Upside Down Plum Brioche Cake

Upside Down Plum Brioche Cake | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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, this brioche cake is a perfect way to celebrate the end of summer.

Upside Down Plum Brioche Cake | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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Grilled Breakfast Pizza Two Ways

Grilled Breakfast Pizza Recipe | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

We’ve had some incredibly warm days here in Minneapolis (scorchers, as we like to call them, as in ‘what a scorcher!’) so our grill has been in constant use. Grilling during extremely hot weather isn’t always the best idea, because, well, that grill is hot, but it does keep the house much cooler. I decided on one of these raging hot mornings that I would start grilling early – friends were coming over for a late breakfast, and maybe we could just do pizzas? With breakfast toppings? Everyone was amused by the idea of breakfast pizza, and now my kids request it daily. We made two different kinds: eggs, bacon, and Swiss chard with a roasted garlic sauce, and peach-sausage-basil with mozzarella. Both were considered hits by all.

Grilled Breakfast Pizza Recipe | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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Chicken and Donuts

I’ve recently become obsessed with Gary Cooper – not the Gary Cooper, but a decadent donut breakfast that a local Minneapolis diner serves, named after Mr. G.C. The diner is the Hi-Lo Diner, a new establishment that serves a fancy item called a Hi-Top, which is essentially a donut piled high with either sweet or savory ingredients. The Gary Cooper is my favorite hi-top on the menu, it’s covered with buttermilk fried chicken, maple-bourbon syrup, country gravy, and micro arugula. I decided to try and recreate this number in my own kitchen, using our no-knead brioche dough for the donut base, and then building the rest with maple syrup, mashed potatoes, gravy, and crispy chicken. It was incredibly delicious, and although this dinner will be a special occasion treat in at my house, it was worth all the effort.

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How to shape wet dough

The secret to our method is having a nice wet dough. This allows us to store the dough and make a beautiful loaf. One of the most often questions is how to successfully shape the wet dough into a nice neat ball. If your loaf is not shaped well, it may spread out and be too flat or it will bake in a shape you just didn’t intend. Even if your dough is super wet, even wetter than we intended, within reason, it can still be successfully shaped and bake into a gorgeous loaf. We’ll show you how in this video. The trick is using more flour than you may think is okay, but as you’ll see we aren’t working the flour into the dough, we’re just using it to keep the dough from sticking to our hands. As we gently handle the dough we add more flour. This allows us to shape, without overworking the dough. I didn’t use a Bench Scraper in this video, but it is a great tool for keeping the dough from sticking to your hands.

The dough in this video is the Master recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but this method can be used for any of our doughs.

Tsoureki: Easter Bread from Greece

Easter is right around the corner, and while it is celebrated in different ways by many, one common thread is to involve colorful eggs, either in hunts or baskets or bread.

Tsoureki is the traditional bread of Easter in Greece and many other Christian countries. The dough is enriched and then twisted around brightly dyed eggs. The bread is often braided with three strands to represent the holy trinity, formed into a circle as a reference to life and the eggs are dyed red as a symbol of Christ’s blood. The bread is sweet, flavored with orange zest and a traditional Middle Eastern spice called Mahlepi, which is made from ground cherry pits (the spice can be found in Middle Eastern or Greek markets). If you don’t have Mahlepi, you can make the dough with ground Anise seed or even Cardamom. We’ve made them individual-sized here, with light pink eggs, but you could make them any color you would like (for a large loaf, we have a recipe here).

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Cheesy, Spinach and Egg Boat

Once in a while I make a decision that seems like a fantastic idea, then it terrifies me and then proves to change my life. Agreeing to write Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day with Jeff in 2005 was one such moment. Recently, I gave my dad a gift that falls into the same category. He has been going into the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) on the Minnesota/Canada border for decades. He’s gone alone, he’s taken my brothers, he’s taken my sons, but I have never gone. To say I am not a camper is an understatement. I like memory foam and a thread count on my sheets that you can’t buy at REI. So, when I asked him to take me camping in the BWCA, he was thrilled and booked the date before I could change my mind, which I have considered many times. I am so excited, slightly terrified and I’ve heard many people say this is a trip of a lifetime. I have no doubt I will come back a changed woman.

My dad came over to start planning our big canoeing adventure, so I figured a cheesy, spinach and egg boat was a fitting lunch. This savory flatbread is featured in our The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, made with our whole wheat master recipe. Today I made it with brioche dough and it was fantastic. It’s a really fun flatbread, that is easier than you think to make and will jazz up a breakfast, lunch or brunch. It may or may not change your life, but it will add joy! (more…)

Cinnamon Twists

Cinnamon Twists | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

We’ve been on a breadstick kick. My children are obsessed with them, and love them even more than pizza. They’ve started begging for breadsticks at every meal, and while I don’t always heed their cries, I do find I am making them more than usual. Why? Well, they are so easy to put together, and work with almost any kind of meal. Pizza and breadsticks. Spaghetti and breadsticks. Chicken and breadsticks. Lasagna and breadsticks. (Don’t worry, there are plenty of vegetables served alongside, too). One weekend morning, when breadsticks were brought up for breakfast, I decided to surprise them with cinnamon twists instead. They were an instant hit, and while these are not a weekly affair, they are a fun, simple way to sweeten up a breakfast, brunch, or even dinner table.

Assembling Cinnamon Twists | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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Pretzel Rolls

Pretzel Rolls | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

It’s a New Year. Regardless of your political convictions and leanings, one thing we should all agree on is that pretzel rolls need to be on our 2017 agenda. Easier to make than pretzels (no shaping and twisting and forming!), these rolls taste amazing on their own, or sliced open and made into sandwiches. I can’t decide how I like them best, but I do know they are on my baking list every single week. (You can find regular pretzels and baked pretzels on our site as well!)

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Easy Dinner Rolls

Easy Dinner Rolls - Whole Wheat Recipe | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Soft pull-apart buns are a classic dinner accompaniment. Known for their tender texture and delicious taste, they are a favorite for both adults and children alike. The whole wheat version of our recipe found in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day gives you a slightly healthier spin without compromising the great, buttery taste. While they are easy enough to make any night of the week, these dinner rolls can also find their way to your entertaining table.

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Chocolate and Orange Confit Brioche

chocolate orange bread

With less than a week away from the most wonderful time of the year (sing that to yourself in a Bing Crosby voice), I find myself frantically baking for this Saturday and Sunday. I love passing out goodies to the neighbors each year, and while we have stacks of cookies and bars, somehow a loaf of bread is most ideal. This loaf is extra special – with both a tender crumb and studded with chocolate and orange pieces, it is breakfast and dessert, a sweet indulgence to bring tidings of comfort and joy. This recipe makes two loaves, so you can make one for snacking and one for giving. Happy Holidays!

chocolate orange bread

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