Cinnamon Rolls

I think my children love me just a little bit more now that I have baked these. The buns are made with brioche dough and layered with cinnamon sugar and just a touch of zest, whats not to love? You can add more to the mix, like nuts, raisins, a dash of cardamom, or just leave them simple. The cream cheese icing is the crowning glory and makes these breakfast treats completely addictive. I ended up making two batches this weekend, because of the demand and how easy they are to throw together. Continue reading

The Best Granola I’ve Ever Had!


Thank you for all the wonderful pizza recipes, it is going to be very difficult to pick the winning combination to appear in Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day. Jeff, myself and the editors at St. Martin’s Press will pick one and announce it next week. We will also announce the winners of the 5 signed copies of HBin5.

While we make our selection here is a post that originally appeared in 2008 about our granola from ABin5. Perfect Winter comfort food! Continue reading

Breadsticks from Whole Grain Dough! NEW VIDEO

Breadsticks are among the easiest and fastest things we bake, because you roll out a thin sheet, cut the sticks with a pizza cutter, and then it’s into oven, with no resting time needed– they go into the oven as soon as they’re cut.  Here, at long last, is the TV segment we did on this last February:

New video’s coming (on how to get steam into your oven); but we’re two weeks from manuscript deadline, so here’s a Roasted Red Pepper Fougasse…


… …and I’m having trouble finding time to finish editing the video.  Zoe and I have two more busy weeks of last-minute editing for our pizza and flatbread book (which will be out in October of 2011).  I’ll get the new video up here as soon as possible (on how to get steam into your oven), but meanwhile here’s a re-print of an old post– on roasted red pepper fougasse– a gorgeous stuffed flatbread from France, which looks ahead to next year when we’ll be talking about flatbread all the time. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn Bread – (Contest Closed!)


It will soon be American Thanksgiving, so I thought I’d re-post our Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn bread.  It’s based on the Portuguese Broa style (page 82 in the book)—it’s our regular Master Recipe, but with 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour taken out and replaced with an equal amount of cornmeal.

Continue reading

Use your best bread for the best panini you’ll ever eat

Panini (singular panino) are mouthwatering Italian grilled sandwiches.  They’re closely related to the French “croque monsieur,” but they’re made with olive oil rather than melted butter.  You can put anything you want into them, so long as one of the ingredients is cheese, which ties the whole thing together.

Why not make them with the best bread you can find (your own of course)?  First make some bread from any lean dough (white flour recipe, or a whole grain version), then come back here to fire up the panini press (you’ll see in some of my pictures that I used a mixture of doughs).  One nice thing is that the bread doesn’t have to be absolutely fresh to make a crisp and crunchy panino, so this can be a great way to use up yesterday’s loaf… 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

Loaf pan breads work beautifully with our method– giveaway of baking equipment from Red Star Yeast (GIVEAWAY CLOSED, see winners on 10/12 post)

cinnamon toast

People think of artisan-style loaves as being free-form, but our method also works beautifully in loaf pans, as you can see above (read on for instructions on how to make the cinnamon-raisin bread in Zoe’s picture).  We love crusty free-form artisan loaves, but nothing says “comfort food” and kicks off the fall baking season like a luscious traditional loaf like this one.

Our friends at Red Star Yeast have offered to provide some great prize packages for a giveaway— perfect for creating loaf-pan breads.  Red Star also shot a video of Zoe and me demonstrating the basic method from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes  a Day

We first met the Red Star people in Milwaukee, while on book tour for Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day— that’s where the company has its headquarters.  Red Star had found out through the bread grapevine (!) that we use their product.  Both of us have used it for years– it gives consistent, excellent results, and it’s the best value in the grocery store.  This fall, you’ll find bottles of Red Star yeast in the supermarket, with our pictures tied to them, in addition to a 75 cents-off coupon, and recipe links:

OK, here’s what’s in our Red-Star giveaway package, which will be awarded to six lucky entrants picked by random drawing next week.  You must enter by commenting HERE, on this post (one comment only), US entries only.  Don’t try to enter on the contest rules page, we won’t see that for the drawing (click here to view contest rules): Continue reading

Got camping stove? Got flatbread! Plus, bread in the shape of Minnesota…

This Labor Day weekend is summer’s last hurrah for those of us in Minnesota (more on that in a minute).  I’m just back from a fantastic camping trip, and as always, we did our flatbread in a cast-iron or other heavy skillet, right on the camping stove (I’ve always used the Coleman).  You can use any lean dough, either from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, or from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  Your skillet must have a cover, but that’s about all the equipment you’ll need.  This is pretty similar to the naan we do in Artisan Bread, and at this link here on the website.

We Minnesotans pride ourselves on taking winter in stride.  The other thing we seem to have pride in is the shape of our state– it seems to work its way into road signs and even macaroni and cheese pasta shapes.  So with great delight, I reveal to you:  grilled bread in THE SHAPE OF MINNESOTA:

OK, it was an accident. My wife claims that this does not really resemble the state:

Well, use a little poetic license, especially for the Arrowhead region? Other posts on grilled or summer breads are at: Continue reading

Crisp thin crackers– outside on the grill, NEW VIDEO

First off, sorry for the loud cricket sounds– couldn’t do anything about that, because…

It’s still summer, and I’m still grilling bread, but I wanted to show how to roll dough exceptionally thin for crackers use the outdoor grill as an oven.  The key with crackers is to prevent them from getting scorched.  In Artisan Bread in Five and Healthy Bread in Five we talk about doing crackers at in the 375 – 400 degree F. range (190 – 200 C), and that definitely helps prevent scorching.  You can also use oil on the crackers, and that helps too.  But oil does increase the baking time– my crackers took 20 to 30 minutes to get crisp. And that range depends on whether you get them truly paper-thin.  The thicker ones take a little longer.  So be more patient than I am and get it to less than 1/16-inch thickness– you should almost be able to see through it.

Equipment links:  To temper the grill’s heat (adjust the burners to yield a 375 to 400), I used a baking stone and also a thick commercial-grade aluminum baking sheet.  Recently, I switched to a thin non-handled rolling pin– the French milled style pin, and I feel that it’s easier to control, especially when you’re rolling very thinly.

One other tip: If you bake large flat crackers and don’t cut them before baking, “dock” (puncture) them with a fork before baking or they might puff, which you don’t want with pita.

The idea of crackers has always to have a crisp dried result that stored well– as you can see in the video, these didn’t last long enough to test the theory.  And remember:  serious bakers wear closed-toe footwear!

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