Christmas Stollen is a wonderful German baking tradition this time of year. A sweet loaf that is studded with dried fruit, spiced with cardamom and a special treat of almond paste runs through it. Once it comes out of the oven it is traditional to slather the warm loaf in butter then roll it in sugar, but we skip the extra butter and dust it with a thick layer of confectioners’ sugar to look like the snow outside. This loaf actually holds up very well for a couple of days and that makes it a great gift for the holidays.
Because it is the season of giving we are partnering with Red Star Yeast and Emile Henry for a GIANT BREAD BAKING GIVEAWAY. (more…)
If you’ve been around here long enough, you know we have a thing for swirled and braided breads and buns. Cinnamon, Pumpkin, Crock Pot, French Toast, and Multi-Colored have all made an appearance over the years. So today we add one more recipe to our collection, and bring you Chocolate Swirl Rolls.
The chocolate dough comes from our Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes A Day book, and does not contain butter or eggs like most of our sweet doughs do. However, a thin layer of chocolate paste adds a swirl of richness, and the two combined balance each other perfectly. Topped with cream cheese icing, this is one indulgent bun.
With the holidays tucked safely behind, I’ve found myself trying to incorporate healthier foods into my family’s New Year diet. There were some subtle groans about the 100% whole wheat flour bagels and bread that showed up in our kitchen January 1st, foreshadowing things to come. After a few weeks of slowly letting go of the white flour, however, no one seems to mind quite as much anymore. Along with the whole wheat flour, I have also been adding spelt flour to many of our baked goods and breads. I’ve always loved the flavor of spelt, and find it easy to work with in most applications. I had forgotten about the Whole Grain Spelt Dough recipe in Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads, and it has been a welcome addition to dinner. My kids didn’t even notice the crust on their beloved stovetop pizza was slightly heartier, and gobbled down their slices without batting an eye.
I have to admit when Emile Henry asked if I wanted to try this new covered loaf pan, I was a bit skeptical about the claims they were making. It’s a gorgeous loaf pan, but would it really bake a bread with a perfectly crisp, shiny crust on the top and bottom, just because of the holes in the lid and on the bottom of the ceramic baking vessel? Well, I’m here to say I was wrong to judge without trying, again. Just as I was wrong about the crock pot baking great bread, this loaf pan really does bake a fantastic loaf. The crust is thin and golden brown, without having to add steam or remove the cover during baking. It’s all about the holes! You can see the same loaf baked in a regular loaf pan at the bottom of the post and see for yourself just how well it works.
I used Red Star Platinum yeast to mix up this raisin walnut bread dough, and I loved the results with this loaf.
Braiding doesn’t just have to be for sweets. I found myself with some 2 week old – (truth be told it was closer to 3 weeks) dough and it was a little wet to shape a nice tall boule. We always recommend using older dough for flatbreads or baking it in a loaf pan, since it can lose some of its rising power in the later stages of storing. Well, it turns out this older dough makes a wonderful braided loaf, with lots of flavor and a really open crumb. Because the braid isn’t as domed as a boule, the older dough has all the rising power it needs.
My dough was made with Gold Medal Organic All-purpose flour, a bit of rye, whole wheat and Platinum yeast by Red Star. Like I said, it was almost 3 weeks old, but this technique can also be done with fresh dough and really any of our doughs, not just the Peasant dough recipe will work great.
Today our new book is finally available and we couldn’t be happier to welcome Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day into our happy family. We are so excited for you to get baking from it, so we’re posting one of our favorite doughs from the book. I have to admit it took us a while to decide which one to share, since our favorite seems to change with our moods. This Olive Oil Dough is fantastic for a thin crust, a thick crust and so many of our worldly flatbreads. No matter the technique you decide to try, you’ll love the results.
We like to make the classic Pizza Margherita, it’s the ultimate in Italian toppings. In fact, the colors resemble the Italian flag and the pizza was named for the Italian queen, Margherita, because she fell in love with it. Nothing but tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil. So pure and so tasty.
We want to invite you to visit us while we are on book tour. To find dates and cities please visit our Events page. Hope to meet you! (more…)
This is Roberto, one of the luckiest people I have ever met. He and Mark, who run the test kitchen at Red Star Yeast, have what I consider a dream job. They work in this amazing kitchen to come up with all kinds of yeasty treats. The equipment is top notch, the ingredients limitless and the space is massive. I have kitchen envy in a big way. No wonder they are such fantastically nice guys. They were kind enough to invite Jeff and me into their kitchen to play with them. We baked all kinds of breads from our books and did presentations to the rest of the Red Star team. (more…)
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): (more…)