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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Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn Bread – (Contest Closed!)

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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.

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Look for us in this Sunday’s paper

Zoe and I will be in select newspapers all over the United States this Sunday, November 14.  Our flyer will have a Red Star Yeast coupon, and links to their site with video and both our Master recipes (whole grain and white).  If we’re not in your city this Sunday, you can still see the video and recipes (but not get the coupon) at breadin5minutes.com.

We’ve been baking with Red Star for as long as we’ve been baking (40 person-years?), and have been doing events with Red Star for almost a year now– great product, consistent results, and available in many forms (packets, jars, and bulk all over the place).  Check out my post about our neck-tag on the Red Star yeast bottles.

See you Sunday…

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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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

Gluten-Free Crusty Boule, the Video!

Well it is official, our readers are as obsessed about bread as we are. I know this because so many of you watched a video about dough rising! In fact, I did this post to satisfy the folks using our gluten-free chapter from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day and their desire to see the dough in action. I mix up a batch, let it rise, shape and then bake it. Handling the gluten-free dough is very different then our other recipes, so I hope having a video will be helpful.

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Watching Dough Rise – how high should it go? (Plus, a new member of the Bread in Five family)

We have you mix up your dough in a nice big 6-Quart Food-Storage Container, because over the course of 2 hours it will grow to nearly touch the lid.  Some folks have asked exactly what that should look like, so I mixed up a batch of each Master recipe from ABin5 and HBin5, then sat back and watched them rise. I promise this is more fun than watching paint dry, it will show you exactly what your dough should look like and I’ve set it to a little Johnny Cash (Ooops, apparently I can’t do that. Had to switch to something with a little less….copyright).

We also have an exciting announcement to make, especially for those Brits who are baking our bread or people excited to bake with weights.

Our first book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day was translated for British bakers. Yes, it is still in English, but the recipes are converted to weights. They appear in both ounces and metrics. For those of you Americans excited to bake by weights this will be a welcome edition. The book’s title and look are also changed, but the recipes are the same. Five Minute Bread is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.UK and will be on bookstore shelves in January 2011.

Also check out the holiday bread article Jeff and I wrote for Disney’s Family Fun Magazine.

Happy Baking!

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)

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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

Wood Fired Oven in Italy, a Love Affair!

Istanbul, Greece, Naples, Rome and all the stops between were beyond my wildest expectations, but this pizza oven is where I fell in love. I rented a particular house in Tuscany, not for its stunning views, or proximity to wine, cheese, olive oil, gelato, pasta, pastries, all of which were minutes away, but for this oven. For the first three weeks of our journey we ate hundreds of pizzas and flatbreads, as research for our upcoming book on the subject, and now, in Tuscany I finally got back in the kitchen to do a little creating of my own. With a bit of help from David, our trusted culinary guide and keeper of the oven, I set out to bake pizza in Italy, an admittedly ballsy move. Continue reading