Mushroom Garlic Thyme Stovetop Pizza

mushroom garlic thyme stovetop pizza | bread in 5

Pizza for dinner is always a favorite around my house, and while I’ve tried it every which way: classic margherita, deep dish, hand tossed, and grilled, it had been awhile since I’ve made a stovetop version. Our Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes A Day book has a great recipe for pizza made in a cast iron skillet, and after making it quite often this past week I remembered how easy and tasty this method is. It’s perfect for dinner, but especially for lunch; pizza is ready quickly without even turning on the oven.

Continue reading

How-to: Six-Strand Braided Challah

challah

September is the month of the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This Six-Strand Braided Challah, using our five minute dough, is a beautiful and festive way to celebrate. Traditionally for Rosh Hashanah we bake the bread in the shape of a ring studded with raisins, but if you serve any of our delicious challahs you will do the holidays justice.

Braiding six strands takes a bit of technique, but once you have the rhythm the braid goes together quickly and easily. Keep in mind that you are only working with one strand at a time, so there is no juggling to do. You want to be sure to keep your hands and work surface well floured so the strands don’t become sticky as you work.

Continue reading

Herb Crock-Pot Dinner Rolls – Summer Baking

crock-pot buns

Weather is something we Minnesotans take great pride in. We love our winters, mostly for the bragging rights of surviving them, and the fact that it can go from -40° to 90°F in a blink of an eye. This summer we add an unprecedented heat wave, which may rival the “Halloween snow” in weather lore. As the thermometer on my back door reads 95°F for what seems the entire summer, I find myself pulling out the crock-pot to bake. What was originally a lark, bread in the slow-cooker has become my go-to summer baking method. Yesterday I picked a bunch of fresh herbs, made them into a savory dough and then at dinner I baked up some dinner rolls. All the wonderful aroma, the delight of fresh bread, without the heat of the oven. Check with your crock-pot’s manufacturer before trying this, since some model’s instructions specify that the pot has to be at least partially filled with liquid to avoid safety or durability problems.  And never bake  in a crock-pot unattended. Continue reading
Roasted red peppers

Roasted Red Pepper: My Favorite Mediterranean Pizza Topping

(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

Corrections to first printing of Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day

These errors snuck through, for Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day:

Page 52, first line:  To freeze a prebaked pizza crust… (page XX) should read (page 48)

Page 72 (Ingredient list for Crisp-Yet-Tender Crust):  Lukewarm water amount should be 3 3/4, not 4 3/4.

Page 95, last line:  Use 8 cups whole grain flour, not dough.

Page 174, Step 2:  Dough thickness should read “a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle,” not “a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle.”

Page 251:  Omit (450 degrees F) from Line 6

Wild Rice Pilaf Bread

You know it’s fall in the Midwest when your kids are back in school, the thermometer says 45 degrees, and the morning is back to the old scramble.  My wife and I planned to tag-team as usual but it turns out that our kids are old enough now—so independent that they really don’t need much help in the morning.

So it was a relief, though a bit bittersweet, to find myself with some time to relax with a cup of coffee this morning,  and think about this post.  I did my fall baking class at Chef’s Gallery (in historic Stillwater Minn.) at the end of August and baked up Wild Rice Pilaf Bread from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day—and it was a hit (I’ll be back in Stillwater this winter; check our Events page).  I was putting the loaf together this morning, and realized we’d used up our mushrooms, but had plenty of pecans.  It works!  The sauteed vegetables infuse the loaf with flavor and moisture—and the nuts add crunch and richness (not to mention great nutrition).  Read on for the recipe and tips—you can do this variation by using the roll-in technique, which allows you to start with pretty much any of our doughs that you’ve already refrigerated and add in the wild rice, onion, and mushrooms (or nuts) just before you shape the loaf. Continue reading

(Thinking about trying to re-create) gorgeous pastries from France, plus, an even better way to do Dutch oven bread on the grill

The pastry above is layered with chocolate pastry cream, flan, and on top, a very whimsical patisserie (pastry shop) in the Marais district in Paris has placed jelly beans, candy blackberries, and a little pile of minced pistachio.  For some reason, I seem to find the need to put a baguette in every picture.

My family and I’ve been home from France for a month but I’m still not exactly “home.”

More photos if you click below; plus new tips on getting a perfect Dutch oven bread on the outdoor gas grill (we’re going to keep refining this).  I’d planned on trying to re-create this pastry—-baking up brioche, slicing it thinly, and layering it with pastry cream (recipe for the cream in our 1st book on page 225, the brioche on page 189, book available on Amazon).  But as I said, I always seem to end up with bread… Continue reading

They’re making our dough in Bangkok and selling the bread in the market

We’re in the Wall Street Journal today (click for the article), but not exactly how you’d expect.  Someone got our first book, started making the bread, and found they could sell lots of it in the local street market!  We’re mentioned in the second half of the article.

People have asked how we feel about that (answer, GREAT!).   Just another way to spread the word…

Panettone – The Sweet, Fruit Studded Christmas Bread!

pan03sml

This post may look familiar to some of you, but will be exciting and new to others. As you may know Jeff and I just sent in the manuscript for our next book, Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes a Day. We are now either celebrating or sleeping, not necessarily in that order. We are taking this week off from providing new content to the website, but wanted to give you a taste of the holidays.

Panettone was traditionally a Christmas bread sold all over Italy during the holidays. It finds its origins in Milan around the 15th century, and has been the subject of much romantic lore.  The most often told story of how this bejeweled bread came to be goes something like this…  A young nobleman by the name of Ughetto Atellani fell in love with the daughter of a poor baker named Toni.  In order to impress her, Ughetto disguised himself as a pastry chef’s apprentice in her father’s bakery. He creates a tall fruit studded bread to present to her father, calling it “Pan de Toni.”  The bread, rich with eggs and butter, sweet with honey, scented with vanilla and lemon zest, with the finishing touch of dried and candied fruits was a success in the bakery and wins the admiration of the lady and the father’s respect. The baker blesses the marriage and Ughetto marries the daughter.
The story is rich and fanciful, just like the bread.  Today this sweet loaf is no longer saved just for Christmas, it is eaten at other holidays throughout the year and served sliced and toasted for brunch and as a dessert with a selection of cheeses and sweet wines. The bread, despite its rather lighthearted lore is quite sophisticated. The traditional method for making panettone is done over the course of several days. It included long sessions of kneading and allowed for up to 20 hours of rise time in order to create a flavor that is both sweet, but also has a complexity caused by the fermentation of the dough. Today, we want the same balance of flavor, without having to labor over the process or wait several days to enjoy our bread. Although you can bake the bread after only a few hours of refrigeration we recommend letting it sit for about 24 hours to develop its full flavor and it will be easier to work with.

The winners from last week’s contest for the Red Star Yeast package are announced below.

Continue reading