this out? It is simple, fun and absolutely delicious. Only make them when you have people to share them with, or you will find yourself nibbling at them all day like I did. Luckily, my boys and their friends came home and saved me from eating the entire pan. Continue reading →