Milk and Honey Braided Buns with Dried Fruit and Pearl Sugar

raisin buns

The Holidays are quickly approaching, but I’m sure you’ve had some inkling of that, seeing as most stores started blasting the Christmas tunes the day after Halloween. I will admit to starting it a little too early, as this time of year is my favorite, and I’m always ready to jump into the celebration. Holiday baking is high on my list of favorite things to do, and while I spend plenty of time making cookies and bars and candy, yeasted treats are the most delicious.

We’ve made plenty of delicious holiday breads here on our site (Christmas Stollen, Brioche Cake with Sugared Cranberries, Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread, and Panettone, just to name a few), and we’re going to add one more to the line up: Milk and Honey Braided Buns. Studded with dried fruit and topped with pearl sugar, these little braids are a lovely addition to any Christmas breakfast or New Years’ Brunch. (And, if you’re in need of any more Holiday music, I have a playlist here and here you can check out.)

raisin buns

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Using Fresh-Ground Whole Wheat Flour (and some highlights from our book tour)

scoopers-of-flour

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The flour on the left (the browner, coarser one) is an organic fresh-ground whole wheat.  On the right, the commercial whole wheat flour is obviously finer-ground and lighter in color (it’s the Dakota Maid brand, a very consistent and tasty product).  So many of you have asked about grinding your own wheat to make whole grain breads, that I decided to try it myself.

OK, I didn’t really grind it myself, I sourced fresh-ground wheat from Sunrise Flour Mill at the Mill City Farmer’s Market, next to the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis.  After Zoe and I did an event and booksigning there, Marty Glanville of Sunrise Flour came by to say hello.  She gave me a great home made whole grain bread to try, made from her fresh-ground whole wheat, and I was sold.  The flavor is, well, very fresh.

It’s not an absolute requirement for whole wheat bread, but here’s a little on my first experiments with this great flour.  Considering how different the fresh-ground product looked compared with commercial whole wheat, I was surprised at how easily this stuff was able to be used in our Master Recipe– with no changes.  After some whole wheat talk, a little about the West Coast leg of our book tour (Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco).   (more…)