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!

granola

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

Three Ways To Get Steam Into Your Oven For a Great Crust: VIDEO

Return to FAQs page

In Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, we talked about a way to get steam into the oven to create a great, crispy, caramelized crust on lean (un-enriched) loaves:  pouring water into a pre-heated METAL (not glass) broiler tray or other pan just before you close the oven door.  To be extra-safe about your glass oven window, protect it from the water with a towel before you pour the water; remove the towel before closing the oven door. Some older non-tempered glass windows can crack if you get water on them when they’re hot.  This metal-tray method works well in most ovens.

But some ovens are a bit temperamental about this.  Really large ovens, or really well-vented ones, and in many cases, professional-quality ovens installed in homes, seem to let the steam escape and you end up with a dull, pale-colored crust that never gets crisp.  We’ve got a video of some excellent alternatives… Continue reading

Jeff is holding a pizza-throwing clinic (and book-signing) at Borders, Saturday 12/18, Maple Grove MN

I’m going to be at the Borders in Maple Grove, Minnesota, tomorrow (Saturday December 18), at 2:00pm for a book-signing.  I’ll be tossing pizza dough up in the air– come on out if you want an advance look at the throwing instructions that will be in our third book:  Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, scheduled for release in October 2011–we submitted the manuscript yesterday–Halleluyah!!

Jeff

The Ultimate Jelly Doughnuts!

This week is Chanukah and my family revels in the amount of doughnuts (sufganiyot) we can eat. It is tradition during the holiday to eat fried food, lots of it, which is something I easily embrace. We start with lacy potato latkes and end the meal with jelly doughnuts. This year I filled the doughnuts with many types of jam, jelly and preserves, each had a different topping to go with it. Each one became my new favorite. With a bucket of brioche dough from ABin5 and some oil you are ready to make doughnuts that are better than the bakery down the street.

We want to thank Willie Geist for featuring Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day on this weekends broadcast of the TODAY SHOW. What a thrill!

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Soft Thanksgiving Pull Apart Buns!

Happy Thanksgiving! We wish you all a wonderful holiday and lots of fresh bread at your table to share with family and friends. I’m making these soft pull apart buns for our dinner tonight. They are perfect for sopping up gravy and making little turkey sandwiches.  You can do this with any of our doughs, but I used the brioche from ABin5 to get a luxurious texture and the soft crust that so many people associate with this style bun.

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Mini Brioche a Tête (Video of Mixing Brioche Dough in a Stand Mixer, Shaping and Baking!)

You can mix our doughs in a big bucket with a Danish dough whisk, which is our standard, or you can mix in a stand mixer. Jeff and I tend to use the bucket, because it is one less thing to wash, but some people find that it is easier to make the doughs in a mixer and then transfer them. Either way produces wonderful dough, so pick your own way.

In the video I share a few tricks for mixing up Brioche that are even faster than what we wrote in the book. I love the taste of this buttery bread and the mini versions are wonderful because they take a fraction of the time to rest and bake. They make perfect soft buns for dinner or you can spread them with preserves for breakfast.

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