Monkey Bread – Brioche dipped in cinnamon sugar and caramel!

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

Red, White and Blue Brioche Tartlettes for the 4th of July!

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With the 4th of July coming up I’ve been on a quest to create perfect picnic treats. Small and tasty fits that bill. Earlier this week I made Bakewell tarts on ZoeBakes and realized that it would be such an easy dessert to recreate using brioche dough, something I always have on hand.  The tarts are made with a brioche crust, a spoon of jam, a layer of frangipane (almond cream) and topped with fresh fruit. I used cherries and blueberries to create red, white and blue tarts. Continue reading

Grilled Buns on Father’s Day

Father’s Day is the day where everything good in life happens on the grill. While you are making burgers, kebabs or brats, you can also slide your Dutch oven in next to them and bake up some fresh buns. I made these with the olive oil dough from Artisan Bread in 5, but you can use any of the doughs from our books. The only adjustments you may need to make is the temperature in which you cook them. The key to successful grill baking is knowing your grill and how it heats up. The best way I have found is to use the built in thermometer, but if your grill doesn’t have one, you will just have to keep a close eye on the buns, as you flip those burgers, and they will come out just great! Continue reading

Peaches and Creamy Summer Bread Pudding

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Yeah, it is summer and one doesn’t automatically think of bread pudding, the ultimate cozy comfort food. But, why not? Jeff and I are busy creating and testing new recipes for our second third book and I’ve got so much bread in my house right now I hardly know what to do with it all. My friends and neighbors get a lot of freshly baked bread, but there is still more. I make bread salads and tonight I used some of my brioche for this bread pudding (on page 234 in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day). To give it a summery lightness I sliced up some sweet, juicy peaches and fanned them over the pudding before I baked it. It is a wonderful, and lovely dessert. This fall I’ll do the same with sliced pears.

I bet Jeff will even try this on his grill if he gets the temperature down low enough! Continue reading

Brioche Berry Pudding – something gorgeous for Mother’s Day!

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This is a post I did a couple of years ago on Mother’s Day. It is bright, cheery and gorgeous, just the thing to make for mom,especially after such a long winter. We MN mom’s need a bit of sunshine!

Some things are worth a little more effort, right! Like a dessert for your mom on Mother’s Day.  This berry pudding is really very simple to make, but I admit it will take just a bit longer than 5 minutes to put together. Berry puddings are a slightly retro English sweet and I think they deserve a come back. Their drop dead gorgeous color comes from the dark berry juice soaked brioche, hiding a treasure of sweet, slightly drunken berries within.

You just can’t resist something this wonderful and if you have a bucket of brioche on hand it will go together really very easily. Happy Spring to you all! Continue reading

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

Baking Flatbreads on a Frozen Minnesota Lake… or, shaping flatbreads is easier with whole grain dough

Well, I had the best of intentions–  really did mean to do a skillet-baked bread on a frozen lake right here in Minneapolis.  It works perfectly, er, in the summer.  On dry land.

As you can see, I ran into technical difficulties with my Coleman stove.  Something about the temperature.  Welcome to my winter.

So, back into the kitchen we went, where I decided to bake the flatbreads.  In an oven.  We’d toted along whole grain dough from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and as you can see in the video, one real advantage of whole grain dough is that it yields to flattening very, very easily.  If you’re going to try your hand at a pita or pizza without using a rolling pin, this is the dough to try it with (or even our 100% whole wheat dough).  Whole grain doughs are lower in gluten than white-flour doughs, and in addition, the tiny jagged flakes of bran serve to cut the gluten strands as they form.  As much as gluten is necessary, it can really slow you down when you’re trying to form a flatbread or pizza.

The more pizza you bake, the faster spring will come.  Or something like that?

“King Cake” for Mardi Gras!

Don’t adjust the color balance on your monitor, this “cake” really is purple, green and gold. King Cake, named for the three kings who came to bring gifts to Jesus, is traditionally served during Mardi Gras in New Orleans and throughout the South. Not only is it decorated with the colors of the festival, but it also has a hidden trinket in the dough. I’ve used an almond, but in New Orleans bakers often use a ceramic or plastic doll to represent the baby Jesus. The person who gets the slice with the trinket is responsible for making the King Cake the following year.

There are many versions of this sweet bread, depending on the traditions of different families. Our version is made with Brioche dough which has nutmeg, lemon zest and citron added into it.  The dough can be Braided and/or formed into a Couronne (crown shape) as I have done here. Some bakers even use a cream cheese and praline filling, but we went with a more traditional filling. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Bread!

Valentine’s day is near and we have a fun way to celebrate. No, that is not dough tinted with red food coloring, but our Red Beet dough from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day! It’s bright color  is perfect to be baked on the holiday all about red hearts. Those who are beet lovers will consider this the best gift ever. If your valentine is not a big fan of this jewel toned root vegetable, you can certainly make the heart-shaped loaf with any of our doughs, especially the chocolate dough.

Thank you all for entering so many wonderful ideas in our pizza contest, we were blown away by your creativity. The winning combination will apear in our upcoming book Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes a Day. We have also picked 5 random winners who will receive a signed copy of HBin5. Those winners are listed below. Continue reading

The Best Granola I’ve Ever Had!

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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