Hanukkah panini: Jeff’s new favorite Holiday tradition

I recently did an interview for BoschMixers.com, talking about unorthodox Holiday traditions–we talked panini, and anytime of year is the right time of year for one. We’ve done two grilled sandwich posts here on the website. Now, our official panini post isn’t quite right for Hannukah (there’s ham in it, but you can leave it out, of course). Our other grilled sandwich post is more American style than Italian–also fantastic.

What’s your favorite non-traditional recipe to whip up during the holiday season?

Bosch Blogger Interview - Jeff HertzbergMy family is Jewish, and many Hanukkah foods are fried things–commemorating the ancient Jerusalem temple lamp that miraculously stayed lit for eight nights when there was only enough oil for one. So for us, fried potato pancakes (latkes) are traditional. But then, my wife and I have added some odd ones to the mix, partly because she was a college coop baker, and partly because I became an obsessive baker (once she taught me how to do it). These days, when my daughter comes home from college, she’s craving the perfect peasant bread that they just don’t have at her college cafeteria—the bread we’ve been baking at our house since she was a little kid. It gotten even more extreme this year, because she’s in South America studying for a semester. Apparently, they just don’t have a very diverse cheese tradition in Ecuador, so she’s craving perfect grilled cheese made with a terrific sheep cheese we get (manchego)—on that bread. In December, when she’s back, we may crank out some latkes, but the fried Holiday food we’re making will be panini—grilled cheese sandwiches done the Italian way, on a press, in olive oil. That’s the perfect fried food for this particular Hanukkah.

Why is it your favorite?

It has everything going for it—great bread, great cheese, and olive oil!

How did you learn about this recipe?

The bread is from my first book, now in its second edition—The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (2013). It’s the European Peasant Bread on page 94.

When was the first time you made this recipe?

I started making a version of this bread when I was a medical resident—in 1987.

Do you make this dish each year?

The bread is a long-time favorite in my house, and the panini, less consistently. It’s going to be our new Hanukkah tradition.

What does this recipe entail (including ingredients, time, equipment, etc)?

For the bread, with our method you mix and store a large batch of dough for up to two weeks, then cut off 1-pound chunks to bake as often as you like during that time. Flour, water, salt, yeast—that’s it. High moisture is what makes the storage possible.

Do you have any specific accounts or fond memories tied to this recipe?

My kids ate a version of this bread in their lunch sandwiches pretty much every day when they were growing up.

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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10th Anniversary of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

How time flies when you are having fun baking bread. 10 years ago we published our first book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and it’s been an exciting journey ever since. Our publisher took a chance on two unknown authors; a pastry chef and a physician with a crazy idea of how to change how people bake bread. The publisher printed 5000 copies, hedging their bets in case it didn’t sell, but they sold in a week. They printed another 5000 and those too sold right away. They did it again and again, thinking it would slow down, but it didn’t. Here we are 10 years later, a second edition, 5 other titles and 750,000 copies of our books sold. This is all because of you, our incredible readers and the inspiration for all of our books. You have been there with us and for us, and we want to thank you!

Our first edition of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is no longer in print, but the second edition The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is even better and we want to give you a copy. For a chance to win, please leave a comment here and we’ll pick 5 winners. You can also go to our Instagram page, like our page and tag two friends for another chance to win. We’ll be giving away 5 copies to our Instagram followers. Please see our giveaway policy. This contest is finished! (more…)

Jeff’s doing a benefit class for Minneapolis’s Legal Rights Center on November 30

Jeff will join forces with New York Times food writer Martha Rose Shulman to create perfect pizza crust and imaginative toppings (guess who’s doing which), in a benefit for Minneapolis’s Legal Rights Center, a non-profit legal organization dedicated to diverting kids from the criminal justice system and into restorative justice programs. The baking demo will be from 4:00pm to 5:30pm on November 30, 2017 ($150 donation to LRC). After the demo with Jeff and Martha, starting at 5:30pm, it’ll be an evening of great conversation with great Twin Cities cooks and foodies who’ll be in attendance, including Lucia Watson (founder of Lucia’s restaurant and cookbook author), Beth Dooley (Twin Cities food writer and cook book author, and Matt Morgan (chef from The Bachelor Farmer, Heartland, Aquavit, and Chef’s Taverna). There’s an additional $100 donation if you choose to stay after the demo.

Click for more information and to register…

Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread

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We’ve had a lovely Autumn here in Minnesota, with warm weather lasting far into October. However, November has brought about a winter chill, and with it the desire to head to the kitchen and bake with cinnamon and pumpkin. Often I turn to cinnamon rolls or caramel rolls, but I decided this time around to make Monkey Bread.

Monkey Bread is easy to make; it’s basically a pull-apart cinnamon roll baked in a Bundt or loaf pan. Zoe’s posted a standard recipe before, but today I’m doing one made with pumpkin spices, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and topped with a cream cheese icing. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the coming cold.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

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These cookies were just featured in the New York Times! We’re so thrilled for Sarah and it just confirms what we already know about them, they are AWESOME!

You are on the right site, we are just taking a short break from baking bread to bring you one of our absolute favorite recipes from Sarah’s new book, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book. You all know Sarah’s gorgeous work here on Breadin5, but you may not be as familiar with her baking website. Sarah has been working with us on the Breadin5 website and has been instrumental in our cookbook photoshoots as a food stylist. During our last marathon photo session she brought us cakes, cookies, scones and even pie she was testing for her own cookbook. When she brought in these chocolate chip cookies we took a moment out of the shoot to declare them the best cookies any of us had ever had. I do not say that lightly, considering I had a cookie company in college, have baked no fewer than 500 chocolate chip cookie recipes and have consumed even more. These are the best and now you have the recipe.

We are thrilled for Sarah and are so proud of her and this brilliant book! She and her publisher have graciously offered a copy of her book to a lucky winner of our GIVEAWAY. Just leave a note in our comments and we will select someone at random. It will make a great addition to your cookbooks or a lovely gift for someone on your list. All our normal contest rules apply. This contest is over.

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How & When to Swap Bread Flour for All-Purpose in Mini-Wreath Pain d’Epis

People often ask us why we only used all-purpose flour (where we called for white flour) in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  Why not “bread” flour, which is higher in protein and is often considered traditional in bread?  Well, not in all traditions. French baguettes, for example, are typically made with lower-protein flour for a more tender, and less chewy crumb.  And we knew most of our potential book users already had all-purpose flour in the house.  But sometimes, a stiffer dough is desirable, like when something really needs to hold its shape, like these wreath-shaped, well… bagels.  You can always swap bread flour into our recipes that call for all-purpose, just by adding a little extra water (details below).   (more…)

Loaf Breads – The Best School Lunches start with Homemade Sandwich Bread!

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This is a reposting of one of our most popular topics!

It is now what I consider “sandwich season.” Some may call it “back to school,” “end of summer” or even “fall,” but to me it is the season when I have to come up with a million types of sandwiches and other lunches to keep my boys from growing up on PB&J alone! Although school lunches have come a long way since I was a kid, they still leave much to be desired and are mostly to be avoided.

To start I need the perfect loaf of bread. My boys want a loaf that looks and feels like what all the other kids are eating; square and soft. They love crusty bread, but not on their sandwiches, especially not PB&J. To achieve just the right sandwich loaf I have slightly altered what we do in the book. (more…)

Up-side Down Plum Brioche Cake

August is slowly slipping away from us, and here in Minnesota it’s brought endless days of cool weather and rain. Baking has been an essential part of my day, as I process changes: new routines about to begin, weather moving from hot to cold, and daily current events that fill my computer screen.

Stone fruits are still front and center at my grocery store; they’ve replaced the piles of berries that filled my fridge all through July. While we’ve mostly been eating them perfectly ripe and sliced, I did sneak in an up-side down brioche this week that was incredibly delicious. Made with plums, some butter and sugar, and a splash of vanilla, it’s a perfect way to celebrated the end of summer.

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Raspberry Brioche Braid

When my boys were little I took them berry picking. The concept was a good one and in my head it would be like a scene from Kinfolk. The boys sitting quietly by the raspberry bushes, adorably tossing berries into a gingham lined basket. The reality was more Lord of the Flies meets Blueberries for Sal (which is my all-time favorite children’s books). The boys would never sit still in a setting as inviting as this for running and wielding sticks, in-which to sword fight. Nor were they likely to toss a single berry into the basket, when they could just as easily eat them. So, I picked berries, while keeping an eye out to make sure my children were not impaling each other and were accounted for. I got enough berries to bake with, but they were not-so-ceremoniously consumed in the back seat of the car, by the before mentioned sword fighters, on the way home. It was an absolutely charmed day in its way, but not if your goal was to bake something tasty. We stopped at the store and bought Driscoll’s perfect raspberries, I baked a lovely raspberry brioche braid, that ended up in ABin5 and I have not gone berry picking (with the intention of bringing home berries) since…true story!

This raspberry braid is ideal for breakfast, brunch, after school snack or makes a sweet gift for your neighbor who just had an adorable baby (as mine recently did). When you have a bucket of brioche in the refrigerator this can be put together in a no time. First, I used the Driscoll’s berries to make a quick jam, which is so simple and delicious and I recommend making extra to just have around. The red of these berries makes for a ruby colored jam and the flavor is just pure raspberry, no additives or binders. These berries are all natural (organic options are available), never genetically modified and Driscoll’s follows the sun, so they are available and perfect all year round. The jam is spread over a layer of rich cream cheese filling and then the dough is folded over the fillings in a pattern that looks fancy, but is incredibly easy  to do. The finishing touches are a fresh raspberry glaze and sweet whole berries. It will impress everyone and they’ll assume you spent so much time preparing it. They never need to know how easy it is, until you share this recipe with them.

Driscoll’s is hosting a Minnesota-exclusive Giveaway (because we are the most raspberry loving people in the land (fun fact…according to the data reported by The Nielson Company the Twin Cities consumes 132% more fresh raspberries than the nation as a whole. This could be why Garrison Keillor, on the Prairie Home Companion, describes Minnesotans as “…all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average!”). When Driscoll’s asked me to create a recipe and share in their #BerryTogether Sweepstakes, it felt like a natural fit. One lucky, top prize winning, Minnesotan will get a 4-night getaway to Madden’s on Gull Lake. Four 1st-prize winners will receive Driscoll’s berries for a YEAR! All raspberry loving Minnesotans should visit www.berrytogether.com to enter. If you don’t have the good fortune to live in this great state, you can still bake this fantastic raspberry brioche treat.

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