Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls

Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls | Bread in 5

Yes, we took on the Pinterest Easter bunnies. Have you seen them, pinned on everyone’s holiday boards? Turns out that picture is actually of a bunny cookie, and these sad rolls are more an accurate visual of how things would turn out. But, I’m happy to tell you that after making dozens upon dozens of rolls, we have some tips to help you make some cute little bunnies.

However, I won’t lie to you (it is Easter, after all) that they are a little tricky. And you may  have some rolls that end up a little wonky. But, as my children oohed and ahhed over even the misshapen ones, I could see we had a winner idea.

Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls | Bread in 5

Making these bunnies is way too much fun, lots more photos are here…

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Cinnamon Buns – Child’s Play (plus Brioche made with Red Star Platinum Yeast)

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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.

Platinum 01

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

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

Rosemary Crescent Rolls

If you start with a bucket of the Master recipe you can quickly and easily created these tasty, crusty, rosemary crescent rolls. This technique is an easy way to incorporate flavors into the dough without fuss. Shape matters; everything seems to taste better when it looks great and these crescent rolls are adorable. My boys claim to have a certain disdain for the strong flavor of rosemary and yet they ate the entire batch of these rolls when they got home from school, never realizing they were stuffed with the dreaded herb. Oh, the tricks we parents play to get our kids to be more adventuresome eaters. At least this one is fast and easy, as well as delicious! Next time I try it with spinach. ;)

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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

Baking in Tuscany, without any of my equipment!

Jeff and I are always wanting to convey how simple and forgiving these recipes are, not to mention delicious. During my stay in Tuscany this summer I rented an apartment just outside of San Gimignano. The foundation of the house was built around 500AD, but thankfully the kitchen had been updated in this century. It seemed a must for me to bake bread during my week there. I went to the store and bought flour, salt and yeast. Got back to the apartment and realized I had none of the equipment I usually count on in my kitchen. There were no measuring cups or spoons, no pizza stone, no peel and the oven was in celsius, not fahrenheit. No matter, I still dumped everything in a bowl, mixed it up, hoped for the best and ended up with a gorgeous dough. Over the next few days I baked rolls in the house and pizzas in a wood fired oven outside my door.

Jeff and I are teaching in Edina, MN this weekend and we’d love to have you in class! See end of post for details…

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