Here is the perfect treat for back-to-school (or for that brunch your hosting this weekend, or just a midnight snack). This time of year is always bittersweet for us parents. Our little cherubs are headed back to school; we miss them, but also rejoice the quiet, in equal measures. Baking something sweet and tasty seems like a great way to celebrate. The best thing about this recipe is that it is easy enough for the kids to bake themselves (a bit of help with the oven for the little ones.) My 12-year-old son started a “bakery” this summer (read about his entrepreneurial endeavor here) and he made these cinnamon rolls. I handed him the galley copy of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking; he mixed the brioche dough (using a Scale and a Danish Dough Whisk), rolled it out, made the filling, baked them, whipped up some frosting, and then ate one (quality control) before his customers arrived at 7:30am. I did nothing but photograph his adventure in the kitchen and watched the oven.
As you may know, Jeff and I have been using Red Star yeast since the very beginning of this bread baking venture. We love the results we get, we can get it in bulk and it is less expensive than the other brands, what’s not to love? They have recently come out with a new product, so of course we were eager to give it a try. Truth be told, I’ve been using it for about a year, since they gave me a sample when they first developed it. It has all the great aspects of their regular instant yeast, but they’ve added dough enhancers. These “enhancers” are what professional bakeries use in their recipes to improve the rise and to strengthen the dough. Anything that makes a dough rise better and bake up taller seems like a good idea. The enhancers are all natural, but not gluten-free, so Platinum yeast should not be used in our gluten-free doughs. The other Red Star products are all gluten-free. Continue reading →
There is nothing more American than grilling on the 4th of July, well, maybe a star spangled pizza is the most patriotic of all. This is a super fast pizza that is ideal for breakfast, which I just served my family this morning, or can be throw together at your holiday BBQ as dessert. I made the pizza in a small baking sheet, but you can make a larger one if you have a crowd to feed.
For spring break my family visited Puerto Rico. It took me less than 24 hours to find myself an amazing local bakery with all kinds of tasty pastries and breads to try. My favorites, which I managed to sample several times during our stay, were the Quesitos and Mallorca buns. The buns are a sweet enriched dough that is wound up into a snail shell shape and dusted with a thick coating of powdered sugar. We ate them plain with coffee or split open, stuffed with eggs and bacon, as a breakfast sandwich. When I got back home, I used our brioche dough to recreate the sweet buns and they are delicious and easy to make. Continue reading →
This beautiful loaf is the traditional bread of Easter in Greece and many other Christian countries. It is an enriched dough that is twisted around brightly dyed eggs. The bread is often braided with three strands to represent the holy trinity, formed into a circle as a reference to life and the eggs are dyed red as a symbol of Christ’s blood. The dough is lightly sweet, flavored with orange zest and a traditional Middle Eastern spice called Mahlepi, which is made from ground cherry pits. The spice can be found in Middle Eastern or Greek markets. If you don’t have the spice, you can make the dough with ground Anise seed or even Cardamom. Continue reading →
By Jeff Hertzberg - photos by Sarah Kieffer, January 28, 2013
Filed Under Sweets | 25 comments
Well, I’m just going to come right out and say it: these little brioche danish are so very tasty. They came about after a lazy Sunday morning; I had some whole wheat brioche dough in the fridge, and wanted something sweet that didn’t involve a lot of work. I also happened to have a tube of almond paste, goat cheese, and pistachios, and so the great experiment began. It was delicious from the start, but after a few tries and a little tweaking, a perfect weekend treat was born.
By Jeff Hertzberg - photos by Sarah Kieffer, January 1, 2013
Filed Under Sweets | 32 comments
Somehow another year has slipped by again. Many of us are winding down our holiday preparations, and we are packing up ornaments, changing our diets, and erasing holiday playlists from our iPods. However, there is one day left to celebrate with good cheer; one door left open to a little decadence and indulgence. This would, of course, be New Years, and we are ready to ring it in.
Thanksgiving has come and gone too quickly yet again. We have finished eating our Thanksgiving Leftovers Torta, but we’ll continue to hold on to our reasons to stop and give thanks, especially as the holiday madness begins in earnest. We’ve come up with two great ways to celebrate the season with you–and they don’t involve turkey or long lines of shoppers. First, there is this decadent chocolate bread, laced with coffee, cardamom, and more chocolate, and second, we have a book package giveaway!
It is that time of year again in Minnesota, when the weather goes from 90°F one day, to 48°F the next. It is bittersweet to lose summer, but we enthusiastically head into baking season. This time of year also brings the apples, glorious apples. This week alone I have made pie, fritters, waffles and these baked doughnuts with all the apple varieties I found at the farmers market. Baked Doughnuts? Many of you have requested a doughnut recipe that is not fried. I admit I was hesitant, since I am a doughnut fanatic and was afraid the baked version would be a poor substitute. I am, once again, thrilled to announce YOU WERE RIGHT! The baked apple doughnuts are tender, sweet and studded with pieces of tart apples. The trick is to coat the dough in lots of cinnamon sugar, then bake them so they are still soft on the inside and have a wonderful sugar crust on the outside. The Maple Glaze gives them an even more decadent feel, even though they are the healthy version of our favorite treat. You may never miss the fried version again, but if you are like me, you’ll make both.
As you may know, we have always used Gold Medal Flour to test our recipes. It is the most widely available flour, its quality is always predictable and the results are fantastic. Not to mention, you can make a batch (4 loaves) of our dough using their flour for 40 cents a loaf. When the folks at Gold Medal Flour invited us to Kansas this summer to meet their farmers, ride a combine, tour the mill and play in their test kitchens, we jumped at the opportunity. We were blown away by the company and came away with even more respect for the brand. So, when they asked us to partner with them, we decided it was a perfect match.
We decided to miniaturize a recipe, just in time for the State Fair. Here in Minnesota we are crazy about our Fair, and we celebrate with much eating: mostly fried foods, of course, and anything on a stick. So today we bring you mini-doughnuts, a delicious treat made easy with our dough. This particular version is made with our whole wheat brioche, which takes away a little bit of the guilt. (It could also be made with whole wheat brioche with stevia, easing your conscience even more.) The doughnuts are coated in sugar while they’re still warm, and then devoured immediately. Continue reading →
Brioche is one of our favorite breads, and our recipe in Healthy Bread in Five has been a great choice for sneaking some whole wheat into our diet. But some of our readers who really need to limit their sugar and carbs have asked about sugar substitutes. After some research and tinkering this past week, I was happy to discover that NuNaturals MoreFiber Stevia Baking Blend can be swapped into our brioche recipe–in place of honey. So this is a no-sugar way to sweeten this loaf– and I’m guessing that it will work in any of our sweet recipes. Continue reading →