Ham and Cheese Brioche Sandwiches

Tiny baked buns filled with ham, cheese, mustard, mayo, honey and covered in poppyseeds – what’s not to love? I came across the idea for these buns while paging through cookbooks, and immediately headed to the kitchen to make them. With all the ham, cheese, mayo, and butter, I wanted to keep the brioche buns on the lighter side, so I used our no-knead challah dough–it’s basically a light brioche. Plus, my family swoons every time I make it. I wasn’t wrong. These buns are delicious, and they are perfect for every occasion. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, baby showers, pool parties, even Father’s Day.

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Crock Pot Monkey Bread

It has been hovering around 100°F here in Minnesota for the past few days. This is what I consider August weather and I’m not accustomed to giving up my oven quite so early in the season, but alas, it is just too hot to turn it on. However, it didn’t stop me from making Monkey Bread. I just threw the pan of cinnamon sugar coated brioche in my crock pot and let it slowly “bake” until I had perfect Monkey Bread. We’ve been baking Five Minute Bread in a crock pot for years, thanks to a request from one of our readers. We were super skeptical at first, but were happily proven wrong and have been doing it ever since. It’s a brilliant way to avoid turning on the oven in the heat of summer, but it is equally useful at the holidays when the oven is in constant use and you still need to bake those holiday buns.

The caramel, sticky goodness of Monkey Bread is perfect for the crock pot, because it doesn’t require a crisp crust and is all the better for having a soft, fluffy texture. I used our classic recipe, but you don’t have to let it rise first, just put the pan in the crock pot, turn it on and let it go. Depending on your slow cooker, it can take anywhere from an hour to 2 hours. just depends on the power of your machine and size of the pan. (more…)

The Best Granola, Ever!

This is one of my favorite recipes in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and it isn’t a bread at all. There is really nothing that smells as good as this granola when it is baking.  It tastes incredible and makes a fabulous breakfast, snack or gift. It is one of those recipes you will end up baking over and over again.

I developed the recipe for the book to use in the “Aunt Melissa’s Granola Bread” on page 114. My Aunt lived with my father and me on a commune in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. She baked this granola at least once a week in massive batches to feed the many people who lived with us. It was so popular she ended up selling it to the local co-ops and then beyond. Our commune became all about granola production and I still to this day, over 45 years later, remember the smell of it baking.

My aunt passed away many years ago and the actual recipe with her. This one is very close and brings back all of the wonderful memories of that time and of her. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does! (more…)

Simple Cinnamon Braid

Last week I posted a picture of this cinnamon braid (made with our no-knead brioche dough) on Instagram, and had several requests for a recipe. So here it is! It’s basically a cinnamon roll in a prettier package, but it’s fun to make, and would be perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or just because.

And, as it is National Poetry Month, here is a lovely one involving a kitchen, a ritual, and eating together.

smoothing away time with the fluid line
of your memory
i am in place at your table
in the morning damp of your still dark kitchen
i wait for you to come

stepping through the curtained doorway
you enter intent on this day
restart the fire
fill place the kettle
pull open the kitchen door
inviting daylight to come
welcoming it into your house—
bringing it into mine.

-Kimberly Blaeser, Rituals, Your – and Mine (full poem here)

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Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls with Red Star Yeast–with Video!

 

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.

 

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Master Recipe with Fresh Flour (Baker’s Field Fresh Flour Giveaway)

If you are under the impression that flour has no taste, it may just because you haven’t tried fresh flour. I know it is an odd concept that flour would be “fresh,” since we’re used to buying bags that have an exceptionally long expiration date. But, when you make a loaf of bread with flour that was just milled it is so much sweeter and more flavorful. Milling grains at home has been on the rise for a few years and many of our readers already do, so they know of what I speak, but for the rest of us (me included), this is a new discovery. I love bread, obviously, and love it made with all kinds of flour, but this is a real treat and one I am so excited to share with you.

I went to an event at Baker’s Field Flour and Bread here in Minneapolis and was completely blown away by what I heard and ate. I met the farmers (Penner and Peterson Farms) who grew this wheat, right here in Minnesota and they could not be more passionate about their crops and the bread that results from their work in the fields. (more…)

Heart Braid

The older I get, the less I am ‘into’ Valentine’s Day, but I have two little kids who still think it is an amazing holiday, so anything red, pink, and heart shaped is welcomed into our home on the 14th. I was scrolling through Instagram last week and came across this lovely heart shaped challah, and then remembering Zoe’s pink swirled bread and pink braid, I thought I could combine the two together for some celebration bread. I’m happy to report that it worked! The bread turned out pretty, and tasted delicious, too.

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Chili Bread Bowl for the Super Bowl

I have to admit that I watch football once a year. The Super Bowl is my kind of game; more about food and music, than actual football. Although I do regret missing the Vikings big game this weekend. Everyone gets excited about a good ending. Fingers crossed we will not only be hosting the Super Bowl in MN, but our team will also play a starring role. I know some of you will be disappointed in my laissez faire attitude, but I really do take the food for this game seriously, so it makes me oddly qualified to write this post. Among other things I’m making chili in my crock pot, baking crusty rolls and creating these super tasty chili bread bowls. (more…)

Stollen Buns

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I always find myself excited each year about the Holiday season. As a child and young adult, Christmas was always a magical time of year, where I felt safe and secure, and slightly spoiled. My only concern was opening the pile of presents before me, and trying not to overindulge on sweets. Now that I’m an adult, I still feel the same magical feeling in December, but it is intermingled with the knowledge that this time of year isn’t always special and lovely for everyone else. There are many without. There are many who don’t enjoy their families, can’t afford to indulge, are missing loved ones, are feeling hopeless. As I sing along to carols decorate cookies, I wish the magic of Christmas could sweep in and heal all, instead of just bringing temporary forgetfulness for a few weeks. I often get overwhelmed, and then find myself not doing anything. I’ve learned over the years that small and simple is best, and looking around to my neighborhood and immediate community is the best way to help others. So if you are feeling the desire to reach out, a simple way is to bake something (these stollen buns, for example), and share it with those around you. Bringing something to a neighbor you haven’t met (or are frustrated with!) can open the door to conversation, and possibly a relationship. Taking small steps to get to know those near can help in the future make bigger steps when needed, and can bring us a little closer to ‘peace on earth, good-will to men!’

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Holiday Star Bread

This Holiday Star Bread has been making the rounds all over social media, so I decided to try it with some of our no-knead Challah dough. I’m happy to report that it works quite well, and it is not that difficult to make. Most the recipes online have the same directions for shaping the star, so I borrowed from those when practicing, but substituted pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon just to change things up a bit. I’ve also seen jam and Nutella used for the filling, so if you are interested in playing around with recipe, there is room for your own interpretation. If you do end up making this bread and post on social media, tag #breadin5 so we can see your creations! You can also find us on Instagram at @breadin5.

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